August 9 – Only God Can Judge Me

only god

When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.  I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

Read: Ezra 8:21-9:15, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, Psalm 31:1-8, Proverbs 21:1-2

Relate: About a year back while the international competition was in full swing, I was browsing through my internet newsfeed when I noticed an offhand comment in an article saying that Westboro Baptist was protesting the Olympics. Occasionally curious to see this trainwreck in action I tried briefly to do a little more research. In a brief look see I didn’t see much more about it but that doesn’t surprise me. Their shenanigans are mostly ignored by the rational world at this point. It also wouldn’t surprise me if they were actually protesting Rio. After all, the Olympics shifting stance about transgender athletes does seem to be right up WBC’s protest alley.

Not to be deterred, I did something I frequently do for theological or political research but have apparently never done for something as base as Westboro Baptist Church. I went to the source. At least, I tried to. Apparently their church domain is “www.godhatesfags.com”? Really? Somebody please tell me this is a parody site. Before digging into Rio I tried to figure out if this was their real page or not. As best as I can tell, it is and quite frankly, that sickens me. After a few minutes, I had to get out of there and go take a shower to wash that filth off before I could come back to the keyboard and start typing again.

React: In case you didn’t guess, I can’t stand Westboro Baptist Church. However, you might be a little bit surprised to know why. I mean, if they want to be all stupid and angry and protest everything from the Olympics to military funerals, to… frozen? (Seriously, just… let it go) that’s fine. They have the right to protest to their heart’s content. (I am probably being very generous in assuming they have hearts) America has a long standing tradition of protest and the frivolous are just as free to do so as the deadly serious, the not quite politically correct just as much as those on the cutting edge of social reform. What gets me is they call themselves a “church” and they blame God as a motivator for their evil. If they want to sin, go ahead and sin… just don’t call yourself a Christian as you revel in it.

The same thing is true for pretty much another issue. If someone wants to go out and get drunk every weekend, that’s their choice. While I won’t be going out with you, I have no problem sitting down for a cup of coffee (or çay here in Turkey) any time you want to chat. The same is true with the practicing homosexual, the white collar embezzler, the porn addict, the drug dealer, and the gossip. However some person chooses to live their life… its their life and I have no problem showing my love and friendship to them even if I might not participate in, or even endorse, their choices.

But if someone wants to get wasted every night and then call themselves a Christian… I want nothing to do with them. If they are Christian and rainbow proud. Go somewhere else. If you want to be verbally abusive, or openly cheating on your spouse, or spreading every rumor that finds its way to your ears while pretending to be a faithful follower of Christ… I want no part of it. Either turn your life around or shut up. Don’t call yourself a part of the spotless bride while gloriously wallowing in the mud. If you are fighting a sin, I will work with you and pray with you and storm heaven’s gates on your behalf. If you are engaging in sin while not claiming to be a Christian I will pray for you and meet with you and storm heaven’s gates on your behalf. But if you call yourself a Christian while proudly holding that God hate’s fags sign, or that rainbow flag… I might still storm heaven’s gates on your behalf but here on earth I will do everything I can to disassociate from you. Westboro Baptist protester, KKK marcher down in Charlottesville, you are not a Christian. Stop lying to yourself and the world. Actively openly proud gay church member, you are not a Christian. Stop lying to yourself and the world.

Many inside the church are very quick to judge society and culture and “the world”. Many in that world and even other Christians are quick to say, “Don’t judge.” We are called to judge, but we are called to judge only those who claim to be part of God’s family. So, judge for yourselves. Am I right on this or am I just a hate filled bigot?

Respond: 

Dear God,
Let me ever always be a positive representative of You. Help me to hate sin and fight it in all the insidious ways it might try to corrupt my life. Help me to be an intercessor for all those who have blinded by sin’s deceit whether inside the church or out. But help me also to make it clear that You hold those that claim to be Your kids to a higher standard. Though I might not often meet that standard help me to ever strive towards that goal while motivating others to do the same. Help us to never forget that that battle is proof of the bond. If we are not fighting it, we are not Your family.
Amen

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37 thoughts on “August 9 – Only God Can Judge Me

  1. I love this post, so well said. There’s something important in the bible about being teachable. So while it is technically true that only God can judge us, it is far wiser to avail ourselves of some trusted advisors who are often just trying to protect us from some future misery.

    As to Westboro, they are really just one small cultian family, given a huge media presence and internet reputation that is much larger than they are. The dad has since passed away, two of his kids are estranged from him and have spoken publicly about abuse, leaving a rather small group receiving an incredible amount of publicity. A “protest” for example, is usually something like 3 people holding signs. It’s sad because all the millions of Christians actually doing good things, rarely get any media coverage. That’s distorts people’s perceptions of “Christians.”

  2. You are not wrong nor a bigot. I’ve often been accused of being both when I say, we are to judge sin, not the sinner; but within the church–those who are supposed to know, we can say to them, when they choose to live in opposition to God’s Word–they are wrong. I believe the Bible is written to Believers and for those who don’t know, they won’t necessarily believe it, but for those of us who do know–what we believe should be evident in our daily walk before others.

