5 Ways Judgmental Christians Are Killing Your Church

judgmental Christians

Judged anyone lately?

Sadly, the answer for most of us (including me) is… yes.

From the guy who cut you off in traffic, to the off-beat person who’s not picking up the social cues you’re sending, to your weed-smoking neighbour… it’s so easy to judge.  And judgment just gets worse from there. It’s the basis of racism, sexism and almost every other ‘ism’ you can think of.

It’s also fundamentally incompatible with authentic Christian faith.

Jesus said Christians should be known for how deeply we love. Yet studies show that in the eyes of many non-Christians, we’re known for how deeply we judge, not for how deeply we love.

Jesus said Christians should be known for how deeply we love, not how deeply we judge. Click To Tweet

The problem in many cases is not that unchurched people don’t know any Christians. The problem is that they do. And they don’t like us—for good reason.

Christians will argue: well, who’s going to stand up for truth?

Understood.

Yet in Jesus, grace and truth are perfectly fused.

Remove grace from the truth and you don’t actually have truth at all, but a cold, steely imitation. (This is the shadow side of conservatism.)

The opposite is also true, of course. Remove truth from grace and you don’t have grace, but a spineless imitation. (As you’ve already figured out, this is the shadow side of liberalism.)

Fusing grace and truth is an exceptionally difficult venture and is usually only successful when you spend significant amounts of time on your knees and when the source of your attempt is actually Christ himself. I am rarely good at it, flipping from one side to the other too quickly.

But when you see grace and truth fused, it takes your breath away. Why did people travel for days on foot in extreme conditions to meet Jesus? Grace fused to truth is what our hearts most deeply long for.

But in the evangelical church today (and I’m an evangelical), the hard edge of truth has crushed many. And one of the most frequent expressions of loveless truth is found in judgment.

Judgmentalism is incompatible with at least 5 wonderful things. Keep judging, and your church will miss all 5 of these Christian virtues that can advance your church’s mission.

In the evangelical church today, the hard edge of truth has crushed many. Click To Tweet

1. Love

The presence of judgment almost always guarantees an absence of love.

Think about it through the lens of your marriage, a friendship or even someone you work with: it is virtually impossible to love someone and judge someone at the same time.

But wait, you ask: what if they’re making a mistake and I need to correct them?

First of all, look at your mistakes and the depth of your sin, and deal with your issues first. In the process, you’ll encounter a loving God who forgives you despite your rather egregious sin.

And having been loved, you can love others.

I try to remember this rule: If I’m judging someone, I’m not loving them. You can’t judge someone and love them at the same time.

You can't judge someone and love someone at the same time. Click To Tweet

2. Help

Ever notice that people who judge almost never help and people who help almost never judge?

That’s because judgment creates a line. The line is labeled “better than” or “smarter than” or “more righteous than” the person who needs help.

Help knows no such line. It just knows how to help.

When Jesus taught on judgment, not only did he tell us not to judge, and to remove the massive timber from our own eye before trying to find the speck of dust in someone else’s eye first, but he then showed us the purpose of removing the speck from someone else’s eye: it’s to help them.

The Christian purpose of stepping into someone else’s world is not to judge someone, but to help them.

If you’re not trying to help, don’t bother. You’ll probably only make it worse.

And if you are trying to help, you’ll likely notice something else has disappeared: any sense of judgment you once carried.

People who judge almost never help. People who help almost never judge. Click To Tweet

3. Humility

Judgment is never grounded in humility (As in oh my, I’m also a mess. Let’s figure this out together.)

Judgment is grounded in arrogance. That’s because a judgmental person almost always carries with them a sense of condescension (I never get into this kind of situation myself…you should be as good as I am) or a sense of pity (poor, stupid you).

Judgment always says I’m better than you, I know more than you and I’m also superior to you.

No wonder people run from it.

Very few people get judged into life change. Many people get loved into it.

Humility, by contrast, fosters empathy. It says “I’m like you. I get that. Maybe we can help each other.”

Many people would run to that.

Very few people get judged into life change. Many people get loved into it. Click To Tweet

4. Prayer

There’s also a connection between judgment and prayer.

Judging someone and praying for someone are pretty much mutually exclusive.

You can’t pray for someone you judge because you’re actually not for them. Sure, you can pray about them, but again, your prayer won’t be grounded in humility. It might be grounded in anger, or in arrogance, or superiority, but it won’t be grounded in love.

You never truly pray for someone you judge.

Conversely, if you want to stop judging someone, pray for them.

It’s impossible to judge someone and truly pray for them at the same time.

It's impossible to judge someone and pray for them at the same time. Click To Tweet

5. Evangelism

If you want to kill evangelism at your church, fill your church with judgmental Christians.

If you want to kill evangelism at your church, fill your church with judgmental Christians. Click To Tweet

People run from people who judge them. They run to people who love them. Think about it; that’s what you do: you run from people who judge you.

When grace and truth are fused, people usually run toward it because the combination of truth and grace describes a reality they’re facing and brings actual hope that things can get better.

God never asked you to judge the world. He did ask you to love it.

Judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy.

Judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy. Click To Tweet

A Giant Hypocrite?

But wait, you say, isn’t this entire article just one big piece of judgment? You are a complete hypocrite, you say.

First of all, you’re totally right. You could completely read this as a judgmental invective. And I definitely write it as someone who is part of the problem.

But when it comes to judgment, Paul makes it clear we are NOT to judge the world, but we are to practice discernment in the church.

There is also a distinction (at least in my mind) between judgment and discernment.

This is a very fine line, and I don’t stand on it well at all. This article could be a complete failure in what it sets out to accomplish.

One of the things I struggle within the church today is that we rush to judge outsiders and rarely look in the mirror. That’s the exact opposite of what Paul instructed us to do.

The reality is that people’s lives are plagued by problems. There is an epic battle raging in this life, and people get taken down every day over addictions, failed relationships, misguided beliefs and things that we think will give life, but, in the end, only destroy.

We need to help outsiders because we have been helped. We need to help each other on the inside and thereby better realize our mission.

True judgment is reserved for God. Discernment seeks to help.

Discernment says there is a problem, but lovingly, humbly, prayerfully, empathetically I’d love to help with that.

And guess what? The person on the receiving end of the help senses it. They know when they’re being judged. And they know when they’re being loved and help.

That’s what I hope to do. And that’s what I hope, in the end, this article does. Because I, too, am a judger who is seeking to become a loving helper.

And if this article still strikes you as harsh, remember that Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for arrogant, judgemental leaders inside the faith. At times, we’ve likely all been that insider. I have been anyway.  Conversely, Jesus was pretty much never harsh to people outside the faith.

We’d be so much better as a church if we did the same.

What About You?

What are you learning about judgment and discernment? Scroll down and leave a comment.

5 Ways Judgmental Christians Are Killing Your Church

177 Comments

  1. rici on December 1, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    thank you so much for your perspective. i love the way you share your mind (thoughts) as well as your heart (feelings). you gently point to my failing. who am i to judge another mans servant ?

    • Carl on January 2, 2022 at 11:19 am

      You should stop writing these misleading and useless articles because you’re only confusing people. You’re incompetent to discuss this topic.

      You talk about “Judgment” but you did not define what is meant by judgment. And that’s exactly the problem. When the Bible says “Judge not”, what exactly does it mean? What is judgment? I don’t think you understand what it means. You need to first understand the meaning of “judgment” as used in the context of the passage (Matthew 7:1-5). Don’t jump into a topic you do not understand only to confuse people.

      1. CORRECTING A SINNER IS NOT JUDGMENTAL.

      Correcting a sinner is NOT judgmental. It is the duty of every believer to correct sin. Unfortunately, the world has picked up the scriptural passage that says “Judge not” almost as a club to swing at Christians. The text is used almost as if it were the whole Bible and it is used to shut down any discussion of what is right or wrong, what is virtuous or what is sinful. Even many Christians mis-interpret the passage as a mandate to be silent in the face of sin and evil. It is a passage “too well known” because it is remembered but everything else in the Scriptures that balances or clarifies it is forgotten. Any time the Church or an individual Christian points to a certain behavior as wrong or sinful, inevitably wagging fingers are raised and an indignant tone ensues which says something to the effect, “Ah, ah, ah…..you’re being judgmental! The Bible says, judge not. Who are you to judge your neighbor!?” etc. This is clearly an attempt to shut down discussion quickly and to shame the Christian, or the Church into silence. To a large degree, this tactic has worked and modern culture has succeeded in shaming many Christians from this essential work of correcting the sinner. Too many are terrified and simply shamed when they are said to be “judging” someone because they call attention to sin or wrongdoing. In a culture where tolerance is one of the only virtues left, to “judge” is a capital offense. “How dare we do such a thing!” The world protests, “Who are you to judge someone else?!”

      But pay careful attention to what this Bible passage (Matthew 7:1-5) is actually saying. The judgment in question is not as to the question of right and wrong. Rather, the judgment in question regards punishment or condemnation. The next sentence makes this clear when it speaks of the measure we use. The measure in question is the level of condemnation, harshness or punishment that is used. A parallel passage in Luke makes this clear: “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven . . . For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” (Luke 6:36-38). Hence the word “judge” here is understood to mean an unnecessarily harsh and punitive condemnation. To paraphrase the opening verses here would be to say, “Be careful not to be condemning for If you lower the boom on others, you will have the boom lowered on you. If you throw the book at others, it will also be thrown at you.”

      Further, the parable that follows in the passage above about the plank in one’s eye does NOT say not to correct sinners. It says in effect, get right with God yourself and understand your own sin so that you will see clearly enough to properly correct your brother. Hence, far from forbidding the correction of the sinner the passage actually emphasizes the importance of correction by underscoring the importance of doing it well and with humility and integrity.

      **There is hardly any verse of the Bible that is more misunderstood than Jesus’ words, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged” (Matt. 7:1). And there is hardly any verse that is more frequently disobeyed among Christians than that verse! In James 4:1, James elaborates on Jesus’ command against judging one another. His message is: To resolve conflicts, stop judging others and submit to God’s authoritative Word.

      2. IT IS NOT JUDGMENTAL TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE ABOUT SIN OR FALSE TEACHING.

      We live in times when tolerance, unity, and “love” (which usually means, being nice) are dominant themes in the evangelical church. If you dare to confront or expose sin, or if you label someone’s teaching as unbiblical, or the person as a false teacher, you get accused of being judgmental and unloving. But the Bible is clear that a pastor is being extremely unloving to allow wolves to prey on the flock or to allow sinning believers to infect the flock without confronting and exposing them.

      I’ve heard people say, “I could never confront anyone about their sin, because we’re not supposed to judge others. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!” But this is to dodge a difficult, but loving, responsibility. If you see your child about to run in front of a speeding car, you would do everything in your power to warn him. If you see a brother in Christ about to ruin his life by sin or by believing false, damnable doctrine, love should motivate you to do everything possible to warn him.

      In the book of James, James was not being judgmental by confronting sin in the church. In James 5:19-20, he states, “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

      On a personal level, such confrontation is the responsibility of every spiritual believer (Gal. 6:1). It should begin in private, unless the sin is public to start with (Gal. 2:11-14; 1 Cor. 5:1-13). If the sinning person does not listen to you, then take another mature believer with you, or involve someone else who can try to minister to the sinning person. If he still refuses to listen, it may be necessary to tell it to the entire church and to remove the person from the fellowship (Matt. 18:15-18).

      As a general rule, the circle of those who are informed of the situation should be limited to those who can help or to those who need to be protected. The aim should always be to restore the sinning believer, to protect the church from sin, and to honor God. But it is not being judgmental and it is acting in love to confront sin and false teaching in the church.

      3. SCRIPTURE COMMENDS AND COMMANDS US TO CORRECT SINNERS:

      But the fact is that over and over again Scripture tells us to correct the sinner. Far from forbidding correction, the Scriptures command and commend it.

      (i) In Matthew 18:15-18, Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Jesus instructs us to speak to a sinning brother or sister and summon them to repentance. If private rebuke does not work and, assuming the matter is serious, others who are trustworthy should be summoned to the task. Finally the Church should be informed. If they will not listen even to the Church then they should be excommunicated (treated as a tax collector or Gentile). Hence in serious matters excommunication should be considered as a kind of medicine that will inform the sinner of how serious the matter is. Sadly this “medicine” is seldom used today even though Jesus clearly prescribes it (at least in more serious matters).

      (ii) 1 Corinthians 5:1-13: “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened….I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”

      So the Holy Spirit speaking through Paul commands that we “judge” the evil doer. Now again in this case the matter is very serious (incest). Notice how the text says he should be excommunicated (handed over to Satan). Here too the purpose is medicinal. It is to be hoped that Satan will beat him up enough that he will come to his senses and repent before the day of judgment. It is also medicinal in the sense that the community is protected from bad example, scandal and the presence of evil. The text also requires us to be able to size people up. There ARE immoral and unrepentant people with whom it is harmful for us to associate. We are instructed to discern this and not keep friendly company with people who can mislead us or tempt us to sin. This requires a judgment on our part. Some judgements ARE required of us.

      (iii) Galatians 6:1-2: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any sin, you who are spiritual should recall him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Notice we are called to note when a person has been overtaken in sin and to correct him. Note too that the text cautions us to do so in a spirit of gentleness. Otherwise we may sin in the very process of correcting the sinner. Perhaps we are prideful or unnecessarily harsh in our words of correction. This is no way to correct. Gentle and humble but clear, seems to be the instruction here. It also seems that patience is called for since we must bear the burden’s of one another’s sin. We bear this in two ways. First we accept the fact that others have imperfections and faults that trouble us. Secondly we bear the obligation of helping others know their sin and of helping them to repent.

      (iv) My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19) The text is ambiguous as to whose soul is actually saved but that is good since it seems both the corrected and the corrector are beneficiaries of fraternal correction well executed.

      (v) You shall not hate your brother in your heart: You shall in any case rebuke your neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him. (Lev 19:17) The text instructs us that to refuse to correct a sinning neighbor is a form of hatred. Instead we are instructed to love our neighbors by not wanting sin to overtake them.

