Who are we to judge?If any of you are tagged in this article, it is because when the Kim Davis thing started, some of you shared your opinions and stories regarding the situation. Now it is my turn.
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
- Mahatma Gandhi
That quote was how I wanted to start this article that I have wanted to write since that whole ordeal took place with Kim Davis back a few months ago regarding not wanting to issue marriage licenses for homosexual couples. Was she wrong or right?
However, before I begin this article, Tim Challies, author of the article Gandhi doesn't like us (Christians), has written an article about that quote that I personally found interesting that I had not read before, but glad I found. For those of you who are open minded enough to look at the "two sides to every story" as I do when it comes to other people's views, opinions, choice of lifestyle, or who likes to play "Devil's Advocate" as I love to do in life and in the interviews I conduct when I interview Christian and Non-Christian bands for The Outcast Music Magazine (Mainly Heavy Metal Music) - I recommend clicking on that link up above and checking out that article.
Everyone judges; whether it is food, clothing, cars, trucks (Ford vs Chevy), and of course probably the biggest judgments passed are on people (especially politicians). Not one person is innocent. However, some people are more "tolerable", or loving, than others when it comes to people's choices in life and how they choose to live. Would that statement also be considered judging? Can anyone see where I'm going with this yet? I feel if judgment didn't exist, I do not think crime would exist, choices wouldn't exist, different cars, competition or sports, etc. Everyone would think and act the same if one did not judge, or am I foolish for thinking this way? It's ok, you CAN THINK and judge that comment.
I asked some questions on facebook a few months back, and although I did not receive as many responses as I would have liked, I did receive three. My questions asked;
Is there a difference between tolerance and love, and if one doesn't agree with another person's views but loves them no matter what they choose, is that called tolerance for accepting them?
Megan Jallas Baker commented - "Love is just love. Love for humanity begets acceptance. I hate that word "tolerance", because tolerating is like enduring. Love trumps all." (Not Donald Trump!! - he, he, he - Mike)
Sara Lee commented - "If you feel you have to tolerate someone then it isn't love. If I disagree with the person I love and their ideas, I will explain why I disagree, but I don't try to change their way of thinking. I accept them for whom and what they are. I didn't choose that person for their ideas, and if it feels that you have to tolerate them instead of just accepting who they are, then it's time to reevaluate if it's really love."
David Horecker commented - "I put individual rights above all else. I may not agree with a person but I support all of their rights. When the framers of the constitution wrote "majority rule with minority rights" they meant it. Disagree with them all you want, but support their individual rights to do as they see fit for themselves under the law."
Kim Davis, was she right or wrong for what she did in not handing out marriage licenses because of her beliefs?
Romans 13:1-3 states; Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. For the authorities do not frighten people who are doing right, but they frighten those who do wrong. So do what they say, and you will get along well.
Is there a time when it is ok for man not to submit to earthly authorities according to scripture? When these authorities tell us to disobey God rather than man, as Christians, we must respectfully decline. (Acts 5:29)
So again I ask; According to her beliefs, was Kim Davis wrong or right? In my humble opinion, Kim Davis was only doing what she felt in her heart God wanted her to do. Who are we to judge her for what she did? As soon as she started speaking out for what she believed in, she too was being judged by those who do not share her beliefs. And shortly after all of this began all sorts of hateful and degrading things started popping up on fb about her. Now, I will admit I did not see all of the news footage covering this dramatic tale, but was she being hateful towards the same sex couples who wanted these marriage licenses, or was she just standing her ground for what she believed in? But again, who are we to judge her heart? No one... And if one could not see the hypocrisy from those who were criticizing her and judging her for her faith, her beliefs, then maybe one shouldn't express hateful remarks towards her?
