Christian Pastor: Forget ‘Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged’… You Should Judge People!

On the same weekend that Pope Francis said to the world “Who am I to judge,” Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona was reminding his congregation that they should totally, totally judge other people:

Here are some of the highlights!

5:26: “Let’s say I see a man walking down the street in a dress, and I say, you know, that’s perverted. That’s wicked. You know, that’s disgusting. And then people will say, ‘Judge not [lest] ye be judged,’ but here’s the thing: I’m willing to be judged by that standard! I’m not afraid of… someday, if I walk down the street in a dress, people are gonna say the same thing. No! Because I’m not afraid of that standard because I don’t have that beam in my eye.”

15:44: “By the way, the Bible does not teach that all women should obey all men. That is not what the Bile teaches. The Bible does not teach, ‘Wives, be obedient to every man on the planet.’ It says wives should be obedient to their own husbands. Okay? So they don’t answer to every man in the world, they just answer to their own husband. Do you see what I’m saying? You know, as an employee, I answer to my boss…”

16:30 [discussing how parents should discipline their kids]: “I’m just not gonna take your kid, and just take my belt off, and just spank your kid. And if I did, you’d probably be offended…

25:43 [explaining how people who are different from you aren't automatically sinners]: “You might look at somebody and think that they’re a geek! Or a dweeb. Or a nerdy person. And say ‘That person’s so nerdy and dweeby and geeky… you know what, though? Is it [a] sin to be a dweeb? I mean, is it a sin to be nerdy? No.”

38:50 [giving us an example of when it's okay to judge others]: “If I went to a man that had long hair and said, ‘You know what? You know, the Bible…’ And I lovingly, kindly, gently said, ‘You know, the Bible teaches that men are supposed to have short hair.’… If I went to them and just humbly showed them, ‘You know, the Bible does teach that men are supposed to have short hair’… [they'll say] Oh, you’re judging me! The Bible said to judge!

[And what about women with short hair?]

“It goes both ways. I mean, women are supposed to have long hair. You say, ‘Well, how long is long? How short is short?’ Look, why don’t you quit trying to find out! You know what I mean? Why don’t you just have it long?! You know? And if you’re a man, just have it short. I mean, it’s not that complicated.”

40:00: “I don’t have time to show you all the places in the Bible it tells us to judge. I’m just showing you in 1 Corinthians where the Bible tells us to judge.… He told us to judge the preaching. He told us to judge, you know, a man wearing a dress, or a man with long hair, or, you know, men who are feminine. Judge that! You know, a woman who’s manly and has short hair? Judge that! That’s not right! And it’s not judgmental when we point out that that’s not right!

44:00: “By the way, the Bible teaches that it is a sin to sue your brother in Christ. Or to turn your brother in Christ over to the authorities when it’s something that could be dealt with in other ways. Now, obviously, if someone is committed murder… or rape, then okay, we’ll call the police… That means if someone in the church steals from you… damages your property, backs up into you in the parking lot, or hurts you in some way, you know what? That needs to be dealt with by the church… why? Because our justice system is corrupt…”

And you know what? If you don’t want to be defrauded, then don’t enter into business dealings with people from church. And don’t loan out stuff to people at church. Unless you’re ready to kiss it goodbye.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Darrell Ross

    While I disagree with the sermon, I generally do agree that you should judge. Judgement is my vehicle for making decisions. I think the blanked statement “don’t judge” is too general. What they are really preaching when they say that is “be tolerant”. But the phrase “don’t judge” is too easily interpreted in numerous ways, including “don’t judge anything or anyone at all” which is complete nonsense.

    They set them up to fail and then offer redemption right?

  • Smiles

    Hamant, you need an alter ego to post this kind of thing under. …it’s like fury fuel and it is getting harder to be friendly about this kind of drivel, every day.

  • Gus Snarp

    “I’m just not gonna take your kid, and just take my belt off, and just spank your kid. And if I did, you’d probably be offended…”

    “Is it [a] sin to be a dweeb? I mean, is it a sin to be nerdy? No.”

    “And you know what? If you don’t want to be defrauded, then don’t enter into business dealings with people from church. And don’t loan out stuff to people at church. Unless you’re ready to kiss it goodbye.”

    I don’t know, it sounds like Pastor Anderson is actually starting to make sense for a change. especially that last line.

  • Art_Vandelay

    • Tainda

      Ya know, I have been wanting to watch Lost again (for the 5th time) recently. I have resisted the urge. Now I want to watch again! :P

    • flyb

      I swear this is his lost twin brother. Anderson even sounds like Fox.

      • Art_Vandelay

        It’s uncanny, right?

