Facebook can be a blessing keeping you in touch with old friends and contacts. But sometimes the views expressed are judgemental and not a blessing at all! This morning I noticed a report by some American preacher in which he lashed out at christians for sharing a christian song which has done the rounds on Facebook.
- Did he simply not like the style of the music? No!
- Did he disagree with the theology of the lyrics? No!
- Did he object to people making money selling christian music? No!
- Did he criticise the life-style of the performers? Yes!
According to this preacher, two of the performers were ‘openly gay’ and therefore the presentation of the song was ‘demonic’!
Now I do not want to be judgemental and fall into the same trap, so I will not name the preacher, the song or the performers.
Do I really need to know?
- Really, do I need to know about the life-styles of individual performers?
- Would I want to know if one of the men were living with his girl friend?
- Would I want to know if they were avoiding paying their fair share of income tax?
- Would I want to know if they were exploiting the poor?
- Should I care about the colour of their skin, or their regional accent?
I am not condemning homosexuality, but I neither can I accept it whole-heartedly. Is an attraction to the same gender, completely unavoidable by some people or is it a choice made at some point in their lives? I simply don’t know, therefore I dare not be judgemental. All I can say that God, our creator, is the only one who has the right to judge the issue. My upbringing suggests that he may judge it, but my experience of a God of great love, forgiveness, grace and mercy suggests otherwise.
Beware of being judgemental
It is very sad, but one of the main criticisms levelled at christians is that they are judgemental. Yet Jesus said that were not to judge other people:-
Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Mathew 7:1-5)
Let us determine not to judge other people. Hopefully we have a set of standards for our own lives, but let us not judge other people who do not share our standards, or who have other standards. None of us are perfect. I sometimes do not live up to the standards which I believe is right for me, but I have experienced the grace, mercy and forgiveness of a loving God.
To that preacher, I would plead, “Remember how much God has forgiven you and do not judge those who do not share your values”.
To the performers of that song, I would say, “Thank you for the music and words which you sang”.
To myself, I would say, “When people do not share your values, try to understand them and do not judge them”.