However, as I am known to do in almost all of my stories, there will usually always be another side and opinion I share with the readers. Even though she was doing what she felt was right in Gods eyes, the Supreme Court made it law across the United States to legalize same sex marriage. So once again, in my humble opinion, instead of making this a "circus event" for all sides to act like "clowns," she should have respectfully and maybe even quietly, resigned from her position if she was that convicted about giving out same sex marriage licenses. If the law of man no longer goes according to Gods word, which is what the United States has slowly been shifting towards since President Obama took office, then as believers, we should just accept the "storm" that is approaching and sit back and let prophesy unfold. We aren't here to judge, or to change people, just "plant seeds" and let God do the changing of the heart. We may be able to influence people who are nonbelievers with our testimonies and the miracles we've experienced in our lives, but in the end it will be God who will change a person's heart and mind about His existence and who He is, not man. Well, that was my experience any way. Well, actually I suppose He used a man in order to reach me, but not as I expected and he wasn't a Christian (Read Finding Mikey if you are curious why I choose to believe in Christ and how it happened).
Although I am a follower of Christ, like all other humans on this planet, I have my faults, my weaknesses. But due to the horrible choices I have made in my own life, I would like to think that when it comes to people living in a way that may not be healthy for themselves, I'm a lot more accepting and loving towards these people than those who may not have ever experienced drug addiction, or other things that may be deemed unholy or wrong by others. I feel those whom have experienced the darker side of life most of their lives, tend to be a bit more loving and accepting towards others once they come out of that darkness. Again, would those comments be deemed judgmental?
Just because a follower of Christ will not support something, doesn't mean they hate the people involved in it. As some say, hate the sin, love the sinner. Some people tend to confuse concern, with judgement. If one understood exactly where a follower of Christ was coming from with their love and concern, maybe "judgment" wouldn't be misunderstood? And what about Jesus, did Jesus Christ ever judge? What is it that humans like to say? Heck, even when I was a Satanist back in the day I used that against Christians who were sharing their message of Christ. "Don't judge me!! Even Jesus said not to judge others!!!" But that statement is only half true.
Jesus Christ said this about judging according to scripture.
"Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment." - John 7
In other words, do not judge a book by its cover, but by the content in the book. Does that make sense? By looking at someone we would not be able to tell that he or she may be a professional thief, but if they robbed us and saw them do it, we would yell; "Stop, thief!!" We judged that person by right judgement because of his or hers actions. Stating the obvious isn't always a negative judgment, but truth. I find people tend to confuse truth with judgment, but how humans tend to say their choice of words towards speaking the truth, with love and concern, or hate and disgust, is where the harm truly lays.
"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother; "Let me take the speck out of your eye, when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." - Matthew 7
"The problem with interpreting this passage to support it being a non-judgmental comment is that Jesus says to judge in the last line - "take the speck out of your brother's eye." He is commenting on how to judge, not forbidding it. He is condemning hypocritical judgment, in which the person judging does a poor job making judgments about his own life, but thinks that he is an expert at solving the same problems in other people's lives. Jesus says that once a person is able to make judgments about his own life, then he is competent to take the speck out of someone else's eye. Or as in the AA program, alcoholics that kick the habit are able to help others with the same problem."
- (Greg Bahnsen)
The reason I wanted to write this article is because of the Kim Davis story and how both sides acted pretty foolishly. Yup, I just judged. Humans tend not to see how judgmental humans really are and I'm hoping my article can maybe shed some light and spark some thought provoking questions in what I'm about to discuss next that I'm sure is going to make some people upset, but maybe not? But as a Christian and for someone who was raped as a child, homosexuality is something that I do understand more than some of you may know or realize. Homosexuality is such a touchy subject for Christians and maybe some Non-Christians alike, but why? What is it that makes people kill people for being a homosexual (RIP Orlando victims) other than just pure hate and having hate fuel these ideologies? What is it about homosexuality that most Christians turn their backs on those who are gay other than maybe the Bible stating that it is an abomination? Yes, the Bible does speak against homosexuality, and for those who think or claim that Christ did not speak against it, well, you're wrong, because He did. But to you fellow believers in Christ, what was His number one teaching? LOVE! Only God condemns those who choose to live away from God, not humans. It's ok to hate the sin, it is, but it isn't ok to hate the person who chooses to be gay or who "may have been born that way." Ahhhh.. here we go.. The arguments..
