I have some very fond memories of Friday nights growing up. During football season my dad and I would head to a different high school each week so he could referee. I learned a lot of football and North Carolina geography, and the time spent with him was really neat.
A lot of what a referee did in those days involved judgment calls, and it still does. Long before replay and all that, the referee made the best call he could and that was final. Let’s suppose that some of today’s current thought patterns had entered into what was called, combined with the book of written rules. Suppose my dad one night had blown his whistle and said:
“Son, you fell on the back on that player’s legs and blocked him, which could have caused a serious injury. That is a clip which is against the rules, but who am I to judge what you did?”
Or a little later he again blew his whistle and said:
“Now you two guys hit the quarterback long after he had thrown the ball, and that is a penalty called roughing the passer with a late hit, but who am I to judge what you did and what the intent was?”
I do not need to say that neither in that day nor today would my father or any other referee last one minute doing such off-the-wall things.
We live in a culture that does those kinds of things daily. Because the majority’s spoken opinion is that almost anything goes and is acceptable, almost everyone is afraid to call anyone’s hand on anything. But we as Christian believers “are our brothers’ keepers,” which means among other things that we are the truth tellers and moral compasses to the unbelieving world. I do not think it is too much of a stretch to say that we who follow our Lord and biblical morality are the referees of society who need to blow the whistle so that society will not destroy itself. Is that not part of being “salt” and “light?”
When Jesus said “Judge not that you be not judged” [Mt. 7:1] what did he mean? A careful study of the words of the text tells us that he was telling us that we do not have the right to condemn someone to eternal perdition and write them off. He reserves the right to final jurisdiction for he is both their Creator and Judge. Then he goes on in the next verses to command us to judge/evaluate righteously and correctly in accordance with truth. No, our society does not like what they label “moral police,” and we certainly have to police ourselves before we can ever help set the standards for others. But the people of God have always been the ones who were given the responsibility to show to the world by word and deed just what the true God is like and what he requires.
Friend, if you and I never make a value judgment of another person, we will never open our lives or our mouths to witness to anyone, for who am I to determine that someone else might be without God in Christ?