      (vi) f any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother (2 Thess 3:14) Notice again the medicine of rebuke even to the point of refusing fellowship in more serious matters is commanded. But note too that even a sinner does not lose his dignity, he is still to be regarded as a brother, not an enemy. A similar text from 2 Thess 3:6 says We instruct you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who walks in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us.

      4. YOU JUDGE SOMEONE WRONGLY WHEN YOU CONDEMN THEM AND MAKE AN AUTHORITATIVE PRONOUNCEMENT ABOUT THEIR ETERNAL DESTINY.

      We should correct a sinner but but we cannot authoritatively say to someone, “You’re going to hell.” Only God knows that for sure.

      5. YOU JUDGE SOMEONE WRONGLY WHEN OUT OF A SELF-RIGHTEOUS SPIRIT, YOU CRITICIZE OR MALIGN HIM OVER A MINOR OR INDIFFERENT MATTER.

      Perhaps you have insight on a matter that the other person lacks. Or, you have never struggled with a problem that the other person struggles with. In a conversation with a third party, you refer in a derogatory manner about this person’s lack of insight or his struggle with this sin, and your motive is to show that you are more righteous than the person by way of comparison.

      6. YOU JUDGE SOMEONE WRONGLY WHEN YOU CRITICIZE HIM OUT OF JEALOUSY, BITTERNESS, SELFISH AMBITION, OR SOME OTHER SIN, RATHER THAN SEEKING TO BUILD HIM IN CHRIST.

      In other words, your motive is crucial! When James says (4:11), “Do not speak against one another,” some versions translate it, “Do not slander one another.” Slander, which means maligning someone or damaging his reputation by sharing false or deliberately misleading information, is always sin. But the word that James uses has a broader meaning that includes any form of criticism or running someone down from selfish motives. In other words, what you are saying may be true, but the reason you’re sharing it is to make yourself look good and to put the other person in a bad light. If your motive in criticizing someone is jealousy, selfish ambition, rivalry, pride, or hatred, you are judging wrongly.

      • Skater For Christ on January 4, 2022 at 9:09 am

        Carl, you need to chill out ! Who is going to read all those words you typed? Seriously?
        Especially those people who would say to you – what makes you right and everyone else wrong. To me this article is ON TARGET. I have experienced firsthand as a Christian rejection from judgemental believers because I don’t think and act like they expect me to. But thank God even though I was rejected, Christ has never given up on me as I grow and make mistakes in my walk with Him. Finally, we are all Gods creation, he also created Hell for a reason beyond our understanding before we even came into being. But boy do judgmental Christian like to throw His creation into Hell. They are good at it. And feel superior for it. Not knowing that they are damaging those peoples willingness to know Him. “Well if you told me the truth and I’m going to Hell then what’s the point of trying to know him – I’m doomed either way for being who I am”

        • Christopher Pineau on January 4, 2022 at 1:12 pm

          This die hard Motorhead fan concurs with you, here. It’s people like Carl who turn others away from Christ just because they think they are somehow entitled to dictate to the rest of us. That approach–as the far left is finding out in America of late–only alienates outsiders and makes them more likely to avoid seeking Him for the reasons you mentioned here. Makes me think of what Martin Luther said about: “We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world.”

          Since I mentioned Motorhead? My opinion is that God put Lemmy here for a reason, and that reason was to warn us against false prophets, against those who think themselves perfect somehow and better than us rank and file types out there. Refer to “God Was Never On Your Side” for a good example of this attitude; he didn’t speak out against God as much as he did against those who used their professed faith as a means of gaining temporal power in this world of sin. I think he and Martin Luther might have had some interesting conversations, had that been possible.

      • Mary contrary on January 11, 2022 at 2:22 am

        When you said “correcting a sinner is not judgment”, I couldn’t read anything more but the following headlines that ensued with similarity. This is exactly the type of behavior she’s talking about really. I have come to realize that way of thinking is a form of superiority and leaves behind the importance of humility and being humble. As someone who has left the faith and church completely for people who believe that, you are part of the problem. You believe yourself to be superior to others thoughts and beliefs that you now feel it is your “god given duty” to put everyone else you deem below you or your beliefs in their place. There is one thing 98% of people who believe in the faith forgot, God asked you to love and lead people to him. He didn’t ask you to do his part for him. You can lead a life of bringing people to God by being kind and without dictating what everyone else is doing or should be doing. I find this method to be more effective as it is, but this whole
        force and control method is the part that has to be let go for good. I finally realized that I do not need to bring others down or dictate what others do just to be loved and accepted by God. I think God would rather me love them, the good and the bad, and lead by love and kindness rather than by telling them everything they are doing wrong. As “Christian’s” in a modern age, I wholeheartedly believe the way forward is through love, acceptance, and CO-EXISTENCE. You’re not going to go to hell for being a kind person that let God decide their fate. And again, a friendly reminder. God asked us to be leaders, he didn’t ask you to do his job for him and decide everyone’s fates. If you trust God so much, I think you can trust him a little bit to do his number one job.

        • Christopher Pineau on January 11, 2022 at 11:43 am

          THANK YOU. I’m as contrary as you are in this realm for the exact same reasons! I always tell people “Hey, it’s HIS job to judge, not mine. I’m just here to be the best me I can be.” How well I do at that varies from day to day, in all brutal honesty, and I expect a failing report card from Him in the end for any number of reasons on His end. He does His thing, I do mine, and in the end, I have no bearing on what He does with Himself. So why act as though I’m the only one allowed to be loved by Him because I’m somehow something that humans are not by design–namely, perfect in every way? Trust Him to be perfect and let humans be humans, I motion, for what good and bad that brings us in the world.

  2. Jennifer Kopald on November 18, 2021 at 11:17 am

    This just keeps getting better and better! Again, gigantic bravery to write a post like this, and I’m so glad you did! The spectrum of comments is shocking; I didn’t realize what the two poles are on this issue. And maybe we haven’t even reached the limits yet on either end? I made my first comment on this post in May, and the enlightenment continues. My position on the subject hasn’t changed, but the conversation is providing great insight about how differently people think/process/interpret a single article on a controversial topic. Thanks again for posting.

  3. Jennifer Bauer on September 26, 2021 at 11:34 am

    in an article concerning judgement, you make a bald statement about one particular POLITICAL realm. that singular judgemental holier than liberalists comment erased ALL CREDIBILITY FOR THIS ARTICLE. you have no business singling out any group based on anything other than Christians working on non-judgemental attitudes. shall we talk about the dark side of Christian holier than everything else, drives everyone away from Jesus attitudes? how bout… i was a witch and THE GODDESS MOTHER LED ME TO THE FEET OF THE LORD. HE IS HER SON TOO. ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE. IT TAKES 2! IF IT TAKES 2 HUMANS… MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE… THERE MUST THEREFORE BE A FEMININE DEITY… who do think the holy ghost is? judge that sweety!!!

    • Jayne on November 18, 2021 at 5:37 am

      Wow. Thanks for reminding me why I don’t go to church.

      • Christopher Pineau on November 18, 2021 at 9:22 am

        Yup, same here. I don’t think she was being hyperbolic enough, and maybe even was trolling? It’s a thought.

  4. marcus on September 18, 2021 at 4:44 am

    every response to this article is also judgment in itself. you are either agreeing with it or disagreeing with it or both. so the fact is, everyone judges, but the question is, with what standard. people who say don’t judge end up judging those who they think are judgmental, just like i have seen here.

    • Ronald M Brandt on September 18, 2021 at 6:19 am

      The fact is that Jesus tells us to judge others with righteous judgment. Otherwise the world would sink into chaos if there were no discernment of right from wrong. And discernment is judging. So judging is a good thing endorsed by God. What you should never do however, is judge another person’s relationship with God. That can get you into trouble.

  5. Carol on September 6, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    Cast the stone if you are Perfect…are you? Stop trying to DeGod God……….useless you can NOT

  6. Mark on September 1, 2021 at 7:13 am

    The judging of people is not merely pointing out of behaviour they could stand to modify but is the determination of who is going to heaven and who isn’t. These folks just seem to know with certainty. It turns Christianity on its head and runs people off. I, along with most of my generation (Gen X), have been condemned to hell by preachers more times than I care to remember and sometimes for not just my sins but the sins of others. No one older seemed to care that the preacher said it from the pulpit. This was no way to treat younger people and I was close to saying, well if I’m going to hell, I want to at least enjoy life on this earth since the judgementalism made the Christian life miserable. Also, there was no grace not forgiveness. I had to find another denomination and wound up in a liturgical church where there is far more Jesus and grace and forgiveness while teaching how to better ones self in the model of Jesus.

    • Ronald M Brandt on September 1, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      Sinning on earth does not send you to hell, unless you do not believe in Jesus Christ and repent of your sins. When you believe and repent, your sins are forgiven. But sadly, most people in the world do not know or understand that basic concept, and so they take any type of judgment the wrong way. My point is that people need to be told the basics of belief and repentance, and then sinners cannot be fooled or insulted by having their sin called out.

      God is both love and justice (punishment and wrath). Do not let yourself be mislead by preachers that only preach God’s love. They love to take Matthew &:1 out of context and tell you not to judge. But, they should be preaching judgment too. 1 Corinthians 2:15 says: “The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.” And Jesus (John 7:24) said, “Do not judge by the outward appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

      Net, people must judge other people with humility, love, and an attitude of helpfulness (righteous judgment).

      • Karen on September 4, 2021 at 7:30 pm

        And in 1 Cor. 5, Paul says “Is it not those INSIDE the church you are to judge?” — and THEN he says to drive out the wicked man from among you. Uh, seems like more than “discernment” going on there. A little leaven leaves the whole batch!

        • Ronald M Brandt on September 5, 2021 at 5:24 am

          I agree with you! The position of Carey on judging is simply wrong, and it is the reason why today’s pastors are contributing an d growing wickedness in the world.

  7. Mitten on August 30, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    This is what has been missing in sermons for a long time. I was part of the church, religion, I was a believer. I left everything behind including my family who is still heavily in for the reasons you listed. I felt so disappointed. Christians treated me and those around me the worst. And you couldn’t point it out to them in hopes of finding compromise. They can’t be told they might need to re-evaluate or reconsider their means to being a “believer”. And I experienced this my entire life, all from Christians. They took the Bible and the scripture literally and made it supreme, even supreme to people’s wellbeing’s. Christians who are like this are pushing out a lot of good people.

  8. Ronald M Brandt on August 30, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Your article started to strick a tone with me until you said at the end: “God never asked you to judge the world. He did ask you to love it.” 1 John 2:15-16 says: “15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life[a]—is not from the Father but is from the world.” I have always believed the truth of this passage which is that we should not love anything in the world. And Jesus did not say to not judge but did ask us to judge righteously.

    Lack of judgment, and associated discipline, is the reason why the conduct of people in this world is becoming more evil by the day. Consequently, I do not think your beliefs are Biblical, and they seem to be part of the liberal establishment that says do not judge or discern between right and wrong on anything. I consider you a disciple of Satan in disguise, or at best a false preacher. If I were you, I would rescind this article, or at least modify it.

    • Christopher Pineau on August 30, 2021 at 5:16 pm

      There’s a cartoon I saw not long ago that reminds me of the likes of you, sir. It’s a man standing at the Pearly Gates in front of St. Peter, and he’s surprised at being told: “Yes, you *were* a believer in life. But you forgot about the ‘Not Being A Jerk About It’ part.” Contemplate that a moment before you answer, please.

      • Ronald M Brandt on August 31, 2021 at 8:22 am

        You are right! Thanks for calling me out for being a jerk.

        I do, however, believe that failure to judge the wrongful words and actions of others with an attitude of humility designed to correct and change other people’s behavior is the greatest shortcoming in society today. And that has happened because too many pastors tell their congregation not to judge. Thus, people believe it is a virtue to overlook others faults instead of trying to help them correct them. We know wickedness is growing because God prophesied through the prophets more than 2,000 years ago that the day will come when wickedness is so great that He will find it necessary to bring on a great tribulation to punish all the unbelievers and wicked on earth. All the signs say that will happen soon. Our failure to judge and correct behavior is the major factor foretold by God that will lead to His taking the action foretold. And pastors in 90% of churches today no longer preach about the wrath of God that is coming. That is wrong!

    • JW Worcester on August 31, 2021 at 8:33 am

      I think the problem is with the word judgment. There’s a difference between judging and discerning. Just as there is a difference between helping and enabling. I believe that admonishment is also a part of this mix. God loves everyone. He chastises those who are on the wrong path, but not yet fully in the grip of Satan. Real help can be saying “no”. All this I say is not to write anyone off, approach with caution and love, don’t admonish without having the persons trust, never enable, pray, then pray, and cry tears if needed. Didn’t Jesus die for us?

      • Ronald M Brandt on August 31, 2021 at 8:51 am

        I believe I agree with you, as long as you are saying that people judging other people is very Biblical and something that God wants us to do with humility and love.

  9. Tom Peachey Jr. on August 5, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks for this Carey. Our church presently realizes that we are prone to being Pharisees and judges. But we don’t want to be. We want to be characterized by grace and truth. But one of our greatest hurtles is teaching our people how to talk about those social issues that are divisive. How can we have a conversation full of grace while holding to a standard of truth? Do you know any books, seminars, teachers who have some kind of curriculum we could use to educate our church? I would be anxious to get something like that.

    • Patrick Galligar on August 11, 2021 at 5:54 pm

      We are half way through a series using a new book authored by Rev. Stephen D. Hower that accomplishes exactly what you are talking about. It addresses all the critical issues of the day and uses the truth of God’s Word while guiding His people to respond in love. Man in the Middle: addressing right and wrong in a culture that’s lost its way. Available through Howerbooks.com, and also on Amazon.

  10. Virginia on July 1, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    You’re right. The ones offended are the ones who judge people. Jesus died for all of us. People get run out of the church because of the judgment they feel. It’s literally in the air. You lose that loving filling and for go the mission.

  11. Tyrone Thomas on June 29, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    This article is a bit confusing to me. You say not to judge but I’m the same article you use a scripture where Paul says we are to judge those who in the church.

