Ta'Tyana Leonard

The MisEducation of the “Only God Can Judge Me Generation”

The MisEducation of the “Only God Can Judge Me Generation”

The MisEducation of the “Only God Can Judge Me Generation”

It’s one thing to hear Miley Cyrus shout the lyrics: “Remember only God can judge ya, forget the haters ‘cause somebody loves ya,” but to hear similar words from a Pastor blows my mind.  The recurring theme in season 2 of Preachers of LA has been “judgment,” and is followed by the defensive response of: “are you perfect?” This language suggests that only perfect people can reveal or question sin in the lives of others.  This language also suggests that bringing up the topic of sin inevitably leads to judgment and condemnation. I will first explain the root of our miseducation on Judgment, then explain how it hurts the church.

What is Judgment?

First let’s clarify what “judgment” actually means. Judgment is the formation of an opinion after thoughtful consideration. Judgment is also a verdict or condemning of a guilty party.  Jesus himself speaks against judging others:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

From the definition and scripture references above, one can imply that God commands Christians to not give their opinions about the sin of others. However, this is where the “Miseducation” has begun.  The Judgment that God condemns is the judgment that acts as final judgment, for that right is reserved for God alone.  Matthew 7:1-2 does not mean that Disciples of Christ should never judge the moral actions of others, but refers to harsh and superior attitudes towards others.

Infamous Misunderstanding

I believe the most misunderstood passage of the Bible is the story of the “Adulteress Woman” in chapter 8 of the gospel of John. Jesus is quoted saying “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” After the condemning crowd leaves one by one, Jesus then says: “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” she replies “No one, sir.”  Jesus then says “Then neither do I condemn you.

Many misunderstand this passage to mean that, if you are not free of sin you do not have the right to mention, or question one about their evident sin. This woman was truly guilty of sin.  It is a fact that this woman was caught in adultery, and it is also a fact that adultery is the 7th commandment listed of the Ten Commandments. So what is the message Jesus was trying to teach? That Adultery is okay? Since we all sin, don’t bring up moral failures of others?  Absolutely not!

Context of John Chapter 8

Many fail to understand the context of this passage.  In John chapter 8, the Pharisees intended to trap Jesus in order to make a charge against Him. According to Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22 those caught in adultery were to be punished by death. However a few major requirements were missing.

  1. Both guilty parties should have been brought before the people, not just the woman.
  2. Allowing the stoning would have violated Roman Law.
  3. This punishment was rarely carried out because capital punishment required two or three witnesses.

Jesus knows the Pharisees are attempting to trap him; if he allows the stoning He would be in violation of the Roman law, but if he releases her Jesus could have been accused of disregarding the Law of Moses.

Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her,” actually confirms the legitimacy of the law; but also turns the tables back on her accusers and their motives. “This statement does not imply that judicial cases can only be tried by sinless people. But it is a rebuke to the motives of these leaders who ignored their own sins while using this woman to implicate Jesus.[i]”

Jesus Does NOT Excuse sin

Finally this simple phrase is forgotten: “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Jesus offers love and grace to this woman, but He doesn’t excuse her life of sin. Many focus their attention on the judgment of the people in this passage and not God’s commands to leave a life of sin.

How this Miseducation Hurts the Church

  1. It Delivers an Incomplete Gospel – This mindset teaches a Gospel of forgiveness without Repentance. Repentance is turning from sin, and this cannot be absent from the Gospel of Christ which saves us from sin. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
  2. It Desensitizes the Church to Sin– This cultivates a culture of sinners- instead of a culture of Holiness. “We all sin- so don’t call out my sin,” teaches our believers to Abuse God’s Grace. “But where sin multiplied, Grace multiplied…What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”(Romans 5:21b-6:2)
  3. It Minimizes the Severity of God’s Judgment- When people would prefer the judgment of God over the correction of their brothers and sisters in Christ… there is a major lack of fear of God. Let’s simply read and ponder on these verses: But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelations 21:8)“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to…..“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.” (Luke 13:24 & 28)

God actually Commands us to Judge

            I urge you to open your hearts to the correction of others.  Yes, there are “church folks” out there that misjudge and cast ungodly judgments upon us.  However, we must search our own hearts and correct any offensive and sinful ways. Let’s not jump to be defensive when sin is reveal or questioned in our lives.  God may be using that person to save us from a destructive path, “remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20)

Lastly, when we are approaching others with concerns of sin; do so with the right motives.  “If someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently” (Galatians 6:1). We cannot not forget that we are commanded to speak the truth, but gently and in love (Ephesians 4:15).

[i] Holman Christian Standard Study Bible Commentary- John 8:7

Ta’Tyana Leonard M.A. – www.tatyanaleonard.com

123 thoughts on “The MisEducation of the “Only God Can Judge Me Generation”

    1. Tatyana

      Thank you, don’t forget I’m speaking Sept. 14th. And if you think of any others topics I can give God’s point of view on, please share those with me!

  1. Michael D. Smith, Jr.

    This post is a blessing to the body of Christ and to the world. I hope that those that lack understanding about “judgement” would be enlighten.

  2. Leo Lewis

    This was soo powerful, and it is much needed wisdom, for this generation of believers. God bless you, for the spirit in which this was delivered.

  3. Melissa Sanders

    This is quite an awesome blog and I’m glad someone is addressing it. But there is one scripture that clears all of this up and it just saddens me that most believers don’t know that its in the bible. 1 Cor. 5:12 says in the New Living Translation
    It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. I mean that cuts the whole blog and kills their right to feel like they can tell u not to judge them.

