Witnessing the Faith |
Spiritual Counsels |
Dont be judgmental! |
Silenced by Diversity |
Necessary Judgment |
Forbidden Judgment |
Judgment can be Negative or Positive |
Lying to Evade Judgment |
Gods Inspiration or Demonic Influence |
Psychological Counsels |
ONT be judgmental!
How often have you heard that
exclamation as a snappy rebuttal to an attempt to warn someone of an
one should come to Church wearing shorts.
Dont be judgmental!
who makes a public denial of the faith should be
Dont be judgmental!
Its wrong if a priest doesnt follow the
Dont be judgmental!
bishop is not only not defending the faith, hes pouring it down the
Dont be judgmental!
The truth is, none of these things
is judgmental, but the agents of Satan in the Church
would have you believe that these and similar statements are judgmental in
order that they might silence any opposition to their nefarious
In fact, they even tried this
same tactic with Jesus Himself. When He criticized the Pharisees for their
hypocrisy (Luke 11: 42-46), a scholar of the law complained, Teacher,
by saying this you are insulting us too. And what did Jesus do? Did
He slink away like a dog with his tail between his legs? No. He rebuked the
scholars, too: Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people
burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch
Now, several verses in the New
Testament do warn us against being judgmental; see, for example, Matthew
7:1 (Stop judging, that you may not be judged), Luke 6:37
(Stop judging and you will not be judged), Romans 14:13 (Then
let us no longer judge one another), and James 4:12 (Who then
are you to judge your neighbor?).
Because of these verses, many
persons today, especially in our contemporary social climate of political
correctness and diversity, claim that its
judgmental to speak about moral values in society or to say anything
to defend the faith because someone might feel hurt and offended.
judgmental! they say. Who are you to talk? Youre not perfect
Well, to speak about and defend the true
faith is an act of love, and we dont have to be perfect in order to love. So, rather
than be silenced on the spot, lets ask a couple of questions here. What
does it really mean to judge? What sort of judging is forbidden to
us? But first, lets ask, What sort of judgment is necessary for
Consider that we have all kinds
of judges in our society whose purpose is to judge. These men and women must
determine whether someone accused of a crime is guilty or not, and then they
must determine a legally fitting punishment. If these judges stopped judging,
free civil society would collapse. The Bible does warn us that these judges
must act with impartiality and justice, but this sort of judging is not what
is meant when we are told not to judge our neighbor.
We also have a personal level
of judgment. For example, in psychology, one aspect of a clinical interview
is a determination of a patients capacity for good judgment.
This refers to a persons ability to ascertain the prudence of any action
and to determine the trustworthiness of others. Persons who cannot make these
sorts of judgments are considered to be psychologically disordered. In
non-psychological language, this capacity for good judgment is called
wisdom. Wisdom has been extolled though the ages, and, so, neither
is this sort of judging meant when we are told not to judge our
Then what kind of judging is
forbidden to us?
Well, its a special kind
of judgment, something given to Christ alone.
Nor does the
Father judge anyone, but He has given all judgment to His Son.
And what does this judgment entail?
Saint John explains:
Me and does not accept My words has something to judge him: the word that
I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day.
In other words, the judgment
forbidden to us and given to Christ alone is the determination of whether
any individual soul will enter the Kingdom of Heaven or whether that soul
will, by its own actions, condemn itself to
Entering into the Kingdom of
Heaven is not a simple matter of saying the words, I accept Jesus as
my savior. After all, many persons who claim to love God and who appear
to be holy and pious have secret sins hidden within their hearts. Conversely,
many persons who appear to be wretched sinners
have sorrowful contrition hidden within their hearts. Because Gods
patience allows us until the very last
moment of life to repent our
sins, our judgment occurs after death. No human,
thenonly Christcan probe the depths of the human heart in its
ultimate destiny, for He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will manifest the motives of our hearts (1 Corinthians
one should attempt to say whether or not anyone will be saved because that
judgment is reserved for Christ only.
be Negative or Positive
Notice that judgment can be negative
or positive, and that we are forbidden to make either
You can commonly hear people
making negative judgments when they say things like, He was
such an evil man that I just know hes burning in hell right now!
Well, no one but God knows whether that man repented his sins at the last
moment of his life and found reconciliation with
Moreover, we persist in preempting
Christ by making positive judgments in subtle ways. For example,
its not uncommon to hear at a funeral, Aunt Alice was such a
kind and generous woman that she is with the angels in heaven right now!
Well, even one unrepentant mortal sin on Aunt Alices soul could have
invalidated all the good she ever did, and so, like it or not, saying that
she is in heaven is a judgmental act.
Also, when well-meaning but
self-deceived persons make the claim that everyone
will go to Heaven, they are presuming to make a judgment. Its
a positive judgment, yes, and they may be scandalized to think that in their
attempts to avoid being judgmental they are actually being
judgmental, but so it is.