    So which is it?

    Even first scripture you shared in Matthew 7 could read to say “look in the mirror and fix yourself before judging someone else”.

    I think might be conflating judging someone vs condemnation. If my kid does something wrong, I’m gonna call them out on it BECAUSE I love them. Not out of pride or looking down on them.

    I think the key point that should be the focus of this article is be a help. And sometimes that means you are going to need to give people some tough love. I have friends who were willing to do that for me and I’m better for it.

    The real wisdom is having the emotional intelligence, posture of prayer and humility to know how to handle situations where you’re in a position to guide someone out of a mistake or bad direction they are going. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t judge their behaviour.

    • Christopher Pineau on June 29, 2021 at 7:02 pm

      “I think might be conflating judging someone vs condemnation. If my kid does something wrong, I’m gonna call them out on it BECAUSE I love them. Not out of pride or looking down on them.”

      Yes, exactly. I’ll be the first to admit that I can be judgmental to the Left for their many disastrous things they’re doing/have done to America, but this made me think of why. It makes me think of something I’ve been weighing in my mind recently, how my outward dislike for other people may be manifesting because it’s coming from a part of me that thinks “What are you doing?! You can be so much better than this, WHY?!” It pains me to think that people are allowing themselves to be manipulated and led along into believing such things are good for America and its people, that people are allowing themselves to be frightened and gaslighted into a mindset comparable to the Dark Ages beliefs in “evil spirits” in regards to the horribly overrated/exaggerated Chinese flu. In my misguided/well meaning manner, maybe it’s because I love these people and part of me is not wanting to admit it, and is at a loss as to how to tell people what I’m thinking without coming off as mean and rude and condemning, as you said here. Yes, I very much agree that there is a difference between condemnation and judgment, and most people either don’t know or can’t tell or maybe don’t even care that there is a difference? Unfortunately, most people come off as condemning because they think “This is how you do it,” and justify their behavior that way when you point it out to them. I hope this made sense at all?

  12. Reigne on June 12, 2021 at 9:35 am

    I have read tons of articles about judgement but yours is totally on point. I couldn’t agree any further. All that you have said were true. I really admire your courage and wisdom for writing this. Thank you for sharing. God bless 🙂

    • Julie on June 16, 2021 at 11:30 am

      I totally agree. Great meaningful read. Something to definitely marinate in. Thank you.

  13. Jennifer Kopald on May 29, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Carey. I want you to know that you have GREAT COURAGE to address this taboo subject. Clearly seen in these responses, people on both sides of the issue are intensely emotionally charged. And you took a risk of being in the line of fire by speaking up. Thank you for taking that risk.

    I attended a small church of about 5 families while going through a separation and divorce from an abusive husband. I was so harshly judged by them–my “family”–and they continued to insist I return to my husband who was already sleeping with someone else, and he was actually the one to file. Truth was, the 3 women leading the charge were in miserable marriages, and they decided if they chose to stay to honor God, then I must make the same choice to honor God…because 24 years in an abusive marriage (including his infidelity) wasn’t long enough.

    I’m thankful I came upon this article because I’m just starting a manuscript about the topic of judgement in the church from my own experience (as a born again Christian). I didn’t know what the backlash would be. Seeing these comments lets me know to be prepared for resistance to some degree.

    Again, thank you so much for your courage and leadership.

    • Christopher Pineau on May 29, 2021 at 9:53 pm

      It would seem to me that often times, being a church goer does not allow for dissension or for standing out from the crowd, and harsh is the retribution for those who dare to ask questions, or think for themselves because it threatens the sanctity of the flock more than anything else, with accusations of “un-Godly” behavior being slung their way. I’ve always been out of step with the masses because I step back and look at things with outsider’s perspective since I’ve never been allowed to be a part of the “in crowd” for who knows what reason(s) in my lifetime. And by now in my life, why would I want to be a part of said “in crowd” with all the sacrificing of your self and your individuality that makes you special that is required for that to happen? Having been through an abusive ex (wife, in my case) as well on this end, I feel for you and wish you the best of luck. Best of luck with your manuscript as well–sometimes people need to have their feathers ruffled to be jolted into thinking at all.

      • Jennifer Kopald on May 30, 2021 at 7:43 am

        Thank you, Christopher, for your affirmation and well wishes. I pray the best for you as well. I, too, have never felt a part of the “in crowd.” I’m different in a lot of ways from how I perceive the masses, but it kind of serves me well as I have a bit of social anxiety. However, I currently attend (and am a member of for the first time in 25 years) a church that loves, supports, and accepts me as I am. It is a beautiful congregation of broken people. Plenty of misfits, too, like myself. There are no “super-Christians,” no pretenses, and no judgement. Just a bunch of people who have at least one thing in common: the desire to worship and serve a Savior that loved us first–just as we are. It took me 25 years to find a church that is Bible-centered, Christ-focused, and united in heart and vision. I pray you will find a church like mine to call home. Thanks again for your kind comment.

        • Christopher Pineau on May 30, 2021 at 8:54 am

          As He called me to start reexamining the Bible–or should I say, taking it seriously for the first time in my life–at this time, so shall He point me to a situation like yours in this lifetime. If it’s meant to happen, then it will happen when it’s meant to. I would like to find a church like yours, where we’re all just a bunch of sinners uplifting each other and inspiring each other to be better instead of a bunch of nay saying “church people” types, for want of a better way to say it. I get enough judgment from the secular world as is for a few different reasons (having the nerve to have been born a straight white man, for one thing); I’d like to find a church where that kind of mentality doesn’t apply. You know, the way it’s kind of *supposed to*? The world, in the form of “wokeness,” and so-called “Critical Race Theory” is invading the church, and that’s a scary thing. As I’ve mentioned here before, it’s one of the biggest reasons I’ve not gone hunting for a church yet.

          • Jennifer Kopald on May 30, 2021 at 4:33 pm

            Politics are, indeed, creeping into houses of worship the same as they are everywhere else. We live in a volatile society. And even beloved Christian authors and leaders are choosing the path of wokeness at the expense of the accuracy of Scripture. So, if the difference between Christians and non-Christians is becoming less distinct, what should be the defining characteristic of a Christian? LOVE. Imagine how much healing could have happened in my heart if my church “family” had embraced me in my trauma and assured me that their love for me was unconditional, unlike my abusive husband whose conditions for love were impossible to meet. Instead, it was a double trauma. But thank God He led me to my current church where love literally spills out onto the sidewalks when the doors open! Ask God to lead you to one, too! I’m certain He will.



    • Sharon Downing on June 21, 2021 at 3:40 am

      “Dust your feet off and go to the next town” is what Jesus told us to do. This scenario is from satan and is in no way constructive to a believer. Jesus set Himself apart frequently from the wagging tongues, naysayers and his opposition …he got in a boat and rowed to the other side ofthe lake, he went up to the Mt of Olives to pray. He was flesh so it was a necessity. He had to separate himself to survive in the throng. I’ve spent many years back and I think over this and I don’t feel bad when I have to myself from all the noise and judgment as well as advice from others that clearly goes against Biblical teaching. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus teach that you have to hang around and be miserable. He teaches on marriage and divorce and clearly gives those who have been wronged and marriage a green light to remove yourself from that situation completely.

  14. Kurtis Hope on May 6, 2021 at 8:06 am

    A pastor telling me I need rebaptism, asked why? And gave no actual reason but “something you shared on Facebook” when I know nothing I shared has been antichristian. Seems weird and judgemental to me.

    • Loops on May 6, 2021 at 5:51 pm

      Kurtis,
      You are correct. Especially for a “PASTOR” to insult then ignore.

  15. Jace Portlund on April 11, 2021 at 1:53 am

    Hate the sin, not the sinner, problem fixed. Was that really such a challenge?

    • Christopher Pineau on April 11, 2021 at 11:56 am

      Maybe so, but the easy fix is never as easy as it seems, isn’t it? Often times it’s more complex than it appears. Plus, isn’t that what the Other One wants, for us to rely on easy fixes and to grow complacent in doing so? Bears thought, IMO.

    • Loops on May 6, 2021 at 5:47 pm

      No, it’s not black and white like that. You are not God to know. Seems like it continues to be a challenge for you with that “judgmental” tone, or you’re being sarcastic.

    • Loops on May 6, 2021 at 5:49 pm

      Jace,
      No, it’s not black and white like that. You are not God to know. Seems like it continues to be a challenge for you with that “judgmental” tone, or you’re being sarcastic.

  16. Heather Chadwick on March 10, 2021 at 12:11 am

    This is a awesome perspective. My two older daughters that are really struggling with their faith right now. And I’m trying really hard be there for them. But I have family members that just want to judge them. And are very harsh about it. Which is just making things worse. My girls and I need a lot of prayer right now,

    • John on March 31, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      Christians and judgement cant happen. Christians love thy neighbor without judgement. Only the creator (Jehovah) can judge. They might say it but they dont follow Christ .

    • Jace Portlund on April 11, 2021 at 1:43 am

      Your children will be cursed if you act like an enabler to their bad behaviors as many mothers do.
      You have to have positive and negative judgement and honestly this is what a good husband is for, but you’re probably an old divorcee like many of the hypocrites of the new church.

      • Loops on May 6, 2021 at 5:55 pm

        Jace,
        You have many issues you need to HONESTLY meditate on and pray to God for guidance instead of insulting strangers so you can vent

    • louela on April 25, 2021 at 9:37 pm

      My son is one of the musician in our chruch…He tell to our pastor that he want to stop to play….but our pastor tell him”fire on you” and thats not the only words he says to my son,he tell also that you go to hell,at first I never mind but in the second time that he tell him ,i feel angry because my son is very young and need to teach him softly ,he only 14 year old at that time…My question is ,is that ok that the pastor tells like that words to their members?

  17. Christopher Pineau on February 4, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    I say the following with all due respect to all parties involved…

    In all honesty? This is one of the reasons I’m leery and wary about joining a church at this time (one of a couple). Because to me–and I see evidence of this throughout this entire comment section, to back this assertion up–often times church people come off as being too wrapped up in the words to remember the Word, which is Love. They sometimes come off as being too caught up in the semantics and details, which is, say it with me now…where the Devil lives.

    To me? The Devil revels in making people lose sight of why they approach God in the first place, to seek forgiveness, grace, and *love*. Which is why I am approaching him above all, at this time in my life. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in feeling better and somehow superior to others, that we are “wearing the armor of God,” when really, we’re allowing ourselves to forget why we approached Him in the first place. When we allow feelings of superiority to replace feelings of concern and love.

    Which is one of two reasons I take umbrage to the famous Leviticus 18:31 Scripture in regards to LGBT people; maybe that was relevant 1,500-2,000 years ago, when most people didn’t live past 30-35 and had to start pumping out the kids as soon as they were biologically able to (basically, as soon as girls began bleeding) to keep the population up to par. These days? Not so much. I also think that we allow the insane far left LGBT activist types to affect our perception of LGBT people by and large–they are entirely different than rank and file LGBT people who just want to live their lives and not push anything on anybody. Simply because those unions do not produce children does not make them “sinful”, far as I’m concerned. What is so sinful about loving someone and making a commitment to them in public in the form of marriage?

    Those who take umbrage with me in regards to this, well, when was the last time you examined your own heart and reevaluated why you follow Him? If He loves you, why would He not love LGBT people as well? Would it not make sense that, if He hates them as much as you think He does, He would have wiped them from the face of the Earth by now? Far as I’m concerned, if He is allowing them to still be here among us, it’s for a reason, don’t you think?

    I think that this is a great example of how people get caught up in the words as opposed to the Word, that one Scripture that people seem to feel free to toss around at will to justify hatred, which was not a Christian value, last I checked. Try telling my one gay friend who is a rabid atheist who loathes organized religion, who grew up in Abilene, TX, and was planning to be a Baptist minister until puberty hit and he realized he was gay, and was therefore outed in public by his minister to suffer physical and mental abuse at the hands of his “loving” congregation and townsfolk–to the point where he nearly shot himself–that God’s Word is Love, and he’ll give you a ferocious earful to the contrary. I feel sympathy for him more than anything else, and it’s because of hatred masquerading as “Godliness” he feels this way and nothing can change his mind by now because the trauma from this experience was so intense.

    But again, when we allow feelings of superiority to replace feelings of love and concern? This is where Lucifer laughs and pulls out his popcorn maker to watch us fight among ourselves because of the seeds of discord he’s sowing in our midst. While we are arguing semantics and trying to put ourselves on pedestals–come on, now, you know we do it at times–to seem somehow more Godly than others, he revels in dividing us and conquering us that way.

    Am I better at not being judgmental than others? Not even remotely. But I do have lots on my mind and I do air it, and it often takes lots of words to relate it, and yes, my apologies for this being so long.

    • Jace Portlund on April 11, 2021 at 1:31 am

      Jesus whipped people and called the old priests fools. He did not act like a naïve flowery unassertive girl that you want him to be in your mind. He told people that swords were important to have on travels (road bandits existed in his time).

      He is our example with no exceptions. We must even pick up our own cross if we want to truly follow him.

      There is a time for everything under God’s sun:
      peace, war, love, hate < Proverbs

      You people are old weak establishment class people clutching your pearls when the smallest conflict happens, the young people in your church don't want to be there and they leave when they go to college because they see your lying and they rebel.

      You are too weak and afraid of conflict, but you pretend that you avoid conflict from self control when that is not true at all. A simple argument can make many of you shake and widen your eyes. So much for fearing no evil out of the belief that the Lord is with you. Disgusting liars and perverters of the message of Christ. I would ask god to curse you but the curse of lacking good young women and strong young men is already on your bingo tournament hall of a church.

      I will be featuring this article and it's comments as warnings. I will be addressing the heresy and cherry picking point-by-point.

