I have been asking around lately trying to get people's viewpoints on Christian social media etiquette. For some there are major faux pas. I'll deal with them in no particular order.
Christians are not allowed to judge.
11Do not speak against one another, brothers and sisters. He who speaks against a fellow believer or judges a fellow believer speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but its judge. 12But there is only one who is lawgiver and judge – the one who is able to save and destroy. On the other hand, who are you to judge your neighbor?. ~ James 4:11
1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. 3Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 5You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces. ~ Matthew 7:1-6
37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.”
39He also told them a parable: “Someone who is blind cannot lead another who is blind, can he? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher. 41Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while you yourself don’t see the beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
43“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from brambles. 45The good person out of the good treasury of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury produces evil, for his mouth speaks from what fills his heart. ~ Luke 6:37-45
Likewise Jesus in Matthew talked about "dogs" and "pigs" and what is "holy". Determining who is the "dog" or "pig" or what is sacred, involves judgement calls. In Luke, "each tree is known by its own fruit". "The good person out of the good treasury of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury produces evil, for his mouth speaks from what fills his heart." Assessing a tree by its fruit is judging people. These two gospel passages most likely taught how not to judge rather than to not judge. Introspection is much better than looking outward at what others are doing.
Likewise, James had the same focus. More judging means less doing. If we interpret scripture with scripture, James did not say not to remove the speck from another's eye, but that judging is not one's primary concern.
Let's get to the practical matter. We judge people everyday. Some of us are legal mandatory reporters of abuse even when we are outside of work. If we fail to report abuse there are legal penalties. The state requires that we judge. Likewise many of us report crimes to the police, regardless of the religious affiliation of the person that we are reporting. I know I am going to pull a little common sense theology, but these verses did not teach do not call the police, but nobody is saying they did.
Likewise, someone who believes it is a sin to judge, judging someone for judging, borders on absurdity. What ends up happening, in my experience, is that people play semantic games. One can criticize someone, but they cannot "attack" someone. One is not judging, they are speaking the truth in love. I fail to see the difference.
Christians should love each other
34“I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.” ~ John 13:34-35