There is a lot of teaching about how Christians should not be judgmental. In fact, Matthew 7:1 (Do not judge…) now rivals John 3:16 as the most often quoted verse in the Bible. While it is true that Christians should be careful about judging, to what extent should we be non-judgmental?
In Who Are You to Judge?: Learning to Distinguish Between Truths, Half-Truths, and Lies, Erwin Lutzer helps us sort through this maze of mystery. Should we just accept whatever is put before us in the name of Christianity? If someone claims to be from God, should we take them at their word? With solid Biblical insight and well presented information, Lutzer shows that we must search the Scriptures to determine what is true, what is half-true and what is a lie. That, in and of itself, means to judge.
The Bible clearly calls believers to be discerning and to make judgments. The task for Christians is to learn how to judge. Obviously we want to be obedient to Jesus’ teachings about judging. Does that mean we throw caution to the wind in matters of doctrine? Lutzer asks “Does it matter what we believe?” Of course, it does. Many of the subjects that require our careful judgment include: False Prophets (how can we recognize them?), Miracles (are they from God or the Devil?), Neo-paganism (when does fantasy become reality?), Conduct (Is there a right and a wrong?), Character (what are the marks of integrity?) and more.
I’m afraid we have bought into the world’s value system and the strange idea that everyone is right and shouldn’t be challenged in what they believe. Lutzer says, “We have lost the ability to judge the world because we have lost the ability to judge ourselves.” As members of the Body of Christ and as His representatives, it is our responsibility to distinguish biblical Christianity from the counterfeit spirituality and values of the world. This must start within the Church. The Church has drifted far from her moorings and allowed all kinds of non-biblical worldviews to seep in unchecked.
If you find yourself struggling to sort it all out, having a hard time discerning between what is true, or half true or even false, then ‘Who Are You to Judge?‘ will be a great help to you!