Today’s Refrain: Don’t Judge Me, Bro

Written by John Renken on March 29, 2013

MB900305711“Only God has a right to judge me and even you.”

“Jesus told us to love one another. Jesus never spoke against gays or homosexuality. Jesus talked about love and service to all our neighbors. Jesus loves me, this I know.”

“But I will just say that homosexuality dates back HUNDREDS of years with it not being such a huge controversy. People should be allowed to love whoever they want to love and not feel guilty because a BOOK tells them they are wrong. Doesn’t “god” teach you to love?”

This week the Supreme Court of the United States will be hearing two cases, one case is about proposition 8 and the other is about the Defense of Marriage Act. During this time I have heard a bunch of people talk about how Jesus tells us not to judge and how love is more important than doing the right things. These statements are false and grossly used out of context to escape the consequences of the text in dealing with our sin.

It is true that Jesus did tell us not to judge, but in the Matthew 7 when Jesus says “Judge Not” it is a very specific situation He is addressing, not a prescription for every scenario in life. Jesus said “Judge not, that you be not judged…Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

In case you are having trouble understanding the nuances of the passage let me break it down to you. Basically if you are sleeping with your girlfriend don’t judge someone for kissing his girlfriend. In other words don’t be a hypocrite in judging. Nowhere did Jesus intent for that to be a prohibition for calling sin what it is. SIN! As a matter of fact later in the Gospel of John, Jesus says this about judging, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” (John 12:45)

Paul later tells us that it is our responsibility to judge those inside the church and their activities when he says, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” (1 Corinthians 5:12)

Here is the big idea. If you are sinning STOP IT. Don’t get mad if someone calls you on what you are doing, just STOP IT. It is right and just for them to say hey dude what you are doing offends God. Get over yourself.

I have a very good friend who is a homosexual and we regularly engaged in spirited conversation about the call of the Gospel and Jesus’s words concerning sin. I constantly struggle in my own life with loving him as Christ loves him, yet be bold and upfront with the truth of the Gospel. In other words I am trying on a daily basis trying to love him and show him his activities are sin without condemning him. It is a challenge and one I hope that he can honestly say I am doing a good job at.

Recently, I have noticed this idea that “doesn’t God tell you to love us”. It is true that God is love and teaches His followers to love one another and those who are in bondage to sin. However lets be careful to not throw that up as a get out of jail free card when we are disobeying God and sinning.

Jesus actually said the same thing when he said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)

We are called to love, but in that love we are called to obey God. Regardless of your beliefs as Christians we are commanded to love and we are simultaneously called to stand up for righteousness. To be honest the church has done a poor job at loving Homosexuals. We have often started with condemnation and judgment instead of love and they like any of us have rejected not only the messenger, but the message of Jesus Christ as well.

Jesus’ overall message to His followers was this. Be like me. Love sinners, stand up for righteousness, ridicule religious idiots at every opportunity, give grace to those who need it, and the tell the truth seasoned with love and grace for everybody.

A self proclaimed “scrapper” since childhood, John Renken grew up with a burning interest in physical challenges and a strong competitive spirit which has led him to develop quite an impressive reputation in the professional fighting community. Reaching the pinnacle of his career, Renken now has over 68 professional mixed martial arts and boxing matches under his belt and many first place titles spanning three different continents. A former Satanist, Renken’s life has taken many interesting twists and turns along the way to redemption. He now pastors a church called Freedom Church and writes about topics of interest in our country.