To make sure I was correct, that I was reading scripture correctly, I asked a Pastor, with whom we are ordained, a question: Can Christians ‘judge’?
Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment,” (John 7:24).
Christians take ‘judge righteously’ out of context, definitely making their own rules as they judge along. But remember that the Bible does give us ‘rules’ to judge by. For instance: homosexuality, abortion, idol worship, adultery, to name a few. As Christians, we are to ‘judge righteously’ THE SIN, not the sinner. Unfortunately, the opposite is the usual ‘norm’.
As a sinner, before salvation, I made many mistakes that were evil and should have been judged with righteous judgement. And in a perfect scenario, the person who called out my sin would lovingly follow up with the Gospel and leading me to the Lord. My conversion did not happen that way, but it should have. Judging without having Biblical precedence leads the sinner to see a wagging finger, not a loving gesture.
To answer the question I gave my Pastor, YES, we can and should judge, or discern, righteously especially to the brethren, the House of God, and the sinner. BUT it has to be the intention to set the sinner free, and to give the brethren correction if they sway from the Truth.
We are all accountable to a Holy God, saved or not.
“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1Peter 4:17)