      • Christopher Pineau on April 11, 2021 at 12:14 pm

        There is such a thing as tough love and such a thing as trolling. Only one of those comes from a place of love, and frankly? After reading all your comments on this thread, sir, you are not coming from a place of love. You are being exactly the kind of judgmental and hateful that turns the likes of me away from churches. Casting aspersions and slinging insults is not based in love or wanting to nurture people, it only causes division. When I was young and foolish, trying to be edgy, I would have made posts like yours, but these days? Not so much. I feel sorry for you and your hateful attitude, and I can’t bring myself to be angry with you. May a time come where you see the error of your ways, sir.

  18. Cherry on January 31, 2021 at 5:29 am

    But isnt it very easy to confuse “helping” with judging? for example, my parents disagree with my uncle’s sexuality (He’s gay) and therefore feel like he needs help and needs to talk to someone about it, work things out and solve his issues, so he can return to a “normal” sexuality.
    But that way, they’ve already judged him because they just assume that he needs help that he didn’t ask for. And they don’t see it. When I bring it up they ask if I would just let someone kill themselves if I’d see them hurt etc and wouldn’t try to help them for example. That raises the question where to draw the line and where it is okay to ask about things and try to help after judging the situation and assuming whether or not someone needs help.
    Im just really confused, maybe someone has a helpfiúl thought they want to share…

    • Athanasius on February 4, 2021 at 11:40 am

      As a formerly practicing homosexual, I understand your concern. This is an extremely sensitive issue for many, and I can only speak for myself.
      Your parents’ concern for your uncle is right and just and (I assume) based on a loving desire for his redemption. However, it’s probably best for your parents to back away from constantly addressing his sexuality (if this is what they’re doing), as it will eventually do more damage to their relationship in the end. Your uncle probably already knows what they believe. He knows what the church teaches. He knows their concern. Your uncle needs people to love and embrace him NOT to support sinful decisions but because he is a fallen man in need of a savior, and because he is an image-bearing creature of God.
      Your parents are also assuming that if your uncle becomes a Christian, his sexuality will somehow be “normal”-ized and he’ll go on to marry and have children. It COULD happen, but that is up to God and your uncle. God may never remove this sinful inclination, and may in fact allow it to remain precisely in order to keep your uncle close to His Divine heart. If God does allow that, what a wonderful thing to be able to have such a profound relationship with the Lord, to be able to unite with Him in such a bittersweet joy. It could be a road to soaring mystical heights.
      May God give your parents prudence, and may He direct the heart of your uncle.

  19. Murray on January 28, 2021 at 10:06 am

    I am almost 77 years old… 13 years retired from a church after 10 years, that had a mix of “Loving” people that contained a core of old and miserable “Judgmental” Christians. That was the climax of my 34 years of ministry.

    In one “complaint meeting” that the board and I hosted these “dear folks” outlined their complaints when one woman stated, “We just want to go to church with our friends.” (Their friends had stomped out of church angry with me. I had preached too many times and had done too much to get too many sinners into our church. In fact there had been a kind of revival among former Federal Prisoners that we had reached out to – they were marvelously saved and filling seats in our congregation.)

    The saddest part was in these 13 years of retirement, I have watched each of the Judgmental Folk die or lose their ability to live (dementias etc).

    I live in the same city as the church I retired from – and have no desire to go back there again. Each time I try to go back the memories and nightmares flood into my pew and I cannot free myself of the drowning feeling. That decision has been hard in that our daughter and her family attend their.

    In fact, every church I try to attend regularly leaves a similar feeling. Likely a Pastor’s PTSD.

    Being alone on a Sunday is pure joy. Being alone with the Lord is a Garden of Eden experience where I can walk with him and talk with him. And He loves me the way that I am.

    My “replacement” was one of my assistant pastors, who after a year had a moral failure and had to leave the ministry for a period of time. The next Pastor last another 10 years and finally left. Why? No one knows. Except maybe me… In our coffee times together he shared some of the same things I had experienced.

    Judgmental People carry a Spirit with them and tend to pass it on to others – easily – like “COVID 19”. The best way is to isolate yourself from them – totally… and you won’t catch what they have.

    Question you may ask, “Aren’t you being Judgmental in not attending?” Answer, “NOPE, I know where the Virus BIG “J” is rampant and I avoid it completely.”

    • Jace Portlund on April 11, 2021 at 1:39 am

      Your church is probably a bingo hall of old people. No youth in the church is stated in the bible to be a sign that men of god do not dwell there. You can’t convince those young assertive folk of your cherry picking.

      They would be find with judgement if you also gave positive judgement. But you and your constituents are likely incapable of that.

      I hope you waste the rest of your days watching TV in a trailor or an elder’s cruise ship. Better than preaching heresy and saying that attendance numbers make a good church, disgusting man.

  20. Daniel Shepherd on January 27, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    I love the heart behind this post. I have commended your (Carey’s) edifying, non-condemning style to others. You regularly point out flaws in leadership, and especially the church (as does this post also), yet in a way that calls us forward and builds us up.

    Fusing truth to grace. Instead of fusing condemnation to judgement, fuse discernment.

    To the contrarian commenters who may want to point out that they are being judged by the author in this very article, or highlight the many scriptures that exhort us to judge rightly (eg Jn7:24, Ma7:15-20, Ac17:11, 1Cr6:2&3, Pr27:5&6), the context here, as it is in Ma7:5, is specifically condemning a subset, ie, hypocritical judgement, and of outsiders (non-Christians), if I have understood correctly.

    To determine, then, if the author is addressing you and your flaws, is perhaps best ssummarised with: are you best characterised as humbly loving, helping, praying, & evangelising, or just judging?

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 28, 2021 at 8:07 am

      Daniel thanks for this, and thanks for seeing the heart behind this post and my work.

      I have been made better so often by friends and mentors who see the wrong in me, and stay long enough to help make it right. That’s a gift.

  21. Average Joe on January 27, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you! I needed this. I don’t know about the church, but I know I sure need to practice this every day.

    • brendarussell602@gmail.com on March 16, 2021 at 12:27 am

      I am sorry but I have to ask this my son-in-law I just found out is believing in Islam I don’t understand because my daughter was brought up in a Christian faith how I learned this is because I have been teaching my grandson of the two loving God but I tell him Jesus loves him no matter what and he should always know that he’s never alone but he come to me one day and he said Nana does that Jesus really love me I said all the time anywhere you go one time I took him home he said Nana don’t leave me you don’t know he come back home I come to my house the next day he told me everything that was being said to him and then I remembered everything that my daughter had said and his father did when he come to visit us there from Nepal can you please tell me what is right I don’t understand I am 62 years old I believe in God’s unfell in love and I know that we should love our neighbor as ourselves but what I can’t figure out is what am I doing wrong I’m trying to figure that out because they’re always telling me that there’s so much better than I am yet I had given and give I don’t understand where it’s coming from can you tell me how or what I’m supposed to understand

  22. junos on January 27, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    In CA, weed is now legal, so I’ve stopped judging!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 28, 2021 at 8:07 am

      That’s been a hard one for me…:) Again, judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy.

  23. dan smith on January 27, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    This is probably the most important thing we need to hear as Christians today. We need to be followers that are living from the inside out, not the outside in. If things are going to change in the church it starts with me. Nothing will change if we keep pointing the finger at others. If you are interested in growing as a Christian stop the judgement.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 28, 2021 at 8:08 am

      Agreeing with you Dan.

  24. Burt Palmer on January 27, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    I appreciate the intent of this particular post Carey, and agree with most of the content. I don’t really read to agree with everything but to stimulate and invigorate my thinking, which your posts do consistently. Having plenty of sin in my own life, I would offer a different approach. I believe that we can, and often do, make judgements about the actions of people and love them deeply and help them no less. In fact, I could point to several people in my own life who offered me their judgements of my actions, unsolicited because we most often need someone to intervene we we think we need another’s voice the least, and it precisely because they loved me and wanted to help that they risked entering into my life with their comments. In some ways, we are killing the church and the world by reducing communities to shallow places of social interaction around lattes and the latest fad of clothing while posting on our newest smartphone images and messages that tell the world things are just wonderful. So, I hope we look deeper into the Jesus model of speaking/listening with love and help the judgments of others without the need to condemn. I find the most effective voice I hear is one that relates to where I am and how the particular situation gives them concern.
    Thanks for the ways your work helps us all to lead more intentionally and live more faithafully.
    -Sheepdog

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 28, 2021 at 8:09 am

      Burt I agree with you. I think in my little schema that would be discernment, and words that seem critical but are accompanied by a heart to help and restore/repair are so needed. Judgment leaves people by the side of the road and comes out of arrogant superiority. Humility and discernment help.

  25. Muvhulawa Enos Mabada on January 27, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    I always enjoy your postsings. They are educating and make me think a lot. I have read the comments above, I still think we as people sometimes interprete an article based on what we have already believed to be true. That is dangereous. I read your post with critical mind, I am blessed all of them. Thanks a lot. The challenge of evangelism by Christians today is huge. The five things you mentioned seemed to hinder us to reach those who are outside.
    Some Christians when they see a new person in Church they tend to expect that person to do what they have been doing many years. There is no patience.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 28, 2021 at 8:10 am

      Thanks so much.

  26. Kay James P. on January 27, 2021 at 11:20 am

    I need clarity on when to point out false teaching/heritical teaching. It is made very clear we need to live and help other Christians live in the truth of God’s word. I fear that an article like this, people/leaders who are caught in false teaching and are being shown the truth, are taking other people’s correction as “judgment.” I agree we shouldn’t not condemn people for their sin. I however need clarity on when to point people to scriptural truths to help them live in accordance to God’s word. Iron sharpens iron…..Christians need to hold each other accountable, and that is not just a one way street. We all need to be open to correction and help correct others, with love and grace, yes, but also truth.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 28, 2021 at 8:10 am

      Thanks Kay. Love and relationship make all the difference.

    • Janny Wistler on August 2, 2021 at 2:35 am

      Hi Kay,

      Your comment is great! I’ve started daily reading the Bible. I read it not how I use to. I apply it to my life, to my thinking. Not in how I see what they meant, but applying it with the intent that it was written. False teachings are so rampant in this World. So many comments preaching without quotes on what they think God meant.

      I need other Bible believing Christians to help me as well. The Bible is chock full of other books referencing other books. It gets tough for someone like me who’s life isn’t one where all my study and work is with leading Christians.

      If I could recommend a read for you. 1 John. It’s very short, but in the past 6 months have opened my eyes so much. I spent two days, literally the entire time, zero sleep. Trying to map it out to all of the past in my life. All my failings and sins. I was scared after the first read, I was doing so many things wrong. I don’t want to get to heaven and be told by God that he doesn’t know me. I was walking in the darkness.

      So many Christians I know couldn’t help me scripturally. I think many of us take the easy way and don’t stay in the Word daily. I did it for large portion of my life…yep, going to heaven. Yep, John 3:16….then 1 John comes around. Oh, I was having sex with my last girlfriend. Yeah, I know it’s not looked highly upon by God. Yeah 1 John, living in sin/unrepentant sin is rolling the dice on my enternity. I think I never read it in it’s full. Just stuck to the book of John. I never really truly knew what it means to be Christian in a way that I can truly know from God that I have faith, that I believe and what that means in my life and how it will change my life.

      I try to read 1 John weekly since then. Reflecting on it and the past week. I try to read daily, but I always include 1 John since it’s so important.

      When I talk about God with someone. I don’t bring it up, but if they are curious. I say read the Book of John and then read 1 John. 90% are Christian I have known my whole life. None them know 1 John. Most say they don’t read the Bible really and probably should start. I say, I didn’t for long time either, 1 John changed my life. I’ll tell you, none of them want to talk about it some other day. I think it’s cause they never get around to truly reading it. Or they read it and they have no desire to speak out it in public. This is only 5 people. I don’t have many friends and I don’t go around preaching like I know the Bible and know all the answers. I do love when someone brings something up in the Bible that I don’t know about. I love it. Growing in the Word. Filling my heart with the Word. Many times I’ll say dang, that’s not good for me, I thought about that all wrong. Then I’ll read the Bible that night on whatever it was in the Bible they were saying.

      One time on homosexuality, I spent so much time that night searching the Bible for this loophole they were telling me about. I didn’t talk to the person after about the topic. Though there isn’t a loophole. This person is one that values the world. Christians are apart from the world. So, I’m not sure how to have a discussion on that topic. Though one other time after something else came up and they were asking me what I read in the Bible. I say, just read 1 John and truly apply it to your whole life. Even read it twice tonight doing that. This person knows the Bible well. A friend, Christian, but I can’t not point a fellow believer to that book.

      Sorry for this long comment. I wasn’t going to say anything to any comments, but you hit the nail in the head. I’m like why is there so little Bible passages in this article. I did like the article, but needs more meat directly from the Bible. I’d recommend 1 John, of course. I found this article because I just finished 1 John again tonight and was googling around about judgement I got from someone close. All I did was say read 1 John and gave a high-level overview of it.

  27. Patrick Galligar on January 27, 2021 at 10:59 am

    I HATE THIS POST!!! It exposes my sin in very uncomfortable ways:0) While I am reading through it there is a list forming in my mind of those I would send it to… Well honestly, the list was already in my mind when I decided to click on this post to read instead of the many others I am behind on. I walk among some who are exactly the characters you describe on the judgmental side of things.

    So as I am reading I begin to connive and think to myself, “How can I get this to the ones who need it most without making them feel as if I am judging them?” So even in that thought I am judging them and thinking how can I be deceitful in my sharing so they don’t blame/judge me as I have already judged them?!?!#$%

    Confession, prayer, repentance, moving forward… After seeking to address the plank in my own eye – this post was written not for me to use against others, but for me to use introspectively for wisdom and discernment and identification of the sin in my own heart. Mission begun, the accomplishment of it will be an ongoing process.

    So back to the value of this post re: judgment, is there a way to share this with those who may need it as much as I do? And how to do that well with patience and tact, as they tried so hard to teach me in seminary? :0)

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 28, 2021 at 8:11 am

      I feel your tension Patrick. I promise you! Glad we’re in this together. 🙂

    • JW Worcester on January 28, 2021 at 2:59 pm

      Pray for an opening. Then walk through that door only and don’t try to open another unless invited. Then pray for the next door to open. And don’t be afraid to be honest about our own failings. And remember one plows, another waters, and another reaps. Often we are only planting seeds. Nonetheless, still pray for an opening; if nothing more than to find out they’ve been saved. Afterwards you can be their confidant as they struggle to leave their past behind.

