If you’re paying any attention at all to Christian-related rhetoric these days, you know that the pet mantra of our times is “Don’t judge.” This idea is just as popular within Christianity as it is outside of it. And, for awhile this favored motto was generally applied when Christians talk about sin. When we bring up something that the Bible says is wrong, it brings the commentators out of the woodwork, loudly judging the Christian for judging.
But, now that this maxim has been tossed around for awhile, it is merging into new territory.
This past week I ran across this article, written by Kara Tippets, a mother of four who is dying of cancer. She wrote the open letter to Brittany, the 29 year old woman who plans to commit suicide in a few weeks with the aid of her doctors and her family. The main thrust of Kara’s words is that Brittany can know the grace and beauty of being met by Jesus in her final breath. She urges Brittany not to take the pill, but more importantly she asks her to consider the question: Who is this Jesus, and what does He have to do with my dying? Kara even offers to fly to Brittany’s house to talk with her. The letter is essentially evangelism, the carrying out of the Great Commission, pleading with a dying girl to consider Christ, and in turn pleading with all who read the letter to consider Him, too.
It is what Jesus told us to do.
And, in the comments I see all manner of arguing about the merits/consequences of doctor-assisted suicide. But, then I see everyone’s favorite mantra coming through as well. And one Christian woman has this to say: “I completely understand how we would love for Brittany to find Jesus as Savior, but I think that telling her how to live, or how to die, goes beyond loving into judging.”
And, there it is. The new “truth” that the world has injected into the minds of even Christian people. Evangelism is nothing but judgment. Telling people about Jesus, explaining what He has done in our lives, describing an unshakable belief in God, His plan, our future, our hope, is just too judgmental.
Forget about the fact that Kara’s letter presents the gospel in the most tender and kind way possible. Forget that gospel literally means Good News.
It makes people feel bad. It makes them feel like you don’t agree with their choices. It makes them feel like you think they’re sinners.
And, I suppose this is the real reason that Jesus said that the world would hate Christians. And it’s the reason it hated Him first. It’s because to get to the Good News you have to first be confronted with the ugly truth that we are all sinners. And, mentioning the dirty word sin is just too much for our society today. SO judgmental.
So, I think that this is where we are headed, Christians. Into a new realm that says that sharing the gospel is telling people how to live, which “goes beyond loving into judging.” Unfortunately, the only alternative to telling people the gospel is to lovingly watch them die and go straight to hell.
But, hey, at least we didn’t judge.
All I can say is AMEN!!!! Truly a Word from God through your typed words. Prayers unceasing for the AUTHENTIC and GENUINE Church of Christ to NOT shrink back in these days! Bless you dear one <3
Thank you, Laura!
Dear Melissa. Thank you for this! Well said. I could go on for a very long time (but I won’t) about the many mainstream articles and commentaries that support your point in this post. Those who know me well understand that I cannot sit idly by while the people I care about walk blindly into an eternal future of suffering and separation from the only one that can fill that God shaped hole in their hearts. So, to the World I say; “Have at it. Call me judgmental. Call me whatever you want.” I am more concerned for what God will say on that day I (like all of us, regardless of our beliefs now) when we will kneel before our creator and he will (and rightfully so) judge the length and breadth of our lives for the actions we did or did not do in his name. I want to be found guilty as charged for loving people enough to share the good news with them whether they are offended or not. Because, the alternative would be to have them asking when it is already too late, why nobody ever bothered to impress on them the eternal consequences for having rejected God’s requirements for holiness and the blood payment required for sin. To say that it does not hurt to be called the names that many are leveling at us now would be untrue. But, I can live with the name calling since to keep silent would show my apathy towards the future anyone without Christ can look forward to. Those who hear us judge ignore our acknowledgement that we too are sinners for whom without Christ and all he has done for us, would face hell and eternal judgement as well. They gloss over the fact that it is God who judges all of us and we hold that these things conveyed in the Bible are absolutely true and will be so for all time. God does not change like shifting sands and is unaffected (and unimpressed) by our picking and choosing which truths regarding sin can be accepted and which can be rejected.
Truly loving someone means: Telling them what they need to hear, not necessarily what they want to hear!
Keep speaking the truth Melissa!
Thank you for this thoughtful comment, Mike!
As far as judging goes, so many may refer to Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” which is in God’s WORD but we’re also told in John 7:24 “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” How can that be? We’re told not to judge, then told to judge, but Jesus told what kind of judging to do: righteous judgment.
As far as telling someone about Jesus Christ, they can call it judging if they choose, but it’s offering a person THE way of escape from the pits of hell. Not many people would say we were judging if we saw that they were about to drown and we offered them a life raft, would they? yet, the devil deceives them into believing that a Christian is interferring in their life and needs to leave them alone. He doesn’t care if they die and go to hell but God does and uses people to sound the alarm, telling them the good news of Jesus Christ and salvation through him! Yes, Christians have been, are, and will continue to be hated but that doesn’t mean that a chld of God is to back down!
May God help his children to speak the truth, regardless of the response, in Jesus’ name!
This makes me think of the idea of “cruel mercy,” and it’s actually not a new trend, been going for centuries.
That is a cruel mercy–when we see men go on in sin, and we let them alone. And that is a merciful cruelty–when we are sharp against men’s sins and
will not let them go to hell quietly.
Fond sentimentality is no better than cruelty.
The surgeon cuts and lances the flesh—but it is inorder to a cure. They are healing wounds. So when we lance men’s consciences and let out the blood ofsin, we exercise spiritual surgery. This is showing mercy.
“Rescue others by snatching them from the fire!” (Jude 23). If a man had fallen into the fire, though you hurt him a little in pulling him out–he would be thankful and take it as a kindness. Some men, when we tell them of sin say, ‘O, you are unloving!’ No! it
is showing mercy.
If a man’s house were on fire, and another should see it and not tell him of it, for fear of waking him–would not this be cruelty? When we see others sleeping in their sin, and the fire of God’s wrath ready to burn them up–and we are silent–is not this cruelty?
(Thomas Watson, 1660, “The Beatitudes.” Public Domain)
Truth, thankfully. We have discarded obedience for acceptance and we call it “love”
Churches who add numbers by saying or implying that you can become a Christian, but not have to change the way you are living are fueling this attitude. If you try to say something against living together without marriage, drinking alcohol, or other things, you are accused of being judgmental and legalistic. Satan’s lie.