Are gay people born or made this way? Is it a choice or is it not? Guess what? From personal and life experiences, it's both, but let us first look at both sides scientifically speaking.
"For the first several weeks a developing embryo follows a "female blueprint," from reproductive organs to nipples. Only after about 60 days does the hormone testosterone kick in (for those of us with a Y chromosome), changing the genetic activity of cells in the genitals and brain." - (Ben Mauk - Live Science.) So again I ask, are homosexuals born this way, or made? As I mentioned before, they are both. For those of you who think homosexuals are not born this way, then answer me this, what gender would a human born as a hermaphrodite be classified as, due to being born with both male and female parts even though his body may be male or female? Although there are not very many cases, they do exist. So who are we to say that a man or woman being born that has the body of a man, or woman, did not develop the way they were supposed to on the inside as they did on the outside? Who are we to judge what they think or feel on the inside when we are not "walking in their shoes?"
I'm not sure about other Christians, but the only answer I can think about that would explain this to me would be sin. In Genesis, scripture states that even the animals that eat meat now, were actually supposed to eat plants. It wasn't until sin entered the earth that animals began to eat other animals. When sin entered the world, everything got out of whack basically, and in some cases, so did science.
However, going back to the science of it all and seeing the other side of the coin per se, if men and men were supposed to be together, and women were supposed to be with other women, wouldn't they be able to reproduce with one another? The bottom line, I feel that if both sexes were supposed to be with one another, they would be able to reproduce. But once again, just because I feel and think this way, that doesn't mean I am going to treat or judge my fellow brother's or sister's because they choose to live a certain way, you know? Once again... Love conquers all.
Now I'm going to talk about those who "were made" and who CHOSE the homosexual life style due to being raped and due to rejection, but first, rape. Although I am not going to mention his name (RIP brother), someone, and not just him, who I went to high school with was raped by the same man as I was when I moved to this country; Dale Jones. This individual, whom died of AIDS for living a promiscuous and homosexual lifestyle, along with some other gay friends that I have, and had (RIP to you all), would have told you straight up that having being raped at a young age messed with their psyche in ways that unless one has been raped as a child, will never understand what it does to a person, and sadly he wasn't the only guy friend that I had who chose this life style due to what happened to them as children by a man. I also have gay female friends who also chose the homosexual life style due to a man molesting them as children. That the thought of being with a man made them sick to their stomach, so they found love elsewhere. Finding love elsewhere... Rejection from the opposite sex..
Unfortunately, due to the sad reality of our society and how society and the media says we need to look like physically in order to be "sexy" or attractive to the eye, I've met homosexual couples (male and female) who chose to be homosexuals due to not finding love within the opposite sex, so they ended up choosing love from someone that gave them love and attention from the same sex. Again, not making fun here, but most of these homosexual couples are usually overweight or not attractive to societies standards. And what do a lot of these homosexual couples have in common? And not to mention the majority of all homosexuals (made and born) in general that I have met and hung out with over the past 20 years? And yes, I'm judging and stating facts from personal life experiences. These individuals are all usually addicts, either alcoholics or drug addicts, but the majority of them are all addicts, but why?
As I mentioned in Sex, Drugs..., addicts are usually running away from something. Some pain inside that they want to numb, hide, or pretend doesn't exist, but why? Is it because they know deep inside they aren't living the way they should be? Is it because of the hateful pressures from their family or society? Are they trying to drown their pain from being raped as children? I'm sure it is a combination of things, but this is just an observation that I have made over time.