      • Patrick Galligar on January 28, 2021 at 3:54 pm

        Good plan. Have begun praying, and keeping my eyes searching for the opening.

        • Daniel Kent on January 4, 2022 at 1:08 am

          I’m sick of hearing who is going to he’ll without the humility to even try to understand people actions. This is why I’m not an evangelical Christian any longer. I find this judgemental behaviour an embarrassment and sometimes find it hard to admit Im even a Christian because of it. I know I will have judgmental people attacking me their fellow Christian for saying this!

          • Christopher Pineau on January 4, 2022 at 1:57 am

            I won’t attack you, because I’m there with you. It’s one of the reasons I don’t go to church at all and would rather just have it be me and my Bible. It seems for a lot of folks out there to all be about the attacking and the judging and the harsh scorn directed at those who somehow fall short of a nigh-impossible ideal that they (naturally) think they’ve achieved themselves and can afford to judge and attack others for it. Sad, isn’t it? Where is the love we’re supposed to show, the humility and forbearance? I often can’t sense it over the arrogance and haughtiness I so often witness and hear from evangelical sorts. Sad, isn’t it?

            I’d rather be known as a man cultivating faith as opposed to a church going evangelical who has all the right Scriptures at all the right times to support and justify holding myself above others. Because IMO? The machinery of organized religion is what causes this, in the end. It gets in the way of cultivating an actual personal relationship with God and Christ, IMO, because once you allow yourself to be programmed by it? Your ability to think for yourself and make up your own mind is sabotaged. Beware false prophets who think they know what’s best for you, in short.



    • Kim EF on February 4, 2021 at 12:26 pm

      I got a big kick out of your comment so thank you! I too thought of lots of people I want to send this to (I am a liberal, Anabaptist raised, follower of the teachings of Jesus who is completely disgusted with what Evangelicals have done to the word Christian – no judgment here;)!) but after reading your reply decided to print the 5 principals and keep them on my desk as a much-needed reminder to self 🙂

      • Patrick Galligar on February 6, 2021 at 2:32 pm

        There are so many ways to profane the Name of Christ, and we as Christians have been doing it well for almost 2,000 years. It is so hard to get out of the seat of scoffers, without scoffing on the way and simply building a new scoffers seat in the process. The parts of the process I love best are the parts we do together. Joined in love for Christ, seeking with all our hearts to follow Him well. I am taking a cue from your playbook and printing this for my desktop:0)

  28. Ruben Kluijver on January 27, 2021 at 10:57 am

    This is just one side of the story. Ofcourse we as Christians can judge. Problem is that this doesn’t happen anymore and that’s why people don’t know how to rebuke each other to build each other up in Christ. That’s how you get a lukewarm generation who doesn’t know how te be holy as He is holy. By judging rightiouss you can help each other to grow closer to God and by that growing in love, holiness etc. This article is not scripture based and is focusud on things that sound good but are not bible truth. Ofcourse some Christians judge in a wrong way, but always good to show both sides of the storry (in this case about what the bible says about judging)

    John 7:24 KJVS Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

    1 Cor 5:12 KJV For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

    Luke 6:41-42
    41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
    42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 28, 2021 at 8:13 am

      Your quoting of Luke 6:42 is bang on. We do need to remove the planks for our own eyes. How about working on that for a bit?

      • Amelia Feng on March 14, 2021 at 9:00 pm

        Haha. Thank you. I am guilty of this as well.

  29. Greg Schuessler on January 27, 2021 at 9:48 am

    “Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”
    ― Warren Wiersbe

    • DONNA M CASSITY on January 27, 2021 at 10:25 am

      What do you do with denominations who think homosexuality is fine and that they feel judged by the church, excluded from God’s house and that the church needs to be ‘open and affirming’??

      • Dru Teves on January 27, 2021 at 12:59 pm

        I Love this post. It upsets the Pharisee/ Religious bent in us. As I’ve grown to love people better (through prayer and getting into their lives, beyond talking on a mic or camera) I’ve seen my heart transform being filled with love and less to no judgment. On the other hand I know some professional Christians that are self mislead to think they are paid to Fix people. When in reality Jesus didn’t come to fix us He came to Forgive us. Fixing leads to judgement and exhaustion while loving people so they experience Jesus love is exhilarating!
        Thanks for giving us space to reply.
        Aloha
        Dru

        • Ryan Washburn on February 26, 2021 at 3:35 pm

          Amen!

        • Christopher Pineau on February 26, 2021 at 5:09 pm

          Exactly. This is why men are attracted to “bad girls”, because we’re misled into thinking we can somehow fix them and make them love us, and speaking from experience? It don’t work that way, at all. Ditto for women and “bad boys,” to be fair. Fixing someone won’t happen unless they actively wish to be fixed, and only if that is the case can they be fixed at all. No matter what the method of fixing is, whether it be exposing them to the Gospel or not. It’s the arrogance of thinking we’re somehow qualified just because we walk with God (or strive to anyway, because He knows I’m certainly not perfect at it) to minister to all and sundry just because we think we can.

          Just because we’re called upon to be “fishers of men,” doesn’t mean we have to preach at everybody we run into, because that’s cult behavior, IMO. Care and objectiveness are required at times like that. If someone is suffering, certainly reach out to them, but don’t shove Christ on them right away, because that will only alienate them and add to the stereotype of “judgmental Christians” that is so common and widespread. Telling someone “YOU NEED JESUS,” in response to all their problems is not the way to do it. Well said, on your part, sir!

      • Ryan Washburn on February 26, 2021 at 3:34 pm

        What do you do with denominations that think divorce is fine? According to the bible they are both equally egregious sins. There are far more Bible verses condemning divorce than there are verses condemning homosexuality, yet over half of adult Protestant  Christians in this country have been divorced (the highest rate of any religious subgroup), while less than 5% of the population is gay: Of the 51% of Protestants who got divorced, 28% were evangelicals (the largest subgroup):
        https://divorce.lovetoknow.com/Divorce_Statistics_by_Religion

        Additionally, the largest subgroup of cheaters on the website “Ashley Madison” self-identify as evangelical Christians:
        https://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/survey-reveals-faiths-unfaithful-article-1.1815733

        Now one might say that many of those people are Christian “in name only”, but that is just another way of dividing people, including Christians, into intersectional subgroups based on perceived sins.
        https://www.openbible.info/topics/divorce

        Jesus says that a divorced man sleeping with another woman, or a divorced woman sleeping with another man is committing adultery (Luke 16:18, Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:12) and the punishment for adultery in the old testament is death (Leviticus 20:10)

        Does this mean that homosexuality was acceptable in the Bible?  Of course not!  But it also means that if over half of us cannot even meet the biblical ideals for heterosexual monogamy, why do we focus so much more on homosexual repentance over repentance for divorce? (Luke 6:37-42, Matthew 7:1-5)  Furthermore, if we encourage homosexuals to repent and become straight or abstain from sex then why don’t we encourage divorced Christians to remarry each other? They are equivalent reconciliations of a sin according to scripture, but not many people would accept that fact due to our conditioning and acceptance of divorce in society.  “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).

    • Carey Nieuwhof on January 28, 2021 at 8:12 am

      Love that quote.

  30. JW Worcester on November 30, 2020 at 12:30 pm
  31. Ray on August 20, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    So if your not to be judgmental, why does it say that Paul says the unbeliever should not be married to a believer? That’s very judgmental. Can you explain?? Cause I’m about to lose someone I love over this judgment.

    • Chris on August 21, 2020 at 12:45 am

      Hello Ray,

      I will do my best to answer your question. First, let me make sure I am clearing up anything that might be a misunderstanding. Paul never suggests that a marriage already committed should be dissolved due to one being an unbeliever.

      Also, the passage in the Bible which says to not be joined to unbelievers is not addressing marriage specifically, but it certainly could be applied as one of many contexts. The purpose is not for judgment, but for the person to remain faithful to Christ.

      Part of the purpose is also because the reality of the conflicting natures of a believer and unbeliever results in strain on a marriage (much like any major difference in belief or philosophy. For instance, if one spouse wants to have children and the other does not. This puts undue strain on the relationship).

      Another point to clarify is that when the Bible speaks of judging others, it is speaking of condemning. No believer is to ever point a finger at someone and condemn them for their sin because of the sin which exists in each of us (this is especially applicable to those who do not know Christ. No Christian should expect someone who is not a Christian to uphold biblical standards. We can invite people to a relationship with Christ which will change them over time, but we cannot be surprised when they don’t comply without that relationship).

      However, believers are charged to hold each other accountable with gentleness and humility. No accusingly, but in loving correction. But even the one doing the correcting is to expect others to offer loving correction when he or she chooses to sin.

      We also are called to make wise discernments. Again, that is not for the purpose of pointing fingers. It is for the purpose of living a separated, Christ-honoring life. It also is not for the purpose of gaining God’s favor, rather it is a response for having already received God’s favor: it is an act of gratitude.

      So, speaking of marriage. As the verse below states: If the marriage already exists, it should not be dissolved, unless the unbelieving spouse chooses to leave due to the believers choice to live for Christ. However, if a couple is not married, it is better to not marry because the Christian life and the non-Christian life do not coexist well and will cause friction which could lead to divorce which is also contrary to God’s desire because He highly values the marriage relationship.

      I hope this helps. I have pasted the verses in question below in case you would like them for reference.

      1 Corinthians 7:10-13 – But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11 (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away.

      2 Corinthians 6:14
      Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

    • Graeme Macfarlane on August 29, 2020 at 9:06 pm

      You bring refreshing insight Carey. In relation to making wise discernment’s I imagine that can only be done in the knowledge of my humanity. A humanity that has been fully owned. My discernment then is perhaps considered in the knowledge of all that it means for me to be human and my true divine identity as a child of God. Wise discernment it would seem is not made possible by separating myself from my humanity or the humanity of others. Rather the owning of my humanity provides a context that helps inform the decisions I make as my true divine self in God. What brings me to that place is not my separation from others but rather a recognising of myself in them. It is the embracing of both my humanity and true divine self that brings awareness that can then inform my discernment. In the place even those who persecute me are understood and not excluded or separated out – “ I am in the Father, you are in me, and I am in you” I may make wise discernment’s but that they are not achieved by living a separated life. Importantly it is not through my separation from Christ/God/love that I live my life. That connection always exists. It’s only my lack of awareness that may prevent me from understanding that connection. . So I exist in connection to all that is ( God). . To believe that is to live in pure empathy with my fellow man – to always know that there but for the grace of God go I – to know that to love another is to love myself and to deny another is to deny myself. It is only in the context of my humanity that I understand my true identity as a child of God. The gratitude I hold in that understanding empowers my life’s purpose. A purpose that through my owned humanity enables me to love my brother as myself. By choosing to live that life, love can only expand like ripples on a pool. I may be a drop in the ocean but I am also the entire ocean in a drop. I can never live in separation for I exist in connection to all that is. “ I and my Father are one whoever knows me, knows the Father.”

    • Stephen on September 13, 2020 at 10:53 pm

      Love others the way Jesus said to love. (Love is not Love as the signs imply. There are right and wrong ways to even love.) Do not be decieved. Read the words of Jesus for yourself. Do not let others tell you that you are not worthy. God’s son, Jesus, died on the cross for you and made you worthy. Follow Jesus as Lord and you will not have to listen to all tge Christian preachers and atheists, who want you to beat yourself up. Pray without ceasing, be happy and thrive.

    • Lou Key on January 9, 2021 at 3:10 am

      This article is fantastic; I have suffered from bad dreams that come randomly and of late particular ones have been a radical Muslim has come into my home or attacked me with a sharp utensil. I have had to attack and for self defence use one at them too on some of the dreams. I usually scream in my dream and my husband says ‘it’s ok’ and his back to sleep. I sort of feel I am under judgment that I keep getting these dreams. I too have been hurt by church and yet often look at the systems and see God wanting to break in and in f do ping so, I definitely am judging the leaders. I see under leaders creeping to keep their paid positions and pastors owning and using people. I see more than people think I see (someone prophesied that over me). Yet I haven’t wanted to be self righteous coz I do see my own sin. I see elders that are well off given the roles and I say ‘that’s coz they bring money into the church for salaries etc’. Am I being judged with bad dreams etc because in my heart I fear corruption and manipulation and control and speak negatively as a guard for my own children who are there because I see this all going in?? Would you pray that I spend more time in my knees praying for these things because I have left churches due to these things. What advise would you give? I got so wounded and upset at one church and maybe it was my fears and not feeling like I could come out of myself there; that I then considered leaving and I heard a pastor speak from the front. ‘You’re going to go down a very dark path??’ When I did leave coz I saw under leaders whispering taunts etc and it being a bully church, I started getting horrendous spiritual attacks. That was years ago and I still get these demonic dream attacks. During that time I heard a voice say to me ‘everyone will think you are ok but you are really going to hell!!!. I was trapped in fear for years and felt strongly I wasn’t saved. I asked myself was I ever saved as I hadn’t ever asked Jesus to deal with my sins as I just went to church etc. I have asked God these things and want to stand on this truth yet I get attacked again. Am I saved?? Was that voice right saying ‘you are going to hell?’ These dreams I get certainly are hellish?? Xx. I need to ask for forgiveness for judging. I sort of want to protect myself and my children from deception and witchcraft in the church too. Can you help??

    • Aaron Warner on January 13, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      This is all false. Jesus said “the righteous man judges ALL things.
      Take your plank out of your own eye SO THAT YOU CAN BETTER REMOVE THE SPECK OUT OF YOUR BROTHERS EYE.

      • JW Worcester on February 4, 2021 at 5:19 pm

        AQaron, did you miss this part?

