Sometimes I get responses to posts suggesting I am judging. This morning, in my inbox, I received this response:
I am not judging Bill Hybels here, I am pointing out errors he is making. The Bereans were commended for searching scriptures to see if teachers are speaking the truth, and we are specifically called to test the spirits. The response is a misuse of the word “judge.” I do not decide where Hybels spends eternity, and I am not saying he is unsaved…I do not know him personally and cannot judge him by his fruits on a daily basis. But, his public fruit stinks in certain areas. I can judge him by his fruits, meaning I look at the fruit and decide if what he is saying jibes with scripture. If it does not I can point it out. Not judging in terms of saying he is evil and going to hell, but judging in terms of saying he is in error in his teaching.
There are also times when we do judge the actions and can determine that someone is unsaved at this time. Sometimes it’s very clear. I do not again think that we are judging the person as condemned so much as looking at the fruit and knowing the tree is rotting. There are times for pointing this out, for warning Christians of the dangers. It’s not that we’re saying we’re better than this person or that, just that their actions show they are not following Christ.