  • Thin-ice

    Judge long hair on men?

    Well, what do we do with all the classic paintings in almost all churches, in which Jesus has shoulder-length hair? I remember back in the late 60′s, when facial hair (read “beard”) was equally “sinful” in evangelical churches. It was impossible to be hired by a church or mission organization if you had a beard (I speak from experience). Now this idiot Pastor Anderson is wearing a beard.

    Dress and grooming fads come and go in the evangelical church, but the pre-eminent principle they hold is this: ALWAYS have some visual standard by which you can judge the heck out of people!

    • Hat Stealer

      I’m pretty sure Anderson’s version of Jesus looks something like this:

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      Because those paintings are mostly based on actors and opera singers from the late 19th century. LOL

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

    Oh Hemant, Hemant. We were so close to holding an intervention about your pastor Steven Anderson addiction but then you seemed to have licked it. Now you have fallen off the wagon, so sad. ; )

  • baal

    “Or to turn your brother in Christ over to the authorities when it’s something that could be dealt with in other ways.”

    Hey now. Aiding and abetting is a crime too. Why does S.Anderson want his parishioners to get criminal records? Also, this is the same mind set that leads to this (JT’s blog on the newly released LA diocese’s child abuse records).”

  • decathelite

    Keyra, Keyra, where art thou to exclaim “No True Christian”?

    • Keyra

      Lol. But really, the Bible is abundantly clear on what it means to be a Christian, this guy isn’t doing well. It’s called being a hypocrite. And I believe this site already exposed this pastor, why another article on him?

      • onamission5

        In a big ole hurry to have the people who make your religion look bad out of the spotlight, are you?

        • Keyra

          1, I don’t have a religion. 2, I just get updates on my laptop (I can’t remember how) so why not check it out? I’m just curious to see how many people can’t tell the difference and tend to get overconfident. I’d like to think atheists are smart enough not to get caught up in these misconceptions

          • blasphemous_kansan

            The pastor is telling the jokes, and you show up here on cue just in time to heckle the crowd for laughing instead of directing ire at the performer delivering the offensive material.

            Your energy is misdirected.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Pretending that your Christian religion is a “relationship”. Does Jesus love it when you’re dishonest about Him?

      • decathelite

        Then call him out on it. Loud and clear. We keep doing articles like this because nobody is telling guys like this to stop. Write him a letter, call him on the phone, get a group together and protest in front of his church. DO something other than come on here and tell us he’s not one of you.

        In the meantime, I’m going to mock a religion that has people claiming to speak for a celestial being and furiously arguing with each other about what that celestial being wants. It’s as if that being doesn’t exist at all!

        • Keyra

          “It’s as if that being doesn’t exist at all!”, quite the opposite, but rather they can’t agree on what it all means. And mocking makes you no better than what you hate. But the problem with the articles is solely making Christianity look bad (or trying to), which is kinda one-sided (ergo irrational)

          • busterggi

            If that omnipotent being can’t even get a simple message across to his followers then he isn’t omnipotent or doesn’t exist.

          • decathelite

            “They can’t agree on what it all means”

            Let’s say I’m approached by 2 folks, who have a mutual friend named Bob who they say is super wise and wants to be my friend, too. One tells me that Bob says to spank my kids, then the other starts arguing how Bob says to not spank kids.

            One of them is a liar, and if Bob wants to be my friend, he will need to care that people are getting his message right. Or maybe Bob’s the liar, telling his friends two different/contradictory things.

            Now they start telling me that Bob is invisible, and has lived since the beginning of time and impregnated a virgin. Oh, and one of them says Bob made people in a 24 hour period, but then the other argues that Bob made us over thousands of years. Then, both say I have to take as truth what they are saying, even though they’ve just demonstrated that one of them is lying.

            • baal

              This bob sounds similar to the start of the chuck norris joke.

    • Buckley

      What you only have to call her name twice to call her out? Beetlejuice at least has to be called out 3 times

  • Hat Stealer

    The Bible is full of so much shit, you can literally use it to say whatever you want. No matter what your position is, you can be sure that you’ll be able to justify it with something in the Bible. I could easily make the case that pastor Anderson isn’t going to heaven, because he isn’t a virgin, and Revalations clearly says that only virgin men go to heaven. I don’t make this argument, because the Bible is full of shit.

  • Tainda

    He’s just looney tunes.

  • Brian

    Really glad that a nomadic tribe of illiterate goat herders were able to make up rules that people are to be judged by 2,000 years later.

  • Librepensadora

    What about members of the clergy who even today wear floor-length garments? Are they the ones who triggered his tirade against men wearing dresses? What about the biblical Nazirites who vowed never to cut their hair?