  4. festus

    Well written and is reflective of careful exegesis. I particularly like the idea that God encourages the individual to constantly search his or her own heart, in order to judge him or herself. This is the safest and most recommended type of judgement.

    However, the task of gently correcting and lovingly restoring, is a remit for mature Christians only. In like manner the capacity to assimilate correction graciously can only be found in a mature heart. Luke 6: 37-42 is a parable that ought to teach caution in exercising moral critism or judgement of others.

    1. Tatyana

      Thank you for your feedback! I agree, the “you who are spiritual,” is the mature discerning believer. I work with youth, and many would disqualify themselves to reveal sin or help a peer out of sin. I wanted to write this to empower them, but also give guidance on what’s godly and appropriate judgment. God bless, and please share with others.

  5. Monica

    This was awesome! I love it! Clearly and plainly put. We live in a society where everyone is “doing me” so any rebuke or correction is immediately cast to the side. Great job sis.

  6. Teacher-Pastor Deborah K. Alexander

    This was an excellent post. It is the way we are supposed to “debate” the Word of God. When I get upset with people who try to use “don’t judge me” as a weapon, it truly is a righteous indignation because they are misusing the Word to work like a smoke screen. Some may be ignorant of the meaning of this, but some are intentionally using the “push your emotional button” tactic to avoid the conversation with an accusation towards the person presenting it. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (NLT) says, “It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

  7. Candace Tucker

    Bumped into your blog completely by accident…BUT PLEASE KNOW I will be back! Appreciate your biblical and BALANCED viewpoint on this issue sis! (I’m BIG on balance in the B-O-C)! Will be sharing!

  8. Patricia Qualls

    I saw your link on a Facebook friend’s page and was intrigued by the title. My husband and I were just discussing this recently and knew we were not the only ones who felt this way about the real meaning of judgment. Thank you so much for so beautifully articulating what the Word really says about this matter. It is critical that the Body of Christ is clear about it and not be afraid to take a stand against sin and address it with the proper understanding and attitude. I am now a new fan of your blog!

  9. Diane Ugo

    I totally agree with everything stated here. It annoys me when people use that statement, especially people who call themselves believers. It’s like they’re trying to justify their actions.

  10. Rev. K. A. Christian

    Praise God… this article is well stated… the theological arguments are Biblical… and the article just speaks volumes to the perishing estate of the Church witness in the world…

  11. Christie Pierce

    Ty, I really appreciate this post. It is theologically sound and so important. Just yesterday I heard a very good sermon on true friendship, and how real friends who care about us exhort us to orient our lives around the gospel. Thanks for this post girl. xo

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  13. Christie Rome

    I think this was a great topic, and is often time misused in the world. Well versed and documented with the Word. Great job Ta’Tyana. A topic that comes up in my house right now with my teenagers is the debate on “Science vs God”. My children are learning about science and evolution, which sometimes crosses in faith and belief versus what they can physically see. My daughter and I had a debate on Sunday on how she likes the “gangster preacher” on the show “Preachers of L.A. ” I tried with no avail to get her to understand that we should trust God to be our protection and that he protects us everyday. She told me that I was not being very realistic, and how could he protect us from bullets that coming for us and that she liked the fact that he carried a gun. I tried to explain to her that faith comes without seeing, but science seems to always creep into the conversation. I hope that my stories help with some ideas for your new blog. Congrats and God Bless you in all of your success.

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  15. Denzel

    Hi Ma’am,

    I was so much delighted with your assertions until you Captioned the phrase ” GOD ACTUALLY COMMANDS US TO JUDGE”

    Ironically in your statements, i.e. after the subject you quoted the scriptures which is what I support…i.e……

    I urge you to open your hearts to the correction of others. Yes, there are “church folks” out there that misjudge and cast ungodly judgments upon us. However, we must search…..

    You see the Biblical definition of JUDGEMENT is different from the lay mans understanding of it.

    God’s Judgement as you also thumbed up in your writing is that which SAVES or CONDEMNS based on one who

    1. Accepts the Lord Jesus as His Saviour, is baptized by water and welcomes the Holy Spirit to take over i.e. SALVATION

    2. Walk in the ways of the Lord (i.e. shunning sin) till the day of reckoning.

    So clearly we must correct….as God commands us. When the Bible states that we remove the log from our eyes….

    It refers to us correcting ourselves with the word before we go on to correct others. Note also that He commands us to correct in LOVE.

    Correction can be done HARSHLY or in LOVE…. now what separates us from the rest of the world is how we apply the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT in our daily walk as Christians


    Just as an add up…..It is important to note that anyone who CALLS HIM/HERSELF a MINISTER OF GOD whether in songs or by word WOULD BE JUDGED BY A STRICTER MEASURE……James 3….if you read the whole book it talks about taming our tongue too….interesting isn’t it…..

    The Word of God is so ON POINT!!

    So lets clearly state that which is RIGHT AND WRONG and correct where need be……For if we stay silent on it we are going to be accountable for it.

    I concur with everything you raised but to the point where you said God commands us to judge….. I personally do not.

    Be Blessed and please i am open to more enlightenment.


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  17. Dwight

    Thank you for writing this it states perfectly what so many have been trying to express to others out there. Repent and be save is the last day message. It seems people want a happy jesus that make me FEEL good but doesnt require me to turn from sin or change……. But anyone that MEETS jesus is changed all throughout the gospel. Its not possible to meet JESUS not be changed for good or bad. Meeting JESUS forces a decision either u choose good or bad.

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