In my experience discussing the more 'emotionally charged' issues with liberals, the interaction usually results in some type of attack on my faith or accusations that Christians are judgmental, hypocritical, mean, haters, bigots...etc. Matthew 7- 1-5 is probably in the top five of favorite verses liberals MIS-quote from the Bible. It reads,
“1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
There comes a point in these types of conversations where I usually have to remind myself that arguing theology with a non-believer is a losing battle. That being said, I still believe it is important to clarify these misunderstandings because many people (not just liberals) really don't understand the scripture.
In simple terms, Matthew 7: 1-5 is instructing us that we are not to judge UNLESS we are willing to be subjected to the same standard. It really is just that simple.
What happens at the end of verse 5? We are told that we can remove the speck from someone else’s eye (judge them) but ONLY AFTER we are certain that we have met the same standard (meaning, remove the log from your own eye). As Christians, we are commanded to judge but we are to do it in love, and without being hypocrites while also understanding that God is the final judge above all others.
It is also important to understand that all 'judging' is not the same. There are essentially two types: one is eternal. The other is common sense.
Christians have the right and responsibility to judge who embraces their core values. In fact, Jesus commanded us to do so. Jesus said to judge ourselves by our “fruit.” HOWEVER… eternal judgement is not up to ANY Christian. It is The Father’s, and The Father’s alone.
The last thing I want to address is that while Christians are commanded to judge, we are also commanded to love one another as Christ loves us. That is a pretty big deal and it's not always easy to do.
In our attempt to keep God's word and adhere to his commandments we have to do everything with love in our hearts. We will win over more hearts and minds by showing love and focusing on loving people than we ever could by focusing only on judgement.