Lying to Evade
In a court of law, someone accused
of a crime will often say things like, I was ignorant of that law,
I didnt mean to do it, or It was an accident; I was
only trying to help someone. Now, the person could be telling the truth,
but the person could just as well be lying. How is the judge to know the
truth? Well, he cant know for certain, so he has to make an intuitive
guess. Sometimes he will be right, and sometimes he will be wrongand quite
often guilty persons walk away laughing.
In regard to theological and
spiritual matters, people will also lie. To hide their
sins, they will lie to others deliberately. To hide
their sins, they will seek out liberal confessors
who will tell them they have done nothing wrong. And, to hide their sins,
they will lie to themselves, unconsciously. They might say, for example,
Im only seeking the good of the Church, or Im
only doing what I believe is right. Maybe so. But they could just as
well be seeking the sweet taste of
So what can anyone do about such
Well, we have to leave the judgment
to Christ, because only Christ can discern the true motive for anyones
behavior. Only Christ can discern genuine ignorance from unconsciously veiled
And where does this leave all
Well, we should all be
examining our unconscious
motives with fear and trembling, because the
lies we tell ourselves can fool us and they can fool others but they cant
Inspiration or Demonic Influence?
In regard to the concept of judgment,
it is true that we cannot tell solely from observable behavior what might be going
on in a persons heart. But then a grave mistake can be made. Some persons
might then say that, because God calls us to Himself in various ways, we should
not rebuke someone who does something that is spiritually wrong. We all have
our own paths to God, they say with a dismissive self-assurance.
Dont be legalistic.
Well, not every human
motivation comes from the Holy Spirit. Not every
behavior can be accepted equally, because some behaviors are sin, and sin
is motivated by demonic influence.
Keep in mind here that no matter what we
do, our virtue is not in the details of the action itself but in our willingness to
be good servants who do only what they are supposed to do (see Luke 17:710). What
really matters to God is that we surrender ourselves to revering Him with loving
attention to even small details. Carelessness walks the same path as disobedience,
a path that takes you right into the service of the devil and his motto: Do what
When it is Appropriate
to Give a Warning
In general, if the inappropriate behavior
affects only offender, and if you do not have a personal relationship with the offender,
it is best to remain silent and put your suffering into prayer. If the behavior clearly
affects others, however, such as when someone may be talking loudly in Church, then it
would be good to correct the offender.
When you have to speak up, keep in mind that
the way you say something can determine if you are being judgmental or not. Moreover, even
if you say something that is not judgmental, be careful not to be hurtful. Furthermore,
unless someone asks you for advice or guidance, be careful not to fall into the spiritually
fatal error of telling others that they should do what you think they should
woman! You should be ashamed of yourself for dressing like that! If you dont
stop wearing clothes like that you will go to hell! Saying this is
judgmental, and it is hurtful. In saying that the woman is filthy,
you are judging the womans being. Plus, you are trying to shame herand
scare her into doing what you want her to do. None of this has anything to
do with real love.
to dress like that. Saying this is not judgmental; its a statement
of fact. You are saying that the behavior, not the woman, is wrong.
Moreover, you are not telling her what to
you are stating a fact that she can use or not, as she wills, to determine
her own course of actiona course of action that Christ Himself will judge.
No matter how much anyone hurts
you, train yourself not to desire that anyone be condemned, because, even
though many will be lost, Christ still does not desire the condemnation of
anyone. When James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven to punish
a town that had refused to welcome Jesus, He rebuked them (Luke 9:54-55).
Why? Well, God is patient . . . not wishing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
Nevertheless, we canand
mustwarn others, without
hatred or anger,
when they commit sin. We have an obligation (see
the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2088 and 1868) to call attention
to error and to defend the faith.
All of this is an act of
love, not judgmentand we dont have to
be perfect in order to love.
So, if you witness the faith
and someone retorts, Dont be judgmental. Who are you to talk?
How do you justify yourself? just say, I dont justify
myself. Holy orthodox and catholic and apostolic love justifies me. Im
not judging you, Im just giving you a warning that you are making a
big mistakebut Christ will be your judge on your last day.
Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence
and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it.
is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed
by others when we cooperate in them:
by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation
to do so;
by protecting evil-doers.
1. Demanding that others change their behavior
will only drive them deeper into their behavior and may provoke hostility.
Moreover, it will cause you stress, along with physiological complications
such as high blood pressure, when others refuse to do what you want them
to do. Also, the obstinacy of others will be a wound to your pride, and that
can drive you right into the snares of
in the Catholic mystic tradition
and spiritual remedy for our cultural disintegration
How to turn the
emotional wounds of daily life
into psychological growth.
and spiritual battle
about the spiritual depth of