Popular music stars for years have made big hits out of songs that yearn for sexual freedom and losing our inhibitions. It’s actually quite amusing. They sing about how much society represses them and keeps them from expressing their true selves. This is usually part of a provocative video or an outrageous stage performance (sometimes live) where they do things to make network censors (do those exist anymore?) wince. Nevertheless, the fans love it and buy more and more of whatever they’re selling.
It’s amazing. They complain lyrically about how they want sexual freedom, but hardly anyone actually complains about what they’re doing. We have become so used to it that no one is really surprised any more at what they say and do.
It’s an interesting fact that the History Channel loves to fixate on ancient aliens and Nazi conspiracies. In the same way, the music industry loves to sing about people who don’t approve of sexual freedom.
It all goes back to the fact that “being judgmental” is consider one of today’s biggest sins. It’s universally condemned like the Nazis.
It is a sin that virtually everyone agrees on. It is the sin of judmentalism.
“Judging” someone is a sin you simply cannot do in today’s libertine culture. Everyone wants to be free to follow their views and passions. You don’t like how I dress? Big deal. Get over it. You don’t like how I express myself in music and art? You must be a fascist, trying to burn books!
Many non-Christians bring this up in discussions with us Christians. The minute we start to say certain behavior is wrong, someone will tell us that we shouldn’t judge. It is used frequently to try to silence us and put us down.
There is one bad thing and one good thing about this. First, the bad thing.
Many of us Christians have been beat down by our secular society. We have been beaten down to the point that we often believe what non-Christians say about Christianity. If someone says we are being judgmental, then we begin turning inward, thinking that this must be true. How could I have been so blind? How could I have been so insensitive? If I “judge” that something is a sin, then the people who do those things will not like me. I’ll lose my opportunity to witness to them. I could be ostracized and considered to be a narrow-minded Christian. I might even be considered a Bible thumper. Oh, the humanity!
Non-believers have used the ploy of pointing their fingers at us for thousands of years to try to get us to shut up. They accuse us of being unloving and not being compassionate. And the bad thing is that many of us believe their words. We can’t stand the possibility of being considered “judgmental”, which would make us “bad people”, so we cower. For many of us Christians, this is the end of the discussion. We go away and lick our wounds, hoping we will one day get the opportunity to talk to our non-Christian friends about Jesus again.
Instead, we should use the opportunity to discuss with them what the Bible really says. This is the good thing.
Virtually everyone will tell you that “you shouldn’t judge anyone”. However, most people have absolutely no clue why they believe this to be true. It begs the question of why it is wrong to judge. Who says it’s wrong to judge? Why is it wrong to judge? This is where the discussion becomes interesting.
Some people will point you to the Bible. Some of these will even try to paraphrase verses that talk about not judging. (“Don’t try to pull the plank out of someone else’s eye when you have one in your own eye”, or “The Bible says you shouldn’t judge.”) This is a actually good thing.
Why? Because it raises the question about why they would turn to the Bible for guidance. The next time a non-Christian friend brings this up, you should ask them why they agree with this part of Bible but not with the rest of the Bible.
While they are spitting out their tofu French fries trying to answer, you should say that you agree with them. You agree with what the Bible says about not judging others.
But then you should let the other shoe drop. Ask them if you can show them what the Bible says on this topic.
Turn to Matthew 5 and read verses 1-7 with them. Show them that the Bible does say that you should not judge someone else’s actions as sin … until you have dealt with the sin in your own life. The Bible doesn’t actually say you cannot judge what others do. It only says that you should deal with your own sin first before helping others with their sin. That’s perfectly reasonable and fair.
“Judging” is not about determining whether someone will go to hell or not. It’s about distinguishing between whether something is right and wrong. Everyone has to determine whether things are right and wrong. Heck, even people who don’t like judgmentalism believe there is right (not being judgmental) and wrong (being judgmental).
Christians can and should speak out about what is right and wrong. Jesus did this. Paul did this. The early Christians did this. They had to take a stand against things that were wrong and ultimately harmful to others. If we don’t speak out against things that are evil, we aren’t showing love to our neighbors.
This changes the whole conversation. It is no longer about you being judgmental. It is about what is right and what is wrong and why doing what is right is actually loving and good. And then you can ask them what they think is right and wrong… and why.
So, the next time someone tries to label you as “hateful” for having Christian values, you can try to lead them into this conversation. Hopefully, it will lead them deeper into their understanding of Christianity.