Increasingly Christians are becoming more aware that we do not live in a Christianity society. I’m hesitant to call our society post-Christian because I’m not convinced it ever was truly a Christian society. A society may have values that square remarkably well with Christianity, or may even be influenced by Christianity, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that the society itself is “Christian.” This awareness of American secularization in particular has left many Christians confused. They wonder: How in the world do we relate to non-Christians?
There seems to be two groups of Christians with polarized opinions that speak rather loudly: Group 1 says that we are to judge those who live lifestyles contrary to Scriptural teachings, and Group 2 who says, “We aren’t to judge others, so who cares how people live?”
JD Greear clears up much of the ambiguity concerning what it means to judge someone: “You judge someone not when you asses their position, but when you dismiss them as a person.”
This is an important distinction that, frankly, many people get wrong and it causes incredible damage in their relationships and it diminishes the gospel.
Jesus provides a great example of how this worked out. He didn’t look at sinners and say, “I love you, live however you want.” He also didn’t say, “Get your act together or get out of here.” Jesus called sinners to follow him. That means two things: 1) He recognized that they were sinners (he didn’t excuse them); 2) He drew near to them (he didn’t reject them). Thus, the very act of Jesus calling someone to follow him assumes communion. When Jesus says that he did not come to judge the world, but to save the world, he’s saying that he did not come to reject the people of the world, but to draw them close to them.
The application here is that there is nothing wrong with assessing people’s lifestyles and communicating in love and grace that these lifestyles are contrary to God’s intentions. Where the judgmental attitude comes in is when you reject a person based on their lifestyle and push them away.
We must always remember Christ’s example in our interactions with both Christians and non-Christians. Christ drew near to us, loved us, forgave us, and sacrificed for us while we were at our ugliest. This will say far more to the outside world about the beauty of the gospel than any boycott ever could. Pray that we will all have Christ’s love for others, and that God would put people into our lives who have worldviews completely different from our own.
( Note: I strongly recommend reading JD Greear’s 7 Signs That You’re “Judging” Others for a practical list of ways we may be wrongly relating to others.)
 J.D. Greear, “7 Signs That You’re “Judging” Others,” JD Greear, June 2, 2014, accessed July 16, 2015, http://www.jdgreear.com/my_weblog/2014/06/7-signs-that-youre-judging-others.html.
 John 3:17.
 I’m speaking of interpersonal relationships. This is different from, say, a church refusing grant membership to an openly homosexual couple. Refusal to grant membership is not a rejection of the person(s), but a call to live in accordance with Biblical teaching.
(Thoughts? Comments? Feel free to share in the comment section or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org)