    • The Other Weirdo

      They are not True Christians™.

      • viaten

        Or more likely they could say: That’s “different”. They’re robes, not dresses. And Nazirites were “Old Testament”. At least that’s what I would expect “true” Christians to say.

  • onamission5

    Rather than writing this guy off as “crazy” I’d like people to consider the likelihood that he is, in fact, perfectly sane, and that he feels justified to spout off horseshit like this because of the support his ideas have and the sense of entitlement he feels that is supported by vast portions of broader culture. He just says this shit out loud, uncouched by qualifiers, rather than trying to soften his message so it slips under the radar.

  • mikespeir

    He does seem to spend a lot of time preaching about gender identity issues. I wonder….

  • C Peterson

    I only listened to the first few minutes, but I don’t see the problem. What’s wrong with judging others? Indeed, I can think of little more human than doing so. A person who does not judge others is socially damaged. It is normal. It is healthy.

    No doubt if I watched the whole video, I’d find many of Anderson’s examples crazy. Based on what I’ve seen of the guy, he is crazy (a judgment). But what he says at the beginning sounds right to me. There are things we should rightfully judge, and things that we should not. Although I’d modify that a bit, and say that nothing is off limits for judgment, but what matters is what we do with our judgment. Of course, judgment can be positive as well as negative (but people only complain about it when it’s negative!)

    Sometimes we should keep our judgments private, sometimes we should not. It’s a matter of whether speaking out is constructive or not. But to suggest we should not judge at all? Crazy!

    • Georgina

      Same as discrimination, which just means to recognise differences.
      Sometimes words get a negative PC ring. If I see someone hitting a child, I don’t give a damn whether it is a parent or not, or what it says in some old book, that person is judged, by me, as an evil sod.

    • Philbert

      Judgement is necessary and right, we just have to be selective about how we do it. It’s wrong to judge people based on what we personally find icky and weird, because we wouldn’t want to be treated the same way by others.

      It takes real insight and empathy to do this, qualities that religion does not foster, at least towards the Other. Thus you get people who will give a gay couple a hard time but who would think themselves victims if they were insulted by a Muslim for drinking alcohol or a Hindu for eating beef.

      • C Peterson

        I disagree that it is wrong to judge people on what we find “icky and weird”. Socially, those are perfectly acceptable criteria for judgment, and it would be unnatural not to use them.

        Where it becomes an issue of ethics lies in our actions and behavior after we’ve made an internal judgment. For instance, it is natural human behavior to fear and mistrust those outside our group. It is natural to fear and mistrust those of obviously different ethnicity. It is natural to fear and mistrust those who behave differently than we do, or who believe different things. We incorporate these things in our judgments. But a wise, ethical person rises above those things. They don’t act on them in the way someone who is inconsiderate might.

        I look at a religious person and I judge them. Based on my observation, I consider them uneducated or irrational or foolish or mentally ill… any number of things, in some combination. But that person would never be aware of my internal judgment (which I consider sound and justified, not something to be ashamed of) because they would be treated by me exactly like the atheist in the same room (all other qualities being the same). In most cases there would be no constructive purpose in expressing my judgment in any way.

        I look at a person entering our school who seeks a waiver of vaccination for their child, and I judge them. Based on my observation, I consider them uneducated or irrational or foolish. That person would, however, receive my judgment. Because in that case, there is a constructive purpose to be served by giving it.

        (Of course, this all depends on how we choose to define “judge”; certainly, different people see it meaning somewhat different things in this context.)

  • ZenDruid

    The only exposure anderson needs is via FSTDT, which has the unenviable role as the scupper of religious absurdity.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Why is there an angry man shouting in this seafood restaurant?

    • Big Bubba McGee

      He’s just mad that the catfish didn’t taste as good as he thought it would.

      • ChiJason

        That would imply he’s judging the catfish… oh, wait, I guess that’s alright according to him!

    • RobMcCune

      Don’t be snarky, Sundays during the early bird special that seafood restaurant is his church.

  • Gerry

    I was about to post about an apparent typo in the second paragraph, the one that begins “15:44″ where you wrote “the Bile” but then I realized it has a ring to it! The Holy Bile!!

  • The Other Weirdo

    “And you know what? If you don’t want to be defrauded, then
    don’t enter into business dealings with people from church.
    And don’t
    loan out stuff to people at church. Unless you’re ready to kiss it
    goodbye.”

    And that just says it all!

  • EvolutionKills

    I’m going to exercise my ‘god given’ right to judge the shit out of this guy. The verdict? Pastor Anderson is a royal douche-nozzle, and Jesus thinks so too!

