Are we supposed to judge each other? Doesn’t God tell us to do that?
Another “hot button” topic for today’s “Dear Susan” – let’s do it. : )
I write these every Friday. Sometimes they will be poignant, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes tender, sometimes funny… but hopefully always worth the read. 🙂
Q With all love and respect I will be telling you this. You are portraying Jesus as a God of love. As a matter of fact He is, however that is only one side of the coin. He is also a righteous judge and on Judgement day He will judge the people not on their perception of what they think its best but on what’s written on the Word of God. And there are examples of correction from a brother or sister to another. Coming to terms that we are in sin is a huge task and can only be achieved if we totally surrender to the will of God. What God calls sin, it is sin and therefore no man can alter. Doesn’t God tell us to judge each other?
Willing to Judge
A I appreciate your heart here. You are right that it is difficult indeed to see our own blindspots. And indeed Jesus does invite us to speak into our brother and sister’s lives, but he includes the gigantic caveat that we must remove the great big log in our own eye before we can see clearly to remove the speck from someone else’s. He is saying that we have so much more in our own lives to deal with that we need to slow down quite a bit before attempting such fine detailed work in others.
Have you ever been outside a store with doorbuster sales on Black Friday? People have literally been trampled to death as shoppers pour in through the doors to get the super sales. To open the door to speaking into each others lives feels to me like opening the store on Black Friday: it is to invite a stampede of correction by people who have no business doing it, who are too eager to do it, who do not do it in love, and by people who won’t take no for an answer. Pointing out the possibility of someone being in a physically dangerous place is not the same as holding doggedly to the position that someone is in sin, and if they don’t change they will experience consequences.
You summed up your idea by saying that this huge task of coming to term with our sin is achieved only if we totally surrender to the will of God. Well, if someone is resisting God, why would they listen to you or me? God knows how to reach them far better than we do, and if they are resisting God, then maybe we should let God be the one to reach them perfectly and wonderfully. On the other hand, if they are not resisting God, but we are sure they are, then we stand to be as wrong as Job’s friends who wouldn’t let it go, and instead of being a comfort to him in his tragic situation, they became a menace to him, adding misery to his already difficult time.
If we tell someone their same-sex relationship is wrong, and God is not telling them that, then we stand to become a menace as well, adding misery to their already difficult time.
Sorting out the right or wrong is much more subject to error than simply loving as we are called to do, and trusting God with the rest.
*If you have a question for “Dear Susan” please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put ‘DEAR SUSAN’ in the subject line.
She is the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin, and her “Mom, I’m Gay” book has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and others. Sharon Groves, PhD, HRC’s Religion & Faith Program Director says, “I often get asked by parents for resources that can address the struggles of raising LGBT sons and daughters without having to leave faith behind. Susan Cottrell’s book, Mom, I’m Gay, does just that. This is the kind of book that parents will love.”
She and her husband have been married more than 25 years and have five children – one of whom is in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at FreedHearts.org and here in IMPACT Magazine’s FreedHeartsand Jesus Blog columns.