by Michael H. Warren, Jr.
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Jesus Christ (John 7:24)
We often hear from both atheists and Christians that the Bible says that we are never supposed to judge others. To put it as nicely as possible, that’s boloney. We all know deep down that it’s not true. If we catch someone stealing our neighbor’s TV, we’ll yell at the thief, “Put that back! Stealing is wrong!” It wouldn’t cross our minds that we’re doing something wrong by saying that.
But we all know the atheist’s three favorite verses in the Bible: “Judge not lest you be judged” (Matthew 7:1), “He who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7), and “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Why are these his favorites? Because they allow the atheist to escape accountability to God. He is guilty before God and doesn’t like to hear about it – just like the thief would like people to stop judging him and saying that stealing is wrong, especially the cops, judges, and lawmakers (until he becomes the victim of theft). But there’s bad news for the atheist. These verses don’t say what they think they say. The Bible commands us to judge, and these verses are fully consistent with the rest of the Bible. Let’s take a look at them one at a time.