In a blog posted today on Huffington Post (click HERE for link), Skye Jethani speaks of two different kinds of judgment. One is a judgment concerning good versus evil, the other is a type of judgment in which we judge another in a self righteous way.
Jethani quotes Martin Luther King, Jr., from a sermon on why the pre-judgment of segregation is wrong: “Ultimately, segregation is morally wrong and sinful . . . because it substitutes an "I-It" relationship for the "I-Thou" relationship and relegates persons to the status of things.”
Then Jethani continues:
Judgment causes us to see the other not as a person, but as a thing, as less human and therefore less valuable. And once we do that to a person or a group of people, it opens the door to all kinds of terrible evil -- segregation, injustice, abuse, even genocide. Jesus is warning us about excluding anyone, or seeing ourselves or our group as inherently better than any other. We may disagree and discern another person or group to be wrong, but when that discernment causes us to value another person or group less, then we've crossed the line into judgment, condemnation, and exclusion.
When we see other people as wrong, not just about what they believe, but in their core identity as people, then it's easy to convince ourselves that we don't have to love them, that we don't have to serve them, and that we don't have to respect them. This exclusion and condemnation of others fuels so much of what's broken in our world today. It's what convinces one group to kill another, or one person to abuse another.
But Jesus says, not so with you. Not among my people. The Christian is never to judge, never to condemn, never to exclude, never to see anyone as without value or dignity, even the person he or she disagrees with most. . . . "The Christian's job is to agree with God that every person you meet was worth Jesus dying for." We cannot ascribe that kind of value and dignity to people and condemn them as worthless at the same time. It's just not possible.
Think about it!