“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!”– Matthew 18:7
“Judge not, lest ye be judged” is among the most frequently-uttered passages in the Bible, particularly by those who wish to shut down any discussion on some objectively immoral behavior.
Even so, this opening verse from Matthew 7:1-3 is also among the Scriptures’ most misrepresented and, consequently, misunderstood passages. As verses 2 and 3 conclude, “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
The “judge not” passage is in no way an admonition against casting judgment upon sin. It is, rather, and clearly so, a warning against another sin – the sin of hypocrisy. In the eyes of the moral relativist left, and when applied exclusively to Christians, hypocrisy, incidentally, is the only sin that matters.
Still, this is the one thing – literally the one and only thing – that moral relativists have right.
Hypocrisy is sin.
It is hypocrisy, for instance, to run around cheating on your wife, and to then self-righteously rebuke others for the sin of adultery or some other sexual depravity. But the sin being rebuked remains sin nonetheless, even when he who rebukes it is a hypocrite.
Indeed, we don’t have to judge sin, because that which is sin has already been judged so, irrevocably, by the final Judge Himself, Christ Jesus. To call sin sin is not to judge, but, rather, is to merely state a fact.
Here is a fact: Adultery is sin.
Here is another fact: “[Y]ou may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
Some thirty-two million paying customers of the vile adultery website Ashley Madison, which makes a fortune off the backs of families it helps to destroy, have just learned this truth the hard way. The site, which boasts of being the “most successful website for finding an affair and cheating partners,” was hacked by a group calling itself the “Impact Team.” The hackers published the identities of Ashley Madison “customers” online for all to see.
Their sin found them out.
And “the wages of sin is death” (see Romans 6:23). That includes death of marriages and families.
Evidently, one of the site’s adultery-seeking clients was former reality star and pro-family activist Josh Duggar. In a statement released Thursday, Duggar seemed to admit guilt, saying, “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.”
Duggar, who earlier this year was caught up in another scandal when it was revealed that he had apparently fondled five minor girls while a young teen, concluded, “I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.”
I don’t mean to kick Josh while he’s down. Having been a serial fornicator myself as a young man, before I surrendered my life to Christ, I think I’ll drop my stone in the sand. Still, I can, we all can, rightly judge as sin the adulterous and hypocritical behaviors of both Josh and the millions more busted cold in this heart-wrenching scandal.
We “judge not” when we call sin sin, because God has already passed judgment. As Proverbs 6 rhetorically asks:
Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished … of his house. He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.
Our nation watches in shock as these timeless truths become manifest. As the media’s hungry eyes comb over the now revealed identities of Ashley Madison clients, there can be little doubt that other high profile names will emerge in coming days. More importantly, more marriages and families will be torn apart.
Indeed, our hearts must grieve for Josh Duggar, his wife Anna and their four children. We must also mourn the millions of other families devastated by the willful sins of both wayward family members and Ashley Madison employees. They all need our heartfelt prayers and they certainly have mine.
We are sinners all, you see – lost, selfish and in desperate need of a Savior. Absent the saving grace of Christ Jesus, Creator of the heavens and earth, we are each destined to get exactly that which we deserve.
But there is redemption available.
There is redemption available for Josh Duggar.
There is redemption available for these Ashley Madison tools of their father, the devil.
And there is redemption available for the millions of our fellow sinners who, tragically, chose to avail themselves of this sick site’s sinful “service.” While they have become fully exposed, utterly humiliated and, for many, even ruined by a most selfish and lustful ambition; total redemption is yet within reach.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Redemption is available.
Eternal life is available.
But they are available through Christ Jesus alone.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).