        One of the things I struggle within the church today is that we rush to judge outsiders and rarely look in the mirror. That’s the exact opposite of what Paul instructed us to do. The reality is that people’s lives are plagued by problems. There is an epic battle raging in this life, and people get taken down every day over addictions, failed relationships, misguided beliefs and things that we think will give life, but, in the end, only destroy. We need to help outsiders because we have been helped. We need to help each other on the inside and thereby better realize our mission.

        True judgment is reserved for God. Discernment seeks to help. Discernment says there is a problem, but lovingly, humbly, prayerfully, empathetically I’d love to help with that.

      • Linda on January 10, 2022 at 9:53 pm

        God is our guide and a righteous judge. Sound judgement is part of being human but the conversation seems to be about a judgmental attitude which has a negative connotation even without Biblical consideration. It is difficult to make a case in support of a judge mental attitude and the Bible does not support it but does support scripture based judgement that is closer to the idea of discernment. The author’s points have more merits than not. It ultimately takes an act of the Holy Spirit to change minds and hearts for Jesus after seeds are sown in peace. Every moment of conversation between people needs to be surrendered in prayer for guidance in listening and speaking. I would like to share this prayer:

        Teach me Lord to be bold:

        Confident not arrogant
        Daring not reckless
        Uncompromising not harsh
        Unrelenting but sensitive
        Fearless not unloving

  32. Barbara on December 18, 2019 at 3:21 am

    I want to add that I reme,ber reading some of my dads books about great christian heros saints and martyrs as a child and remember how many of them seemed to feel more need of Him the closer they got, more humbled in His light, and I think that is the way it wotks. I know there are a variety of personalities and we all function differently, but I think that is key. Eyes on Him, eyes on ourselves, love for others, it never results in arrogance or self righteousness. I confess my biggest stumbling block is othet christians and I have to remind myself Im becoming self righteous towards them in my anger and bitterness. My mind says wrll youre like Jesus see? Only angry at chirch people, but Im not Jesus haha. But some are best loved from a distance for me.

  33. Barbara on December 18, 2019 at 3:10 am

    I agree with others who love this article! Another unchurched, I claim PK PTSD. Church people truly are the meanest I have ever personally experienced. My brother said AA is better than chirch, which makes sense because its a group of broken leople, humbled by their mutual failure trying to help each other get up and stay up, with the help of and reliance on a higher power..exactly what the church is supposed to be!..but isnt. I prayed for years for my children to come to the Lord, 2 of them were so resistant they would become angry if I mentioned it, so I stayed quiet and prayed (which is often the key..be quiet and pray) miracles happened last couple of years and they have both come to him, very active in chirches, prayer life, study of theology. How sad is it that my biggest fear for them after such joy of their conversions, is that he chirch will hurt them. They now try to get ME to go to church and I resist. Happy for them but worry constantly they will be damaged by the culture american christianity often is. My dad used to say we are simply beggars showing other beggars where to find food. That humble sense of equality I dont see in most believers.

  34. Veronica on October 20, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I found this post after looking up the effects of judging others. I wondered if being hurt from someone judging me (or more to the point being critical) was just me being over sensitive. But I see that it actually is meant to hurt. Point #3 is very poignant. Words do wound and can leave scars.

    • Matthew Manion on December 11, 2019 at 5:35 pm

      Yes words can hurt just like it hurt me when I went to church tonight for their last dinner for a while until the new year began.
      I had run into my old high school teacher we got to talking but then told me as i asked how i was she told me in front of a few fellow followers i was really insecure/stuck on myself. I’ll tell you, that hurt. Alot. My anxiety kicked in but after this article I found it wasn’t that bad. I’m Over it. Or am I?

    • xena on October 6, 2020 at 6:31 pm

      My dad for over 60 yrs, let judgmental comments from his mom, keep him distant from God. Further, he’d comment that some of the deacons mom went with to church, were liars at work, smoked like chimneys, and cursed (his criteria), so why should he associate with them? My mom prayed over him from the 70s until he passed 2017. 6 mos before a well respected older Christian who always spoke to my daddy, but didn’t once ask about his salvation, finally was granted an audience to witness. Dad was ready. 6 mos later he died. It was the last sane decision he made to let Christ back into his Life. My dad about ate 10-12 had gone to a revival and came home so excited. His mom told them how much of sinners they were and scolded him saying he couldn’t go back. He felt embarrassed, humiliated, and and ashamed. He never let his guard down and wouldn’t trust anyone. God still blessed him because he saw daddy’s heart. It’s that kind of patience and mercy, God offers, and He is correct we are to show that and more. That’s why turning the other cheek – I didn’t understand for a long time: yes I knew what it meant, but to have the conviction is much much deeper. Once I saw it in the Spirit, I was forever changed. TRUSTING GOD, even when someone wrongs us (or we perceive it) must also be taken to God. HE is literally our source…of truth, justice, our worth…the things we don’t realize we maybe asking from others. If we truly take our worth from God, it’s no problem turning the other cheek because GOD is our strength of character, our avenger, our Truth. We no longer seek revenge. God mets it out(in accordance with the other’s salvation journey). Then suddenly the emotions that snare us, fall off like chains unlocked. It’s amazing. I love this article because the judgement part is an even deeper aspect for me. Then we can live as Christ does the church…that’s what the World needs. Love and integrity.

  35. Kelly L Richardson on August 10, 2019 at 4:38 am

    This is exactly what strayed me away from my faith. Judgmental Church. When you dont show up every single sunday, they let you know. Its more of a social occasion than food for the soul. Also their members are fLling like flies and they try to talk me into coming back.
    Selfish. Thank goodness I have found a different church finally! One I fit in.

    I dont think you are being judgy AT ALL. I think this is great! Thank you for the good read. I know I am not alone.

  36. Chris on July 15, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Carey,
    Thank you for your article. It was perfect. My heart breaks at some of the comments above: those who have been hurt by the church and those who disregard them. There is balance in this ministry: The Bible doesn’t ask us to soft-pedal the gospel or morality, but it also asks us to approach people with love, humility and gentleness while watching ourselves so we don’t fall.

    Many of the hurt comments above were not asking Christians to accept sinfulness, they were asking to be heard and respected. The only way we can ever disciple anyone properly is to actually listen to where they are coming from. Listening to them is not the same as agreeing with them. It simply shows that we respect them as people enough to hear what they have to say and then gently guide them through the scriptural truth.

    We must remember where we were brought from:
    “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior…” (Titus 3:3-6)

    We’re all sinners who need grace. Our deeds didn’t get us salvation nor keep us saved. We must stop shouting people down and instead usher them to Jesus and let Him, His Holy Spirit and His Word do the convicting of hearts. All arrogance and anger will get is rejection of our Savior. We will stand accountable for this.

    Thank you for your insight.

  37. Lisa on July 15, 2019 at 6:50 am

    This was powerful for me and got me in tears because of its truth and convicted my heart on when I too have judged…. God bless you ministry..

  38. Rich Brashears on July 13, 2019 at 8:48 am

    This is one of the best articles I have read in a very long time! Thank you! I realize that I can be judgmental at times when I don’t mean to be. We are all works in progress. Thanks again!

    • Mark Holman on July 13, 2019 at 2:53 pm

      You are not alone, I switched churches and the best part is GOD CLOSED that door that no man can open, and slid it away, I mentioned it to one person, and he never came back where I work at.

      As one Pastor said He doesn’t believe in purple sky either, also someone my wife and I know we would get together from my old Church, I’ve mentioned it to another that word, and it’s like they fade away.

      I have 2 gossipers and they serve on a board IMHO should close their doors.

      Just pray and ask GOD to close that door against that church, forgive as well to keep line of communication flowing. After all the worst case is a Pastor who has narcissist personality disorder/pathological liar. Too much there.

  39. Rodney Noble Jr on July 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    This is probably wrong but I’ll say it anyway, judgmental Christians are ignorant, arrogant, selfish and totally oblivious to the detrimental affects of their actions. I don’t deal with these kinds of Christians on any level because they’ve scarred me enough. If you’re part of this kind of church run for your life because they will damage you, I know that sounds extreme but I know what I’m talking about.

  40. Lolo on June 28, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    I have believed all my life. I read my Bible almost every day, and I am seriously tired of judgemental Christians. I have a family member who is one.

    She seems to have a penchant for picking out my children to bestow her wealth of Christian advice, selfless wisdom, and her great abundance of self-righteousness.

    It’s like listening to someone whose words don’t match her tone, or her authoratative attitude. It’s being told in a soft voice that she knows best. That she was led by God to tell my adult children they are sinners and will rue the day that they misstepped.

    Like I don’t know! Like I don’t understand that I am a sinner, and my children are as well! I don’t wear rose colored glasses, nor do I walk blindly into the street.

    I love my children, who are my responsibility. They are my gift from God and I do my best. I pray on my knees most nights for them, and pray most days, and pray most afternoons. I have been a failure in so many ways that I am left humbled and saddened.

    One child is gay, and one tried suicide. I understand hardship, and doubt. I understand questioning myself and my faith, but I don’t need someone who has never dealt with this, telling my child they are destroying a persons life. I don’t need her looking down her nose at me or my children with her superior air judging me, judging my children. Telling us in so many words that we are failures, that we are undesireable people. That she is the angel God sent to save us. She says this, all while she is not looking in her own backyard, or her own household. All while she has really not communicated or visited for a good long while.

    My sister now ruined any chance of my child ever listening to her. What good does that do? How effective has my sister been? Did it change anything? If she had shown my children love and not condemnation, she may have gotten through, but instead, she threw in this, “I am So much better then you” attitude that all help was lost.

    • Mark Holman on July 13, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Can you ask her to leave and she is NO LONGER WELCOMED there?

      Sometimes detachment from TOXIC PPL is for the best, as I posted the prayer to have a complete church no longer WELCOMED, also ask that person to find a Good Christian Counseling or a Psychiatrist. That will work in a way they can choose getting professional help.

      As to other issues, find a ministry that deals with an issue you’re facing, even out of town is better, I’ve dealt with small town gossipers, weather they change is up to them most advice from a former Pastor is to love them.

      Some Churches can be good, some not.

    • Paul on October 22, 2019 at 6:11 am

      What a great post. I’ll pray for your sister and family. I’m sure they are awesome and Jesus is here alongside all of them. He is praying the same prayer that they all may have life and have it to the full. May your sister discover a burning passion for Christ and burn with love and care for all those she meets.

      • Evangeline on August 27, 2020 at 2:07 pm

        Thank you so much. I was never judgmental. But at some point I started a program that says that truth is hard that Grace has made Christians misbehave and sin conciously. So I started trying to leave with truth and before I know what’s happening I have become so judgmental to my friends and family. That they don’t like confiding in me. But whenever I speak with them with love. They open up to me. It’s so confusing. Though trying to practise truth made me to bee too concious of not sinning. But I’ve lost my Joy. Recently I went back to how I used to communicate with the Holy Spirit. I want to really understand how I can work with Grace and Truth. Because honestly the Truth seems so hard alone. But I know same Jesus brought both Grace and Truth. So what should I do.

    • Jerry M. Irick on October 24, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      People who has this kind of attitude is not a child of God it’s more like narcissism and insecurity. Most people know when they being loved and it isn’t what you say it’s how you say it. Those who are unhappy with themselves tend to rain on other people’s parade. The Bible say how can you love God who you can’t see but don’t love brother and sister who you can see(1 John 4:20). Instead of being merciful she’s being judgmental.

  41. EmmyS on June 9, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    I’m currently experiencing a judgemental Christian sister I serve with. I don’t always make it to church and she always let’s me know about how it’s so important to come, that Pastor says we need the fellowship, that I really need to make it a point to come each Sunday.
    Yes, in an ideal world I would come every Sunday. But I can’t. I’m not even going to get into the reasons here because I feel that judgemental people would only see them as excuses. I’m not the perfect Christian. No one is. Only Christ Jesus.
    I’m getting to the point where I don’t want to serve with her anymore. I enjoy what I do there but she’s making it hard to want to be there. I have not confronted her about how I feel yet. I’m not a confrontational person and it’s hard for me to express my feelings sometimes. I already battle anxiety and depression. And with that I have these thoughts of simply disappearing instead of facing and dealing with this issue. I just know I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I understand I have the power to not let this affect me but I’m currently weak and learning.
    The article is so right about wanting to run away from judgment. It’s so true. I just wish it wasn’t from a fellow Christian sister.

    • Mark Holman on July 13, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      Bad PPL HUNH? Unfortunately I went and worked at a Disco Bar being I was sick of the personality types that were more harm than good, only the real truth was that one person was FIRED from his job of $75,000.00 YR at a company that got sick of his attitude, fired as a poor deacon with his attitude.

      The crazy thing is I was looking someplace and GOD CALLED ME INTO MINISTRY. backed by several ministers said the same thing. I’ve turned down so many deals were not the right door each one was a CLOSED DOOR! I had my wife agree to that also, and I’ve selected some one into my team experience widow and friends with my wife. Yes I’ve had my experience with finger pointing, trouble is they have a beam in their own eye.

      Remember 1 Corinthians 13, read it what does that speaks to you, for GOD what? So loved the world. I’ve been there without GOD only he didn’t leave me, just gave me an Assignment so between study, etc I have something that I’m called to do.

      NOBODY IS PERFECT EITHER.

      READ DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 28. 1 to 14 speaks blessings staying obedience to GOD and 15 to 68(something like that) tells you the horrible mess when you walk away from GOD

      Pastor Mark

  42. Garrison on June 4, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    I thank God Almighty that after 55 years of church going, I am now one of the “unchurched”, and plan to be for the rest of my life.

    • Gene on July 13, 2019 at 8:05 am

      I’m sorry you’ve been hurt that badly!

    • Kevin A Kleinhenz on July 13, 2019 at 1:37 pm

      Yes let’s celebrate not being a part of a local church.

    • Chris on July 15, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      Garrison and Kevin,
      I too am saddened that the church has hurt you this badly. I pray we will all do better at displaying the love of Christ and being humble enough to remember that everyone of us are broken by sin. I wish there was a way to rewind and undo past damage. I know there have been days I have said and done judgmental things to people and I still regret it. I fear there may be days I do it again, but my goal and my aim is not to do that though.

