These days, the worst thing that a person can be is close-minded and exclusive. In our society, one must be open to all possibilities regarding everything from parenting styles to gender identification. Unless you say something like, “haters are bad,” definitive statements are just not politically correct and when someone speaks their truth, they establish that thing as truth.
The Bible, on the other hand, doesn’t teach that truth varies from person to person. There is only one Truth and it was placed on the world from above. Every person throughout history has lived within this Truth because it has been established by God from the very beginning and, no matter how fast you go, you can’t outrun it.
So, what are we to do? If we speak openly about the Truth to the world audience that doesn’t recognize the authority of God, they will believe that we are passing judgement on them, and we come across as bigots. Some have decided to forge that path but I don’t believe that that is the way that Jesus would have handled this predicament.
Bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.
Jesus often referred to the ten commandments, which people believed they were following, and pointed out that, in fact, they were not following them at all. As one example, most of his audience had never committed adultery but Jesus explained that, in God’s eyes, even a lustful thought was adultery.
The point is that there is one Truth from God but it would be hypocrisy to elevate ourselves in judgement over others as none of us are even remotely getting it right. All of us are adulterers, murderers, idolaters and God-haters.
As a mega-important side note: When God looks at us through the blood of Jesus, He sees us as perfect.
If Jesus were here, he wouldn’t point out sin to individuals or even try to correct their way of thinking. He would love them and elevate himself so that they would be able to see God’s kingdom, knowing that an aversion to sin develops after someone has the Holy Spirit inside.
Sure, in my heart I might be a little bit of a bigot because I am devoted to the beliefs that God has given me. But I am determined to not lower myself to the position of hypocrite, judging others of their sin while stinking in my own muck.
Main point: There are a lot of voices out there telling us what is right and wrong and there is a lot of new cultural pressure on us to follow along with this societal correctness.
So what: Don’t listen to those voices. Focus on how guilty you would be if you were judged apart from the total forgiveness provided by Jesus. And then love others the same way that Jesus did. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Great blog post! I’ve been asked directly how I feel about particular situations that are not apart God’s truth but becoming a cultural norm.
I desire to be loving, excepting, and non-judge mental while being true to myself and God as a Christian and today’s world. How does one not to judge yet remain true to their theological beliefs?
Oop, was in a hurry and didn’t proofread, you get the point.
Important point: Just because someone writes a blog does not mean that they are smarter or wiser than you are. But, since I’m older than you, I’ll tell you what I think; and it is a great question, by the way.
In Asia, and in Africa, we learn to answer questions with stories. They come across gentler than just jumping to a cold, crisp judgment or a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
The reason that I wrote this blog is because I was thinking about the parable of The Unforgiving Debtor (Matthew 18:23-35). It is the one where the king forgives a debtor of millions of dollars but then that guy goes out and demands repayment of a thousand dollar loan from someone else. When the king finds out he has that guy thrown into debtor prison where he is tortured. The parable concludes with: “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters[e] from your heart.”
I once meditated on that parable for several days and I hope I never get over the feeling it gave me. I totally realized that I had been forgiven a crazy huge debt from my heavenly father so, how dare I make any judgements about anyone on earth.
So, to answer your question, if someone asked me, “How do you feel about people who do XYZ?” I would answer by telling them that parable and tell them how the understanding of that parable changed my life–“I dare not stand in judgment over others.”