  • BobaFuct

    “That needs to be dealt with by the church… why? Because our justice system is corrupt…”

    Sounds suspiciously like a sharia court to me…

  • viaten

    Though he might not admit it, I think (or am I judging?) that 1 Cor 2:15 fits him quite well. “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”

  • Matt D

    Everyone judges others, it’s just one more example of why the Lie-Bull is wrong again about the nature of humanity.

  • Mario Strada

    While I listen to this guy I am thinking that there is people that wake up, make breakfast, dress, get in their car and drive for possibly a considerable distance, to go listen to this guy.

    I find that appalling. Sometimes I don’t do that with things I like, like movies and concerts because it’s too much of a hassle. But this guy…

    By the way, why is Jesus always depicted with long hair? Did he have a pass from someone? Aren’t we supposed to be “Like Jesus”? Long hair and all?

  • Itsrealfunnythat

    I didnt realize my husband was my boss…

    • Artor

      Well clearly that’s because you’re an ungodly trollop. Get thee to a nunnery!

      • Itsrealfunnythat

        Woe is me!

  • Buckley

    Once again, my head hurts when I read Dumb-Ass-ease…

  • the moother

    This guy is to christianity what Berlusconi was to politics… what are the odds of him ending up in a little room with bars on the windows?

  • Garret Shane Brown

    I feel like the last quote is from him backing up into someone’s car or getting sued, and he’s still mad that the other person rightfully took money away from him.

  • stop2wonder

    Remember this sermon and roast him when he screws up. When this guy gets stuck in the middle of some huge scandal someday and his congregation comes to his defense, play it for them. Make it clear to them he said we can do it!!

  • Ryan Hite

    I’m internally judging this guy right now. It feels great but I don’t think it is appropriate to judge others openly. Everyone has their opinions though.

  • Don Lodsky

    “That is not what the Bile teaches” – best typo ever

    • Artor

      I’m amazed that I’ve never used that as an alternate spelling before. I’ll have to change that now…

  • randomfactor

    That last part is true enough: If you don’t want to be defrauded, stay away from church people

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Did anyone actually listen to a whole hour of that? I only made it through about three minutes.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but if you are going to walk up to me uninvited and tell me what all I’m doing wrong in my life, brace yourself for whatever I say back. Yes, judgment isn’t always a bad thing. There are situations in which someone has the right and even the duty to say something. We do it with people who have substance abuse issues, for example. But if you’re going to walk up to someone you don’t know that well (or even if you do) and tell them you don’t approve of their homosexuality or living with their boyfriend/girlfriend or divorce or anything else, you’re likely to get an earful and if you don’t you damn sure ought to. I’ve only had to do it once but it shut that self-righteous little hypocrite up but good. Before you start telling people about their “sin”, you’d better look in the mirror because a lot of people aren’t shy about returning the favor.

  • Rain

    Why isn’t Pastor Steve in the kitchen cooking supper? Hurry up with them vittles! Get off that pulpit and start making some chow…

  • Elizabeth Hubbard

    I’d hate to see how he’d treat Jesus, if he were to run across him. What would he say, “Cut your hair, hippie!” If there is a God, He’s going to judge him for judging the guy in the dress, because that’s not loving your neighbor as yourself,

  • cateye

    Well, at least I’m okay wearing pants. :P

    P.S. A little Anderson *is good* every once in a while.

  • Charles Chambers

    What about how God commanded all Levitt, including Samson, to not cut their hair (thereby keeping it long.)?

  • Robster

    We’ve got a cleric of some christian flavour living next door, I don’t think he’s a rabbi or an Imam, so I guess he’s some sort of christian. He really dislikes my same sex parner and myself because we’re…a same sex couple. I thought the baby jesus’ first command was to love thy neighbour, we’re his neighbour and he doesn’t love or even like us a little. These nasty clergy types either don’t read their silly book or choose not to follow its commands. How can they be trusted? Ooops, wait, no they can’t, ‘specially with kids or money.

  • Me Here

    re hair length, the idiot obviously didn’t read Leviticus 19.27 “Don’t round the corners of your head or mar the corners of your beard.”

  • John Perkins

    did he just say not to trust people that go to church?

  • Limey

    Dude is cray-cray and makes us not cray-cray Christians look bad.

    I mostly consider myself Christian because I believe in a God and that Jesus is the son of God. I only pay heed to the lessons of the Bible that make me a more spiritual, open, and accepting person. Therefore I’m more likely a spiritualist that a Christian, but either way, people like him make being Christian a point humiliation rather than pride.


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