My friend, and boss at work, Brian S, asked me at work one year after same sex marriage was legalized if I would take his and his husband's John's wedding pictures. I'm not going to lie, being a follower of Christ and not believing in same sex marriage, the moment he asked me if I would do so, I did not say yes or no right away because I was kind of "shocked" and confused on how to answer his question. All I asked was; "When is the wedding?" And from that day forward until I finally decided on what I was going to do, all I did was pray and pray on what I should do. As you see from the picture posted, I did indeed take his and John's wedding pictures, but not because I agree with same sex marriage, but because I felt God wanted me to show them the love of Christ. But in the same breathe and I'm not going to lie here folks, if I were a preacher or had Kim D. position of handing out marriage licenses, I would have said no to them. But please, please, do not think me saying "No." would have been out of hatred, because it would not have been. Once again, just because someone doesn't agree with something someone else does or believes in, doesn't mean they hate the person. Yes, it does happen, but why judge the person (or all Christians and non-Christians) unless you know them on a personal level?
So now I have to ask the question, am I having or showing "double minded standards?" Is there a difference between me taking pictures of a same sex couple and say me performing the ceremony or handing out marriage licenses? I feel there was and there is a difference between the three, but I also feel if God did not or had not wanted me to take their wedding pictures, I would have been convicted about it as I have been convicted over other choices in my life over the years. But I can honestly say I did not feel like He did not want me to do so. Although once again I am far from perfect and have made many mistakes, I felt in my heart I was doing the right thing at that moment in my life due to my love and heart being in the right place. Was I wrong or right? So let the judgments begin!!
When I look at scripture and who Christ was, God in the flesh, and how many times He called out the religious for hating on the sinners in the stories told in the Bible (and probably more not told), who was it that He hung out with the most, the religious teacher's, or broken people (the outcasts of society if you please)? Time and time and again, He was found sticking up for "the outcasts." Time and time and again, he hung out with those who were broken. Again, what was His number one teaching and commandment? LOVE! "Love the lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments." (Mathew 22:36 - 40).
Now, going back to the double minded standard of things and injustices in this country, the thing I strongly disagreed with and really hated hearing about after same sex marriage was legalized across the United States was how could and how did same sex couples sue the businesses that they tried getting flowers or a cake from for their wedding, but were denied (Lakewood Bakery, etc.)? Most of these businesses were owned and operated by people who follow Christ, so if these people did not feel right providing a service to a same sex couple due to their beliefs, how could these couples sue these companies? I have seen in various restaurants and stores; "We have the right to refuse service to anyone." If one owns a privately owned business, not a franchise, how can ANY ONE, especially "the law" or homosexual couples, sue these individuals when they have EVERY right to refuse service to anyone? If any business did not agree with (not hate) same sex marriages due to their beliefs, how could they get sued for their beliefs? These businesses are getting sued for "discriminating against homosexuals" yet these business owners are also getting discriminated against due to their beliefs and harassed for their beliefs. Can one not see the hypocrisy and injustice in this? These business owners had every right to do what they did and these same sex couples could have easily just said; "Ok. Sorry you feel this way." and moved on to a business that would have met their needs. Straight, homosexual, Christian, Non-Christian, etc. No one likes getting discriminated against.
In closing, for those whom know me on a personal level, the thing that really sucks about "acting a fool" or having a playful personality is when I am trying to be serious in raising questions one may have never thought about before. Will the people whom know me actually take my words, my stories, serious? Will my words or stories provoke thoughts in one's mind that one may have never thought about? Will my words spoken and my faith spoken be taken serious?
For those of you who think and feel ALL followers of Christ are judgmental bigots and assholes, maybe, just maybe, there are some of us out there who hold Christ's number one teaching of love as their goal in life as I do? Yeah, I'm not perfect, I make mistakes, we all fail and fall short on a daily basis, but LOVE, love is a choice just as much as hate is. Learn to love.. LOSE THE HATE!!! Peace!!