Let’s Talk About Your Judgment about Judging By: Mike West
There has been an undeserved firestorm lately about Indiana’s recent passage of its RFPA
legislation. The response has been typical by those on the political and theological left. When I
look at the responses of these groups, I can only shake my head because of the evil intent that is
attributed to those who support such laws.
Discussion Point and The Players
What I really want to talk about in the context of the RFPA is the claim that people of faith, who
exercise and seek to live out the tenets of their faith related to the orthodox, scriptural view of
homosexuality and same sex marriage, are being judgmental for doing so.
The Political Left:
The political left’s view seems pretty simple. People should be able to love any person they wish
to love, and no one should be able to stop them from doing so. Any person who does not agree
is deemed bigoted, intolerant, homophobic, and judgmental. Thus, such people should be
compelled by law to relent and embrace the left’s position on this issue. However, people who
are homosexual can already love any person they wish to love. Most orthodox Christians I know
are not arguing people do not ultimately have the freedom to make such choice. However, I
believe such a choice is a sin and against God’s teachings. I believe that Christianity is true. I
believe it can be proven to be so. However, I cannot force someone to share my belief system. I
can pray for them and demonstrate love while firmly, but with gentleness and respect, opposing
the cultural and institutional approval as well as the redefinition of marriage that those on the left
are ultimately seeking.
The Theological Liberal Christian:
The theologically liberal Christian also has entered the firestorm. Many of these theologically
liberal Christians attend church on Sunday mornings. Many times, these theologically liberal
Christians sit on the same pews and in the same churches with their orthodox brothers and sisters
in Christ. Theologically liberal Christians have adopted the position that the scriptural view of
marriage held by their orthodox brothers and sisters is intolerant, homophobic, and judgmental.
They claim that scripture teaches that Christians ought not judge others. Many also claim that the
orthodox position on marriage is not supported by scripture. Thus, they are making a theological
claim and judgment. That judgment is essentially an accusation that their orthodox brothers and
sisters are guilty of heresy for holding views on homosexuality and same sex marriage that are
contrary to scripture.
The Inconsistency of Theologically Liberal Christians
I find it amazing that those in the church who are screaming the loudest about the judgment of
others are quick to run to the scriptures and attempt to use them as the final arbiter of truth when
it comes to judgment. When dealing with the sin of judgment, liberal Christians exhibit a very
high view of scripture. When attempting to prove their point about judging, they claim the
Bible absolutely forbids all judgment. They argue that all judgment is wrong because the Bible
says so. However, when orthodox Christians make the same high appeal to scripture in relation
to marriage and homosexuality, a theological inconsistency appears for the theologically liberal
Christian. The rule “because the Bible says so” and the high view of scripture as the final arbiter
of issues used to scold the orthodox Christian in reference to judging suddenly disappears or is
completely ignored when placed in the context of homosexuality and same sex marriage.
Suddenly, in this context, scripture no longer has high authority. Appeals for the same standards
to be consistently applied are simply dismissed by liberal Christians supporting homosexuality
and same sex marriage. Rather than deal with their theological and scriptural inconsistency,
most simply want to ignore the inconsistency and return to the alleged sinful judgment of their
orthodox brothers and sisters.
No One Should Judge!
Frank Turek points out that one of the most cited areas of scripture by liberal Christians in
reference to judgment is Matthew 7 (Turek 2014). Theologically liberal Christians supporting
homosexuality and same sex marriage simply assert that this area of scripture is clear on judging.
Turek and others have taken a look at the context of this text. They argue, and I agree, this text
does not exegetically support that Christians should never exercise judgment (Ibid). The text
does not give an admonition never to judge (Ibid). Rather, it exegetically supports not to
hypocritically judge (Ibid). In other words, do not try and help someone else with his/her issue
before you get that same issue handled in your own life (Ibid). Then you can see well to help
your brother or sister with that issue (Ibid). So that verse does not work to make the point. In
fact, scripture is full of situations and commands that support discerning judgment. 1
Thessalonians 5: 19-22 instructs all Christians,
Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
In Acts 20, Paul writes the following to the church,
I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard!
These scriptures and many others seem to suggest that the Christian should be exercising
discerning judgment. However, the theological left seems at best to ignore this fact by applying
a double standard, or at worst to bear false witness against their orthodox brothers and sisters.
The Alliance of the Theological and Political Left
Rather than seeing a distinction between discerning and condemning judgment, the political and
theological left have simply joined forces to redefine any judgment as condemning judgment of
the person. Thus in the view of this new alliance, orthodox Christians who hold to the natural,
scriptural, and orthodox view of marriage are thereby guilty by definition. Not only can their
position be readily dismissed, it should also be silenced; any exercise of the orthodox position
should be stopped using the force of law.
The Traditional View of the Individual
Most who support traditional marriage are not exercising condemning judgment on those who
support gay marriage or any person who is homosexual. On the contrary, we see all people as
created in the very image of God. Thus, every person has inherent and sacred value. However,
Turek and others point out that being created in the image of God does not entitle us to engage in
any kind of behavior. We believe the standard for behavior is God’s standard revealed to us by
scripture. It is not just homosexual behavior that violates God’s standard, but as Turek and others
point out, it is any kind of sexual behavior outside of marriage that is the problem. Sex was
created, designed, and ordained by God for the specific institution of heterosexual marriage.
Jesus, when speaking of divorce, confirmed the essence of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6
(Stonestreet and McDowell, 2014). It is a deeply held religious belief and has been since the
dawn of creation (Ibid). That is something the political and theological left cannot credibly,
historically, or theologically deny.
The Logic Problem of the Theological and Political Left
The theological and political left’s position on the RFPA violates their own expressed principle
on judgment. They are exercising judgment upon those who hold to the orthodox position on gay
marriage. What the political and theological left fail to see is that when they say one ought not to
judge, they are applying an absolute standard and making a judgment about judging. Thus they
violate their own standard, which is one ought not to judge. Thus their position is logically self
defeating because it does that which they claim ought not to be done. Their position does not
meet its own standard which is one ought not to judge. The words chosen by the theological and
political left to describe orthodox, traditional marriage proponents are simply ad hominem.
Notice that words like homophobic and intolerant do not address the arguments of traditional
marriage proponents, they simply attack the character of those who support the traditional view
of marriage. Consequently, the theological and political left seems to clearly violate the very
notion of tolerance, which they yield as a blunt object to the head and character of anyone who
dares challenge their position.
So to all those who are advocating against the RFPA in Indiana, let’s talk about your judgment
about judging, or does that standard or logic only apply to those with whom you disagree?
Frank Turek. Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case. NaviPress, 2014., 182-183.
Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet. Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage. Baker Books: Michigan, 2014., 35-36.