      I pray that you will see past the broken people that hurt you to the Christ who is perfect and redeemed you.

  43. Carlos on May 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    The new Mega-churches, store front, shopping strip “churches” mixed with Prosperity doctrine, with God on Command to their Beck and Call, who don’t accept the “Will of God” have made Christianity Toxic for most. The largest growing sector in Religious Polls are the “None” choice. They choose to belong to none, Satan’s biggest weapon is to turn all the good and holy into something poisonous and ugly.
    Black painted interiors of “altars” with podiums, neon lights, laser shows, musical entertainment rules the hall and Giant TV screens have flooded American Christianity, which is so far from the Solemn beautiful churches. People want their Pastor to be Tony Robbins when in reality its just a christian themes motivational seminar, just look at Joel Osteen and other TV superstar pastors. Others are talking about doom and gloom end of the world predictions, Illuminati conspiracy theories and how the founding Church is evil, trying to sell you a book on how to beat the end times. People are looking for magical supernatural proof of God in Healings, financial growth and luxurious lifestyles instead of being Holy and saintly in their walk of life.
    The Church has gone from the Holy solemn places of prayer and receiving the Eucharist to “pay your seed to blessings” ministries.
    Husband and wife preachers run the new churches with their adult kids as successors to the throne.

    God is great and he gives us the tools in the church for His Will not ours, to be humble not pompous, not afraid but fearless. The 2,000 year old churches haven’t changes, just people want a church that can be like their human passions instead of changing themselves to God’s purpose.
    What do you think?

    • Gene on July 13, 2019 at 8:07 am

      Boom! Nailed it! People want steps to a Happy Life instead of steps to a Holy Life in Christ!

    • Mark Holman on July 13, 2019 at 3:55 pm

      Can you please explain why my Daughter is alive today and I have 3 grandchildren where the Doctor gave up, and also why I still have my toe that Dr saw wanted to do a partial amputation?

      As a baby she developed Meningitis, bacterial and later virtual, (BTW the vaccine wasn’t there in 1985) also we get a nice review of this whole thing in eternity as I’LL Quote this was your life, and some other thoughts, so why are the Jews being blessed as well?

      Or is every Born Again Christian supposed to drive a donkey and cart, dress like a Bag Person, throw out your TV, RADIO, CD, DVD, MP3 player. Also being on the internet a big sin?

      I have a Associate Degree in IT, I’ve read alot of misinformation going around, some of the nonsense that was spreading misinformation like a manure spreader, undocumented claims, 2 were thrown out by the Federal Communications Commission under Report And Order, they got sick of that and posted on their website how the process is done, and their decision. The book sold as ravenous book to any person gullible to buy it.

      I’ve arrived at alot of ding of misinformation sold to some self claimed person who is NOT EVEN CREDENTIALED you should be on your guard on such nonsense.

      Unless you’re an Idiot.

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  47. Derek on March 25, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    What are you preaching pastor? Come on. *FACEPALM*

    “If I’m judging someone, I’m not loving them. You can’t judge someone and love them at the same time.”

    Love requires judgment. And judgment, love.
    Sometimes that means telling someone:
    1. That’s a false gospel.
    2. You’ve had too much to drink: give me your keys.
    3. You shouldn’t wear that in public.
    4. Your actions are hurting me.
    5. You’re a drug addict. You need to get help.
    6. You were wrong.
    7. You shouldn’t teach your kid that.
    8. You’re a bad influence.

    Being nice at the expense of telling the TRUTH is dangerous. Jesus was not always nice. In Matthew 21:12-13, Jesus overthrew the tables of the moneychangers in the temple. Some people on this blog misquoted Matthew 7 in support of what you had to say. That’s wrong! It’s okay to judge.

    Maybe you’re killing your own church by watering down the TRUTH.

    Shalom,

    Derek

  48. Courtney Reilly on March 23, 2019 at 8:12 am

    My boyfriend’s Sister considers herself a devout Christian yet has told him on several occasions that he is “going to hell.” The hypocrisy of this statement floors me every time I hear of her telling him such an awful thing.
    What you’ve written above articulates to truth so very well. It is not his sister’s place to judge; she will not be the one standing at the pearly gates when the time comes. Also I feel that she could take a different approach with much better results as the current one is causing a rift between her and her brother, as well as her and myself.
    I will forward this article to her and hope that she understands that she will be receiving it from a place of love, hoping to offer her a better understanding of the God we both love.
    Thank you for writing this.

  49. kiex on March 10, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    I found this article after a christian told me I’m a monster for having an abortion 16 years ago. When I told her not to judge me, she said “I’m allowed to judge you if I follow God’s law” Excusing her behavior, then she attacked me more.

  50. Deb Fokos on February 1, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Thank you for your wonderful article outlining judgement vs help and love. My husband and I have moved across several states into a new culture, and that also means a new church. He is comfortable anywhere the Word is preached, whereas, I am a very touchy-feeling-have to feel ok about so many things before I join a church and its people. I’m not a conventional person, but often think outloud and this gets me in trouble with being judged and makes me want to leave before I’ve started. Your article helped right my potentially sinking ship and gave me a few pointers about loving and helping as a focus. Thank you, again!

  51. Aaron on December 14, 2018 at 12:04 am

    But to say there is no truth in liberalism is a lie and to say there is nothing but truth in conservatism is also a lie. Both are wrong. Some truths from both sides: banning guns will only help the wicked, being gay is not a choice, there are only two genders, planned parenthood does more good than bad, vaccines are important, science is not evil, evolution has solid evidence, boarders protect us, Islam is evil, black lives matter, all lives matter, it’s okay to be gay, and so much more. To say trurh is only on one side is dangerous and wrong.

    • Howard Glass on December 15, 2018 at 9:19 am

      While what you say about truth in the two camps is correct some of the time. Your closing statement is entirely false. I have heard the old saw, “It takes two to tango,” used in such a way that an abuser’s behavior is mitigated or diminished. It amounts to moral abuse. The Nazis were entirely wrong. Slavery is entirely wrong. I think you get my point.

      • Mary on February 28, 2019 at 8:56 pm

        Well said, Howard. In an age of relativism, we must know what is true. Whether you feel some reasons are justified or not does not change the fact that abortion is the killing of an innocent life, it is child sacrifice on the altar of convenience or fear. Neither changes what it is. This is but one example. There is good and evil, and we can’t stand in two camps.

  52. Bozes on November 18, 2018 at 7:38 am

    The Purpose of the church meeting together isn’t evangelism, it’s to worship Christ and to mature in Christ, while enjoying fellowship with other members of the elect. We are to go out into the world to evangelize, but meeting together is to prepare us for this work. I’m assuming you’re part of the church growth movement and a proud pastor of a seeker friendly church.

    • Gene on July 13, 2019 at 8:11 am

      Good points on the Purpose of the Church.

  53. Howard Glass on August 19, 2018 at 4:32 am

    As we gain experience as believers we should realize that the Christian life can and should be lived without a dependency on the behavior of others. Any group of believers might contain some who are shallow. In my experience they all do. While working in harmony with others is a biblical admonition, we must rely on His goodness, not the goodness of others. If our support for ministry depends on the character of fellow Christians the devil has already won. I guarantee disappointment sooner or later. That there are church members who do not reflect Christ well is for some an excuse to retire to a comfortable spot where their opportunities and concomitant responsibility to serve are limited.

  54. Angela De Tar on August 19, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Hi, I like this humble, truthful article. We humans all are sinners. We we’re born into it. We ALL judge others in one way or another. I get that. I too find it hard to connect in my church. I have joined the groups and do serve in my church. I have been bullied out of serving in different areas of my church. I have been looked down on, told my hair is dry and my skin is ugly, ignored obviously! Now, it is almost ridiculous. I stuck it out but I am still judged by some of the meanest people in church and they are leaders in my church. I am almost to the point I want to ask them why? When you are truly a christian and love Jesus, He lives inside you. He changes us from the inside out. I guess the truth is just because these people are in church, it doesn’t mean they have Jesus. Jesus loves people. I don’t know why some of these people stay in church, maybe they would be worse off if they didn’t! I know we are to forgive others and love them as God loves us. It does hurt deeply when you are hurt in church, more so because we believe people in church are saints! ( not all!) Anyway, I can’t sleep! Love to you all!

    • Russell Ray Lewis on September 11, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      The church is God,not a building or a stone Jesus is the cornerstone of Life!

    • Manning on December 31, 2018 at 12:29 am

      Ya, but remember this; not all in the church are really Christian some are just like spectator, some are immature and the worst is even satan go to church looking for opportunity to find faults and ready to destroy the institution of God’s people. That is why we need to be aware of what’s happening inside and outside the church. Satan is like a hungry beast!!

      • Jennifer Roth on February 7, 2019 at 12:09 am

        I find that Fundamentalist Christians are not only judgemental but they are arrogant and down right mean, it just doesn’t make any sense. Sometimes I wonder if many of them have mental problems because they seem obsessed with pointing out the so called sin in others but they themselves are often selfish, arrogant, dishonest etc. They don’t have any tolerance and are not willing to admit that they don’t know everything about God, it’s their way or the highway. Honestly they seem almost happy to say that all the unbelievers are going to burn in Hellfire. If they really were filled with the Great Love of God and they really believed that people were going to Hell then they should be doing whatever they can to Love them into the truth but instead they’re pushing them away with their meanness. It’s sad but the way they are is going to bring the church as we know it to an end but maybe that’s a good thing in the end. I believe God loves everyone and the church doesn’t have all the answers so they should be humble and open. Jesus made it clear that love is the most important thing and sadly I see very little of that coming from most Christians.

        • Howard Glass on February 7, 2019 at 11:03 am

          You must live in an entirely different world than me. I have met thousands of Christians. I know dozens of fundamentalists pretty well. I don’t know even one who fits the image you report. You describe a parody of Christians.

          • Chuck on May 23, 2019 at 8:23 pm

            I have also known thousands of Christians, and while not all of them fit that archetype, they are common enough that this “parody” as you describe it, does exist to such a degree that enough people have encountered such Christians that it has become a well-known archetype. That’s nice that you haven’t experienced this among the people that you know, but to say that everyone else is lying or wrong simply because you haven’t experienced it is blind. Or maybe the plank in your eye keeps you from seeing that it does indeed describe those around you or even maybe you yourself.



          • Gary on June 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm

            DO we find Christians judgmental because we do not like the discernment from God’s Word, or because we live in a “me” society, where you can’t tell me what is right or wrong. sometimes being judgmental is loving someone. After all God will judge Christians and non-Christians alike. And I think we agree that God is love.



          • Howard Glass on June 3, 2019 at 3:32 pm

            The trash can of history is loaded with false archetypes. Nearly every persecution or pogrom that ever took place was the result of them. Anytime we begin to relish the animosity we have toward another group or individual we must fall to our knees in prayer, difficult as it may be.



        • John Odermott on May 7, 2019 at 7:55 pm

          Jennifer Roth, I have the same view of fundamentalist Christians as you. Not all, certainly, but way too many fundamentalists are quick to judge others when they should be focused on what is in their own hearts and on their own journey of growing closer to Jesus. The notion suggested by the author, that the presence of judgment drives out the presence of love, is a very good one in my opinion. Jesus above all commanded us to LOVE. We are to love God, and love one another. Isn’t that the greatest commandment?

  55. CC on August 16, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Christians seem to be the most judgemental of each other. They always seem to be hurting each other and rejecting each other.
    And unbelievers notice this. If Christians can’t be nice to each other, then those on the outside are certainly not going to trust Christians to be nice to them.

  56. Don Martin on April 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Excellent article. Judging others is fraught with peril. With an overfocus on “being right” without love, you get stuff like the Thirty Years war. Learn from history.

  57. Jamie on April 19, 2018 at 1:16 am

    Thank you for highlighting this. I’m a Christian and so desperately need Jesus in my life, however, other Christians make me question myself constantly and it’s all through their judgements on either me as a person or silly opinions I may raise (but in a respectful way). I’d never turn from God but I really want to feel like I belong somewhere.

  58. Paul on March 19, 2018 at 5:42 am

    This all sounds very nice and dandy, but is actually the opposite of what God’s Word instructs us to do.
    Calling the command (!) for Christians to judge, a ‘discernment’ is twisting scripture. At best you’re telling a half-truth here.

    See for instance 1 Co 5:

    1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that *even pagans do not tolerate*: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 *And you are proud!* *Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship* the man who has been doing this?

    *I have already passed judgment* in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this

    So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and *the power of our Lord Jesus is present*, 5 *hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh*, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

    6 *Your boasting* is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 *Get rid of the old yeast*

    9I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 *not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters*. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that *you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.*

    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? *Are you not to judge those inside*? 13 *God will judge those outside*. *“Expel the wicked person from among you.”*

    There you have it; Christians MUST judge those inside the church, but leave judgment of people outside the church to God.

    Calling christians who try to do this (WHICH IS VERY UNPOPULAR!) ‘judgmental’ is disingenuous.

    • Kristen on January 11, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Judging by handing the sexually immoral etc over to satan is done without cruelty. The author is talking about unwarranted judgement toward repentant christians.

  59. David on February 24, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Love this article… why I’m a homeschooling Christian… when the pastor of most all churches is there for a paycheck and not the Lord.. my grandmother raised me, she was mamma.. we were at every meeting.. and even as a kid I looked forward to going.. our lives, the communities lives revolved around the church.. when our pastor went home to the Lord.. things changed.. the young money hungry pastors came… back then most pastors or at least where I’m from.. farmed or held a regular job ,still found time to visit people in the hospital and all the other duties and took just enough out of church funds to pay for gas that.. now this same little country church, small country church that has around 30 people on Sundays, pay a pastor 85k plus travel expenses. Which they add up to almost 20k and keeps him and his family in a house too…

    • Chris on July 15, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      Hi David. I am sorry you have had bad experiences with pastors. I did want to say however that I am a pastor. I have been a worship pastor for most of my career, but now I am at a church as a “lead pastor”. I can tell you that neither I nor a majority of the pastors I have known and serve under sacrificed rather than gained from serving the church. I admit, there have been a couple, but in the vast minority. Granted many of us do make our living as pastors, however that is scriptural.

