Jesus and judging a song by its cover

JusticeFacebook 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”.

Author: George Dowdell

I was the founder of Karuna Action (formerly Kingscare) and was the director for 24 years. I have now handed control over to younger people but continue as an advisor and trustee. My passion is to see extreme poverty eliminated and to see justice for the powerless.

5 thoughts on “Jesus and judging a song by its cover”

  1. George, good post. You have heard me say before, the overarching message of Jesus which trumps everything else in the bible is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” He made no caveats, he did not list exceptions, he did not single any group out. He said it differently, but with the same theme when he said “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

    It frustrates me when religious leaders use the power of the pulpit to promote bigotry. In my view, these leaders should be preaching tolerance and inclusion. As when religion looks to be inclusive, it is at its best. Yet, the converse is true when it excludes.

    And, as Oscar Hammerstein wrote in the musical “South Pacific,” “Bigotry has to be very carefully taught.” That goes for religious leaders as well. Again, great post and Merry Christmas, BTG


  2. Thank you George. There is no doubt that it is easier to judge than forgive and sadly many preachers make it their buisness to do so. It is just so easy to see the faults in another and point them out while giving the impression we are perfect. Jesus had something to say about that when the Pharisee said ” I am glad I am not like him…” Lk 18: 14
    This doesn’t mean we lower standards but somethings we have to leave with God. As you say “My upbringing suggests that he may judge it, but my experience of a God of great love, forgiveness, grace and mercy suggests otherwise.”

    I was enjoying singing a song the other day by a man who had problems with lust, committed adultery, arranged a hit man to kill this woman’s husband and then carried on as though nothing happened, living under a cloud of deception and involving many in his deciept.
    Funny how after 3000 years and a lot of mistakes we still like to sing David’s songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You forgot the most important lesson for any one wishing to condemn other people’s sins.

    Make sure you only condemn the sins you yourself aren’t tempted to commit.

    That way you can incredably virtuous at very little cost, and without any risk of being called a hypocrite, and you can still go home and get blind drunk / beat your wife/ cheat your employer/ or whatever.

    Liked by 2 people

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