“You seem like an intelligent person and I’m sure you have every reason to believe what you believe.  But why do you guys have to disagree with everyone when someone else may have every reason to believe what they believe?  Like a Muslim or a Hindu?  You come across like you always want to be right and are very judgmental and isn’t that like violating something Jesus said about judging others?”


Before I go into my response I just want to point something out here.  You obviously are passionate about what you believe or else you wouldn’t have bothered emailing me.  And I appreciate that because I’m passionate about what I believe too!  So you and I are no different at this point.  You also think that you’re right about your point of view – that is that I (and everyone else) should not disagree with other religious points of view.  If you didn’t think that your particular view is right then you wouldn’t have emailed me about it.  The nature of your question suggests that I’m doing something wrong (that is, I’m disagreeing with others and being judgmental).  But, in making the suggestion, you immediately become guilty of the very thing you’re accusing me of (that is, you are disagreeing with me because you think you’re right).  So let’s not pretend that I’m the only one who thinks he has the right view.  You’re doing the same thing I’m doing.  And I don’t have any problem with that as long as the conversation remains sincere and productive.

You asked why I “have to disagree with everyone”?  I don’t have to disagree with everyone but I do disagree with those whose ideas disagree with mine.  But the nature of Truth forces this kind of confrontation, if you will, because Truth is predicated on antithesis; that is, a true proposition cannot be both true and not true at the same time.  Therefore, the true proposition’s opposite must be false if the proposition itself is true.  For example, if I were to make the claim that my lungs require oxygen to breathe, then my proposition’s antithesis (that my lungs do not require oxygen to breathe) is false.  And to disagree with my proposition’s antithesis does not make me judgmental, it just makes me careful about getting the truth right.  So, I don’t disagree with people simply to be disagreeable (if that’s what you’re implying), rather, I stand by my convictions of the way I think reality actually is.

However, I will agree with you that there are people (Christians as well as non-Christians) who bring a negative attitude towards their disagreements with others that is entirely unproductive.  Some people will even bring hypocritical judgment against others when they are guilty of doing exactly the same.  This brings me to your point about Christ commanding that we not judge others in Matthew 7:1.  There’s a very important detail that it looks like you missed and that comes in the very next verse:  “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matt 7:2)”  The word “For” ties v. 2 back to v. 1 to further explain what He meant by His statement in v. 1.  Therefore, Christ is not talking about judging anyone at any time.  No, He is talking about a particular kind of judgment (hypocritical judgment) towards others that will come back to bite those who are guilty of the very same thing they are judging others for in the first place.  He even gives us an analogy in v. 3-5 (in case we still don’t understand what He meant) where we read of someone who is judging another for having a speck in their eye when the person who is doing the judging has a plank in his/her own eye.  Clearly the context is describing hypocritical judgment and not all judgment at all times.  Jesus even tells the person doing the judging in v. 5 to first take the plank out and then go about removing the speck out of the other person’s eye.  So He is enjoining us to make right judgments, not hypocritical ones.  He even says those exact words in John 7:24.  So I am not violating Jesus’ command, as you suggested, rather I am following Jesus’ command as I try to navigate the various competing truth claims of the world to get at the real Truth.

Also, to say that everyone has every reason to believe what they believe implies that every belief is grounded in good reasoning.  But this is simply false (as I pointed out earlier).  Not every belief is good or right to hold, therefore, the beliefs with the best reasons should be sought out while beliefs with inferior reasons should be discarded.  Discovering which are which forces us to do the very thing you don’t seem to want anybody to do; which is to make a judgment.

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