Firstly, lets agree on some definitions. A judge has power to condemn and punish, an opiner does not. An opiner (someone who opines or has an opinion) is powerless to condemn. See the difference?
Now personally, I had to judge quite a few boys before I chose my husband. I first opined (made opinions) then I exercised judgement by relegating those boys to the friend zone. Though I try to not make assumptions about people before I get to know them, I can and do make opinions about them after I have more facts. I might meet someone and think, “No, you smoke pot, smell like the floor of a bar,” See I had an opinion. Did I think, “Oh you smoke pot, you are going to hell!” No. See? There is a difference. Making a judgment call or having an opinion is different then condemning them with my judgment. Or let’s try this one. “No, you can’t wear that to school, you look like a hooker.” See I made a judgment CALL about my daughter’s clothes. Are these evil judgments? Or are these simply opinions based on information? If she is, in fact, dressing like a hooker, then I am not being judgmental, am I?
Somewhere along the way, passive Christians allowed the unknowledgable secular folks to hijack the bible and interpret scriptures. Somewhere along this path to Christian wimpyness, we have allowed the idea of not judging to mean that we can’t have an opinion or exercise our voting rights against any behavior that we find immoral. Not only can we NOT have an opinion but we must go along with the world’s immorality and pay for it OR ELSE we are being judgmental. You must celebrate the bad behavior and be a champion for it (and even pay for it), because if you don’t, you are being judgmental. That’s where we are today. I reject this nonsense. Yes, you are allowed to have an opinion. If you can’t fathom how a man in a dress can be called a woman, you are not being judgmental. If you think women who curse sound trashy, you are not being judgmental. Seeing a gal dressed like a hooker standing on a street corner and thinking, “Hey there is a prostitute on a street corner,” is not being judgmental.
In this era of moral relativism which is a biproduct of decades of Christians trying not to be judgemental, we now are living in the world of “The Emperors New Clothes” where most, YES MOST of us know what is right and just, but are forced to reinforce the notion that the naked emperor is not naked, so as not be seem “judgmental.”
Now you can all exhale because you’ve been under stress and walking on eggshells for the last two generations for having to go along with the secular world’s definition of judgement which you were never doing in the first place.
Let’s now explore the value of having an opinion. Now that we know we are allowed to have an opinion, we need to really hone our skills on how to have righteous and honest and earnest opinions. Let’s say your opinion of someone is “that woman is a bad mother” because she forgot to pick her kid up from school. Yes, no doubt the school staff is rolling their eyes because this behavior is not indicative of quality mothering, but beware, we are all bad mothers once in a while and we all have off days. Go ahead and have your opinion, but you should then follow that opinion up with some quality charity. Perhaps the woman needs your sympathy or your help before she needs your opinion. Only after she repeatedly forgets her kids and gets picked up for a DUI with the unbuckled children in the backseat, can you feel vindicated in thinking she is a bad mother. And then you need to acknowledge that the kids really need your help if you are in a position to be of help.
If my daughter is dressing like a hooker, in my opinion, then I need to do a better job of helping her with self esteem and self worth.
And, and here is the kicker, be prepared to quickly change your opinion as your knowledge, age, personality changes. Be mindful of keeping dumb opinions such as: tattoos are indicative of character, BYU is the Lord’s university, or that a New Yorker would make a bad president because they don’t express themselves verbally like your Bishop.
This “Emperor’s New Clothes” world around us is crazily changing reality in hopes that it will make them happy while also trying to drag the levelheaded cognizant among us along. And, the sad truth is that this nonsense is being spearheaded, without resistance, by mean bullies who refuse to let us keep to ourselves and are rewriting the scriptures to their end. If we/you aren’t on board then we/you are being judgmental. But, maybe judgmental is not a bad word after all.