I Know That We Are Not Supposed to Judge Others. but How Do You Not Judge Evil People like Hitler?

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I know that we are not supposed to judge others (Matt. 7:1-5). But how do you not judge evil people like Hitler? We can’t just let evil grow unhindered.

I define being judgmental as condemning other people’s faults while downplaying our own, creating a sense of moral superiority. There is a difference between being judgmental and holding people accountable for their actions.
We need to discern between right and wrong, good and evil. That is not optional. Neither is holding people accountable for their actions. Evil acts need to be resisted so as to mitigate their harm—on innocent people especially. But these should be done humbly, fairly, and truthfully.

Remember that judgmentalism is rarely about bringing restoration, even though it is often disguised as such. Judgmentalism arises from our sinful desire to avoid our own faults by focusing on another’s in order to make ourselves feel morally superior. Research has shown that we tend to judge people who are doing worse than we are doing in the areas we feel vulnerable to shame. For example, if we feel ashamed of our own bodies, we tend to judge other people’s weight or appearance. If we feel ashamed of our own sexuality, we might judge other people’s sexual lifestyle. It is a hypocritical, often subconscious, way to deflect attention away from the plank in our own eye to the speck in our neighbor’s eye (Matt. 7:3).

Therefore, although we do need to call out sin and evil, we must do so with humility, graciously, and truthfully. We must do so through proper channels while hoping for repentance. Our goal is restoration, not condemnation. Our motivation is for God’s glory and the common good, not for our own moral superiority. Otherwise, we slip into judgmentalism. And it’s contagious.

This is amply demonstrated by most of what occurs online and in social media. Are people condemning, attacking, and mocking others to make themselves feel better rather than to find solutions? And will Christians resolve to halt the contagious spread of such judgmentalism?

About the Author

Shiao Chong is editor-in-chief of The Banner. He attends Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Toronto, Ont.

Shiao Chong es el redactor jefe de The Banner. El asiste a Iglesia Comunidad Cristiana Reformada en Toronto, Ont. 

시아오 총은 더 배너 (The Banner)의 편집장이다. 온타리오 주 토론토의 펠로우쉽 CRC에 출석한다.

You can follow him @shiaochong (Twitter) and @3dchristianity (Facebook).