I recently joined a Christian blogging site where an immense amount of time is spent discussing homosexuality, in terms of judging it as sin or not. Personally, homosexuality is a very difficult topic to discuss with other believers, especially those inclined to a legalistic approach. If one’s walk with Jesus is about dotting all the i’s and crossing every t, it is clear to me that this kind of relationship with Christ borders on a salvation of works, or trying to be good enough, (something of which I know I will never be in this lifetime on this particular plane,though of course I do still endeavor to please our Lord).
I don’t believe the sin itself is particularly important; in other words, it is not the sin that is at issue, it is how I and other believers deal with the sinner himself, that is of primary concern in a life of following Jesus Christ. My concern is the way that the Christian person deals with the sinner, no matter the sin!
I think Jesus deals with each one of us internally and very directly when it comes to our individual sins and we are in relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit convicts and nudges at our conscience. We are dealt with quite personally and effectively, so the role of other believers piling on and taking our personal sin inventory uninvited, seems extreme and even unnecessary a lot of the time, yet it happens a lot in Christianity today.
I’m not sure why judging other’s walk with Christ is such a focal point of Christianity, but people are a lot more concerned about sin in other people’s lives than they are in their own life. Perhaps obsessively focusing upon, critiquing, and judging another’s sin is a way of attempting to come to terms with how to deal with one’s own life of sin as an active believer.
It would make sense and explain why Jesus said that the measure by which we judge others will be the measure we are judged by. Are we as Christians merciful, compassionate, an understanding in regard to another’s sins? Or do we self-righteously look down from a lofty perch at those who are not holding up as well as we perceive that we are, in the endless earthly battle against sin?
And what of those who have never even met Christ? Are Christians to mock, slander and judge the unbelieving and their multitudes of sin?
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.
– 1 Corinthians 5: 9 -13
It seems clear that too many Christ-followers have forgotten Paul’s entreaty in the verses above. I note them everywhere I go, judging the sinner, persecuting the unbelieving, hating not just the sin, but the sinner himself. I don’t believe Jesus is pleased.