      “Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? 14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:13-14).

      I will tell you that pastoring is every bit a full-time (and then some) calling. I have tremendous respect for men who do work a regular job and pastor. I have interviewed with a church that would have made that mandatory for me and my family to live, however, they chose someone else whom I know and respect to lead them. They have since been able to pay him a full-time salary, but not because he asked for it.

      You are correct that money is the wrong motivator to serve as pastor, but there are also very few churches that can afford to give a tremendous salary to a pastor. Most pay under what the average church member makes, but many pay at least the average income.

      Without the intent of boasting, I will tell you that when I began speaking to my current church, they were offering less than what I was making as a worship pastor at my previous church (that church was larger in size). However, I had not asked the amount of pay when they told me, nor was I concerned about it. I simply asked God to show me if He wanted me here and asked HIM to provide whatever way He saw fit. They called me back in a week and told me they decided to pay me more and when they told me I gave God praise because they offered nearly what I was making at my previous church which would cover all of our living expenses.

      Funny thing is that my wife’s employer told her she could continue with them in our new city and then two weeks before we moved, they told her they changed their mind and terminated her without warning. But we just prayed and God provided her with an even better paying job. Little did we know that I would need a surgery for my heart shortly after that would result in thousands of dollars of expenses.

      My point is simply to say, please don’t consider all pastors to be money-chasers based on the failures of some. I understand that those people are out there, but they really are the exception and not the rule. We all fail in different ways. That is the whole reason we need grace. I hope your experiences turn out to be better. I do think Carey nails this plainly on the head regarding being judgmental. I have that problem a lot in my own life and am striving every day to do better because I too want people to know Jesus and instead of knowing Christians to be jerks.

      Thanks, David, for considering my thoughts. Thanks Carey for reminding us to be humble.

  60. Val on February 17, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I am a believer. I do not go to church. This article explains why perfectly. Thank you.

    • Chris on July 15, 2019 at 3:33 pm

      I’m sorry Val, that you have had bad experiences with the failures of the church. I pray that you encounter better examples as you meet more Christians. But if you don’t, I hope you will be able to see that Jesus didn’t fail you, just those who claim to be His people. I too am a recovering judgmental person. I’m really trying to remember how broken I am before jumping at others when they act broken too (or when we simply disagree).

      • Daniel Kent on January 11, 2022 at 10:01 am

        I came into the church at aga 20 and thought it would be a good healthy community. Over the years I have met many who will not let anyone have even a slightest different view from their own and will argue and condemn them even though we should be brother and sisters. The evangelical movement led me to judge others immediately in both the world and other denominations. The Pentecostals
        led me to fear rapture leaving me with feeling of constant anxiety and doom and made me mentally ill. Anyone who is in the fundamental churches beware! Because of all the infighting and conflict I continually experience I’m now going to leave the evangelical movement for good maybe even Christianity for good. The world is a safer place!

        • Christopher Pineau on January 11, 2022 at 11:39 am

          Exactly. I avoid church for that very reason, the lack of tolerance in general. Which is what leads to the conflict and infighting you mentioned. I profoundly distrust the machinery of organized religion in general because that’s all I’ve ever witnessed in church circles, what I would quite frankly call “cult behavior” at worst. It’s just me and Him at the end of the day, and that’s how I like it in the end.

  61. Jango on January 15, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    The lowest common denominator of everyone I have a problem with is that they are Christians. Everything from adultery to judgement. I have sought out the Church for answers and found every one of them turning their back on me.

    • Chris on July 15, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      Jango,

      I’m sorry this has been your experience. We’re all a bunch of broken people and unfortunately we Christians sometimes forget that Jesus is the only one that put our broken selves back together and we had nothing to do with it. Only once we get that truth will we begin to be helpful like Carey mentioned. That’s what we are supposed to do. I’m sorry that has not happened for you. Will you please consider continuing to look for a church that WILL help. There are some out there, but also remember that you are dealing with broken people in the church, so if you don’t get help and support to grow in Christ, then keep looking.

      I have served in very messed up churches, kind of messed up churches and now serve in a pretty good church, but they are all full of broken people who need the grace of Jesus (especially me and I’m supposed to be “leading” them). I pray this helps.

  62. Howard Glass on January 6, 2018 at 7:37 am

    The enemy has been very successful in keeping believers from speaking out against behavior that is obviously destructive out of fear of being judgmental. We’ve been worrying about being too judgmental for as long as I have been a believer, and all that time the church has been slowly losing its moral and cultural clout. The fact is that sooner or later the results of destructive behavior (sin) manifest themselves in a ruined life. I guess it’s okay to let someone make a wreck of their life so that my self-image as a loving Christian remains intact. If God knows my heart is full of love and prayer for the lost, is my own self-image more important? Jesus didn’t think so. He went to the cross for speaking the truth to those who did not wish to hear it.

    Just one caveat here: If you are one who has never involved yourself directly with trying to help someone who truly needs it, keep your responses to yourself. The church is full of people whose opinions are not based on actual experience but rather on what they have read or been told. My experience tells me that the lost person will hear you once you have shown in some tangible way that you love them. You can “earn” the right to give life advice. Relationship precedes influence.

  63. Leah on December 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    This is exactly why I left religion as a whole. It seemed like every other Sunday the pastor would talk about some group or another in a very judging way. I’m also Asexual but apparently I have to marry a man and bear children to be a proper Christian, which is just bologna. I’m very open minded and try to be kind to everyone, not that it always happens as I of course have weaknesses and sins just as everyone else does. I tried many churches but I only found one that I liked. Unfortunately I’ve moved so I can’t go there anymore. I’ve been in more churches with screaming judgmental pastors than I can count. I also can’t stand how much hate there is for certain groups in church. Like gay people. I went to a church once who wouldn’t even allow them in the building. And if they found out a member was gay, They would force them to leave the church. It frustrates me. We’re here on this earth to LOVE one another. Even if we don’t see eye to eye with each others views and choices. If Jesus was on this earth today, he’d walk with everyone on this earth. No matter what their gender, sexual orientation, race, or disability.

    • Bozes on November 18, 2018 at 7:32 am

      You obviously are following a false Christ, which you can read about in Matthew. But from your comment I’d assume you’ve never read the word, or if you have you have no discernment. Christ didn’t make his fathers commands about sexual immorality null and void, He came to offer us a path to redemption.

      • Chuck on May 23, 2019 at 8:28 pm

        Christianity and faith is declining so rapidly because of people like you. And good riddance. We don’t need the filth of “Christianity” in our world anymore.

    • Gary on June 3, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Please read John 6. Jesus did walk with everyone, but when they found out the cost of following Him, they high tailed it out of Dodge. Which is what you are trying to do

    • Teresa Hall on June 24, 2019 at 10:19 am

      I heard a pastor judge another pastor for what he done. This pastor looked down on him because he sinned. Why are some Christians think there sins are no more? Why do they believe that they are sinless? The Bible tells us that if we love God first we should also love our neighbor. But in our today in believing we as Christians are not showing the love of God who we say we love, but hating our sisters and brothers who we see daily. God help us all and forgive us of our trespassing against one another. Let us continue to pray for our pastors and stop judging. Matthew 7:1-7.

  64. Brady Mayo on October 22, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    I thought this article was spot on! We are called to help not judge. Scripture could not be any clearer. When we share the good news with non-believers it should be as one beggar telling another beggar where to find food. Paul goes as far as saying that we should see other as better than ourselves. It was self righteousness that Jesus spoke against the most. We Christians spend too much time taking a stand on a particular sin that we think we have conquered. I have done this in the past. I am at peace when I am not judging anyone. And what if another believer commits a sin? What if we see our brother fall? Sometimes I hear, “If you don’t do this or that then you need to question your salvation”. I hear this garbage all the time from other Christians. No, the answer is clearly seen in Galatians 6:1-4: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions…”

    • Newbie but not baby on October 21, 2018 at 5:19 am

      Thank you for this. I struggle so much in fellowship feeling judged by others as a new Christian- so many assumptions about my life. It feels sometimes as if they will tear my walk with the Lord apart given half a chance. Then I am distressed because the temptation comes to judge their judgement in anger! One huge plank gets taken from my eye, but then another emerges. I believe He knew very well all of this, that long prayer for us to be united. He didn’t pray for rain in Manchester.

  65. Christine A Johnson on April 17, 2017 at 1:35 am

    This was refreshing to read. Thank you for writing it. I have an autistic son (7 years old now). He’s been in church from infancy, like his brother before him, and his sister from about 3 (now 16). We suffered through many years of judgment about our son. Last year, I had enough. Leaving the church has been so difficult, but there is no physical way I could have stayed. I was always in the nursery, or helping with something, but rarely in service. And, of course, always trying to keep my son from offending anyone or doing the wrong thing and embarrasing his extended family. My heart has been completely shattered by judgment. I don’t know how to recover from it spiritually. Life otherwise has improved for us since we left, but Easter Sunday was hard. I WANT to be in church. I just don’t want to be around snippy comments or judging glares. I made myself do it for too long. This conversation needs to happen more. The Autism rate is climbing, and families like us need a place to worship, too.

  66. […] 5 Ways Judgmental Christians Are Killing Your Church by Carey Nieuwhof […]

  67. Vicky kajengo, Zimbabwe on January 16, 2017 at 5:22 am

    Thank you Pastor Carey. We fail here many times, and when we judge we lose an opportunity to minister as Christ would have us do. As a minister of the gospel myself, I’m not yet a Pastor, I have been found wanting many times and whenever I judge, thank God for His grace.. He corrects me immediately and am able to see a better way. The word says judge not for with the same measure it will be used against you. When we learn not to judge, we grow in our understanding of what it means to really love. God is opening opportunities for me to work with the mentally challenged vagabonds in a way that shows them a deeper love whereas before I would only go as far as sharing the gospel with them and not want to further associate with them. When we judge we really hinder God’s work in those 5 areas you mention and more. I had an issue with another minister just yesterday and have been battling with how to correct it. This morning God was showing me a better way – affirm the good she did, offer to pray for her in her struggles before pointing out areas of improvement, and in pointing out the weak areas be open to mention similar areas where I also need to work on. Your article has helped to encourage me.

    • Newbie but not baby on October 21, 2018 at 5:35 am

      Vagabonds… hhhmmmm. Do you say that to their faces? I’m not sure I would say this to your face btw… I hope I am loving you.

  68. John Martin on January 15, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Paul tells Christians in Corinth to judge a man living in sin with his dad’s wife (surely not his own mom). He prescribes a judgment of removal from fellowship so he can see his sin. “Judgment shall begin at the house of the Lord.” We are to treat everyone kindly, but honestly. In the West, where all is seen as OK unless it interferes with someone else’s license, the church runs the risk of being seen as judgmental due in part to a society that enables sin. No such enablement went on in the Palestine of Jesus’ day. Also, the biblical consensus of yesterday in the West is gone. How will it ever be brought back without truth? I have been around very judgmental Christians as a pastor. The problem is that they lived in the flesh and were simple minded, lacking empathy. As a Weselyan-Arminian they assumed we were better than the Calvinist because when we tell people “they’re going to hell for sinning, we meant it,” unlike the Calvinist who say we sin every day. All churches need to think deeply about the seriousness of sin. Jesus says “blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” We shouldn’t expect the world to long for righteousness if we aren’t. Today’s church seems to hunger and thirst after the things of the flesh. NO WONDER WE’VE LOST THE CULTURE WAR SINCE THE 60’S. Ya’ll are welcome to judge me. “Come now, let us reason together.”

  69. Diane Hagni on January 14, 2017 at 11:34 am

    This is such a difficult line to walk, and I appreciate the insights you provided. Perhaps the more we can see ourselves and every other person as created by God in His image to reflect some aspect of Him — no matter how badly we have messed that up — it will help us keep a proper perspective. Then we can all help each other get back to that original purpose in God’s heart and mind for us,

  70. Hawkeye on January 11, 2017 at 9:27 am

    We are taught to pray earnestly for spiritual gifts, one of which is discernment. I like the emphasis on that principle in this article. Discernment will show us how to be welcoming and full of grace to those with whom we may disagree, and to do so without compromising biblical principles and our own beliefs.

    There are so many “groups” in our society. Christians are the only ones who are actually fully equipped to take on the task of bridging the gap to authentically engage others in a sinful world. Yet, as this article has pointed out we regularly fail to follow through. A challenge and an opportunity to be saltand light in this world.

  71. Canbuhay on January 9, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    “And if this article still strikes you as harsh, remember that Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for arrogant, judgemental leaders inside the faith.”

    So are you saying Pastor Carey that the pharisees were Christians or followers of the true God? Isn’t that a judgment you’re making about their faith?

    • Brady Mayo on October 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      That is not what he was saying at all. You missed the point completely.

      • Lee Strohschein on January 27, 2021 at 9:38 am

        “This is a very fine line, and I don’t stand on it well at all. This article could be a complete failure in what it sets out to accomplish.”

        Ok, so…

        Perhaps a good first step would be to accurately and perspicuously define what you mean by “judging.”

        It seems like truth in this arena is the knife edge between useless “Christian nice guys”😬 and angry “Christian a-holes” 😠.

        • Julie on December 5, 2021 at 4:46 am

          Thank you, this is very true, and has greatly encouraged me. Unfortunately I’ve recently experienced shame & judgement from 4 people,all at once, in my home group…because I strongly expressed my anger about current world events, the injustice, & that I don’t care what others think or say of me. 😔

          • Jennifer Kopald on December 5, 2021 at 6:59 am

            This breaks my heart, Julie! Your home group should be safe, gentle, humble, and loving no matter what *internal* reaction they feel about what was said. They don’t have to agree with you; how audacious they are to condemn you! And, I’m willing to bet that you have extended the same courtesy and GRACE to each of them when you disagreed. I know personally on a deep and painful level how that feels. It took me three years to leave a church that did that to me (over and over again). I pray your group will ask your forgiveness…or that you will have courage to look for a different home group. I’m so sorry they’ve done this to you.



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