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Judgmentalism

“The Apostle Peter exhorts us Christians to be “of one mind” which will require us to have compassion for one another and to forgive others when they offend us. Courtesy and patience are needed to preserve the unity in community….this type of unity happens when instead of judging others for their faults, we each recognize our own sinfulness and instead of assigning blame to others or assuming they are intentionally offending us, we recognize we all make mistakes due to our sinfulness and so practice patience towards one another. Instead of rushing to judgment of another, we try to give them the benefit of the doubt.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“Through the judgmentalism we keep handy, not only on our lips but, even more so, in our heart. When Christ calls upon us not to judge others (in essence Himself), it’s in order to accept and welcome them in our heart without wounding them. If we want to be His, He takes away the knife and the thorns. Because He tells us that judgment is His and it doesn’t do for us to try and usurp Him. In other words, we shouldn’t play at being gods. If you judge and gossip about other people and condemn them, you’re setting yourself up as God, and you’re suffering from the problem of latent pride and repugnant delusion. There’s only one instance when H e told us we’re at liberty to judge: when our judgment is just and not superficial. To put it differently, when our judgment is full of love for the other person. In that case we can judge, because we’ll be like a protective umbrella stretched out over them and they’ll be safe in the security of a maternal embrace. ‘My judgment is just because I do not seek my own will, but that of the Father who sent me’.” (Protopresbyter Georgios Dorbarakis)


“…we’ll hear in our churches the Gospel reading concerning the Last Judgement (Matth. 25, 31-46). In this, Christ describes the criteria by which we’ll be judged at the completion of the ages. The criterion is that of practical love for other people. The Judge addresses a portion of humanity and tells them to enter into the kingdom which has been prepared for them because, over the course of their earthly life, they’d given him whatever He needed. When asked when they’d served Him, He answered that by taking care of other people who were in need, it was as if they were ministering to Christ Himself.” (Sotiris Stylianou)


“Just as to those whom He placed on His right hand, He revealed how they were granted the Kingdom due to their love for humanity, likewise to those whom He placed on His left hand, He threatened with eternal punishment because of their unfruitfulness. ‘Depart, you cursed, into the outer darkness prepared for the devil and his angels‘ (Matthew 25:41). Why? For what reason? ‘For I was hungry and you gave me no food.‘ He did not say, ‘Because you committed prostitution, because you committed adultery, because you stole, because you bore false witness, because you violated your oath.’ Truly, they are evil, too, and all confess them as such; however, they are beneath inhumanity and unmercifulness.” (St. John Chrysostom)


“We must learn to show understanding in our dealings with other people. Our attitude towards them is a mirror which reveals the truth about ourselves. We shouldn’t forget that tax-collectors and harlots repented and were saved, whereas the scribes and pharisees who condemned them weren’t. Nobody’s appointed us to be judges of other people; that role belongs exclusively to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who will judge all of us according to our deeds at his glorious second coming. So we shouldn’t bank on knowing the eternal future of any of our fellow human beings.” (Pemptousia Partnership)


“I think that that it is fair to say that there have been times when we have all criticized someone unfairly. Although we don’t know all the details of others’ circumstances, nor can we hope to understand their motives, this nonetheless does not deter us from being judgmental.” (Fr. Andrew Demotses)


“Extremism or legalism can be very harmful to ourselves and others. It is a special trick of the evil one to tempt us to become judgmental toward others and to cultivate a spirit of pride within ourselves.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)


“…the Lord condemns judgmentalism, not judgement. This is because judgement is a basic feature of the human mind and the Lord doesn’t wish to abrogate this- Christ didn’t come to destroy us, but to save us. Of course he said ‘Don’t judge’ (Matth. 7, 1), but in the sense of denunciation. Because, at another point he remarks that we can judge other people, but only when we judge fairly: ‘Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment’. What is the proper judgement that the Lord accepts? He himself guides us: ‘My judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of the father who sent me’. Fair judgment is that which comes from people who live the will of God as their own. And since the will of God is love that’s why we judge in a proper manner when our judgement is full of love for others. Of course, from this point of view, the only just judgement is God’s, since he is love (1 John 4, 8); as is that of the saints since they strove to make God’s will their own.” (Protopresbyter Georgios Dorbarakis)


“Here is the difference between good and bad judging, between godly accountability and ungodly judgmentalism.  When Paul reproved the sinner in Corinth and judged him, he did it for the sake of the sinner, to lead him to repentance and pardon and joy.  Paul did not suggest that he was better than the sinner.  Indeed, Paul was not in the equation at all, because it was not about comparing the sinner to anyone.  But when the Pharisee judged the publican, the comparative equation was everything.  The purpose of the judging was not the repentance and reclamation of the publican, but the self-exaltation of the Pharisee.  And we know where such self-exultation leads.  “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,” the Lord said.  So, “judge not.” (Fr. Lawrence Farley)


“We don’t become less judgmental by a quick resolution to stop judging. Consciously or unconsciously, we all judge others. We become less judgmental by catching ourselves judging others, then surrendering the judgment to the Lord. In that sense, judging others can be an opportunity to pray, to surrender, and to be less judgmental. God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)


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