Christianity Demands Christians to Make Judgments

W. Terry Varner
March 8, 2015

Christianity is a religion that the followers are called upon to make judgments, to think, to make decisions, to discern, etc. Sometimes we hear Christians respond that we are not to make judgments. Why some Christians reason this way, I will allow you to decide. To me it is strange that we often reason that we are not to make spiritual judgments, but in every other aspect of life we constantly make judgments or decisions. Jesus said we are to judge and to make decisions. He tells us exactly how the Christian is to do so. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24); i.e. we are to make judgments based on righteousness or that which is right.

Christianity Demands We Think or Reason about Living Christianity. The apostle Paul stated: “But solid food belongs to those who are full age, even to those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14). The word “discern” means to have the ability to see and identify matter by noting differences. We must distinguish between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, morality and immorality, etc.

The Christian’s discernment is not a problem of choosing between the pleasant and the unpleasant, but is discernment between the good and evil and right and wrong of matters in life. Consider that what may be pleasant may be bad, and what may be unpleasant may be good. Consequently, in life the problem is not one of choosing that which may necessarily please me but rather choosing that which is best for me and others.

When Paul states “by reason of use” he means by reason, practice, or discernment. Consider that the long practice or discernment of living the right standards enables the Christian to be able to make right judgments and decisions. In the context of Hebrews 5:12, the Hebrew Christians had failed to practice or discern Christian principles. So Paul refers to them as infants or babes (Heb. 5:13) who are in “need of milk and not solid food” (Heb. 5:12).

Some Biblical Failures in Discernment. The Bible teaches us these basic lessons if we but read, think, and act. Consider the following examples of biblical failure where discernment and judgment was not used.

Luke 12:16-21 is the Parable of Foolish Farmer. The man was a smart farmer, but simply failed to discern and judge things in life rightly. He was smart enough to make money, but he was not smart enough to discern the difference between material and spiritual values. He was such a good farmer than his harvest caused his bams to overflow. As a good businessman he planned to build bigger barns. He could say to his “Soul, you may have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:19). God said to him, “You fool!” (Luke 12:20) and told him that he would die that night. He was a fool because he (1) judged to leave God out of his life and (2) he judged that he could live on the things stored in a barn. He lacked discernment and judgment!

Luke 10:38-42 is the story of a woman named Martha. She had to discern, judge, or choose between two important matters: preparing a meal or listening to Jesus. She chose the less important activity. Her sister, Maty, sat at the feet of Jesus and heard His word. Jesus talked to them about which one had the finer discernment. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good apart, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).

Question: Do you fail to make the right judgments, discernments, and decisions in life?