I think most would agree that we live in an ever changing society. I intentionally used the word “changing” as opposed to “evolving”, which means developing gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form. At this point, I want to remain neutral in my perception of “change”, whether positive, negative or neither. I've noticed that many Christians have really begin to shun the notion of being perceived as judgmental and it appears that we are sacrificing standards and measurable accountability in our attempt to flee the label of “judge.” I acknowledge that scripture warns us about judging, but the purpose of the warning is not to prohibit, but rather to know that when we judge we are held at a higher level of accountability. The scripture is actually Matthew 7:1-3, which reads “1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
The purpose of this article is not to create a great movement of judgementalism, but I think Christians should set appropriate standards of moral behavior and conduct as well as measurable standards of accountability. In every group or team setting that I have been involved it has been not only appropriate, but also beneficial to observe actions, traits and characteristics of those who make up that group to determine an opinion of whether individuals of that group are currently an asset or liability to the desired culture or mood of the group. Even as a high school football player many moons ago, if we had a teammate that showed a habit of conducting themselves poorly in a game and the team had to be penalized for their repeated poor choice of conduct, we would have some additional conversations with that teammate when the coaches were not around. Because his individual actions, were impacting the team negatively. This brings me to my next point. Let's read Galatians 5:22-25 “22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.” When we identify with the group or team identified as Christians, we are claiming to possess the Spirit of God (Jesus). And if we are in possession of the Spirit of God, certain actions, traits and characteristics should be produced as fruit in our lives. If we are producing fruit which is contrary to the fruit of God’s Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), I question whether or not we are truly Christians. Yeah… I know… Who am I to judge? I admit I'm not a judge, but I am authorized by God to be a fruit inspector. You don't believe me? Read Matthew 7:20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.