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.