  3. You are right in everything you said in this post. Far from being a “hate filled bigot” my friend. That church is no more Christian than a rock in the middle of a stream. It is those that give the sour taste in others mouths when they hear the word “Christian.” It’s a shame and like the rest of us, they will face the Lord face to face.

  4. “If you are fighting a sin, I will work with you and pray with you and storm heaven’s gates on your behalf” – Well said. We need more people like you. My dream is to be surrounded with people who stand together against evil. Not people who are too afraid to tackle the real issues. May God be with you, and everybody else who are fighting the good fight. It is not easy.

  5. Amen. All of us are a work in progress, as you know. Yes, please, Lord, don’t let go of us, I trust Your promise to complete each of us.

    ***and yes, it is heartbreaking to have Westboro Baptist church as any example. The minute any of us claim to be Believers, we are the Bible they read.

  6. You are so right and spot on! We as Christians are called to be a light to the world, but in order do that we have to always be watching and cleaning our own house, the church to make sure that it does shine, but not blinds with sin!

  7. Beejai, I share you indignation but the scripture you quoted also includes “or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people.” It isn’t always cut and dry. There are other scriptures that deals with judging brothers and sisters where gentleness is also encouraged such as Gal 6:1 plus Rom 14:1 where disputable matters are addressed. Sexual immorality is not disputable within the Church. You state “Westboro Baptist protester, you are not a Christian. Stop lying to yourself and the world. Actively openly proud gay church member, you are not a Christian. Stop lying to yourself and the world.” Disassociate, pretty much a no brainer but categorically saying they are not a Christian, I think I would leave that one for God to decide.

  8. I am a Muslim and this post just talked to me at a whole new level. I think I’ve always worried about how judgmental you must be of someone doing something terribly wrong in the name of religion or otherwise especially when this ‘don’t judge’ is a pretty common used phrase nowadays. Guess I’ve gotten my answers. Thank you. MAY GOD BLESS YOU!

  9. Being a bigot is when one judge based on their own narrow views and understanding of things. Not on what’s written. There’s far more written about the Bible than more are willing to accept or understand about it. Being a bigot is when one dissect the Word of God and apply or accept on that which suit them and omit the verses following or precluding. The Bible is like this. You have to accept all of it to fully understand what God is saying. Not just the parts we like. He says a lot many doesn’t like but to follow Him in truth and spirit one has to accept all of it. As for those who engage in sexual sins it is our job to go among them and teach them what they are doing is wrong. It’s up to them if they listen. Not separate from them, shall we then we are putting ourselves above the Christ and that within itself is a grave sin. Christ, who is God in Three Persons associated with the worst of humanity and brought them into His Grace. That’s the job of a true warrior.You have to do that which no one will or wants to do.

  10. We make judgments all the time. Is it safe to cross the street, is that person safe, etc. There is a right and wrong. However, we’re called to love, first and foremost and forever. Sin is sin. God defines that, not us. I struggle with the balance.
    And I’m a sinner, though I don’t want to be. Thank God for His love.

  11. So true, and excellent. Living in North Carolina we are going through our own issues right now. Although in our case there are bigots and hypocrites on all sides of the infamous HB2 issue. All I could think reading this post though was how many misguided U.S. Christians think our country is somehow Christian. Forgetting God’s kingdom is not a political party or even superpower. Over here we have become divided between those who don’t believe, those who think church is synonymous with government, and those who follow the teachings of the New Testament. As a result, we hurt and message of Jesus and salvation, not only here, but around the world. Worse, it causes other Christians to turn a blind eye to their brother’s and sister’s struggles in the name of “not judging” because they rightfully want to disassociate themselves from the pro government/religion monster.

    This is such a good reminder of who is to be judged and not judged, and honestly reminds us that we are one body around the globe serving God’s kingdom and not man’s.

  12. “Only god an judge me” is a wrong assumption. God, was more or less the same, we all are. He only got a job much earlier.
    Walking, without changing anything, without even trying to tell the truth, is cowardly and useless.
    (I’m almost certain, that comments on your blog need to be approved, bitch”)

  13. Welcome to the “I Hate Westboro” Club and you are not alone. Their pride has blinded them to the truth and nothing short of a Damascus road experience will change them. They pride themselves on their pride. But, to be sure we often do the same when we stick our noses up in the air and pompously do some of the same things as we fail to think WWJD…As much as Westboro causes me to want to vomit I must remember what they do covertly and overtly I also do covertly when I judge another. It is a fine line we walk but walk we do and that is why we must seek the mercies of God each new day and why we must remember to exhibit Christ even to those who drag his name in the mud.
    *sigh* …good thoughts and well put…now to put feet to our disgust and pray for God’s mercy be upon them and upon us as well when I act or think like a Westboro and no they are NOT Baptists in any sense of the word. That makes my blood boil as my 8th great grandfather was Roger Williams and the founder of the Baptist church in Rhode Island and he was not a Westboro in any shape or form. End of my rambling…
    BTW: thanks for liking my blog post…now that was awesome.
    Blessings!
    G.

  14. My only problem with this is that we can only see what’s on the outside, so our judgment is necessarily incomplete. I don’t judge anyone, but I hold my brothers and sisters in Christ to a higher standard.

  15. I agree with almost everything you wrote her and you wrote it beautifully. The only point I wonder about is gay people who say they are Christians and you say they are not.

    My sister is gay and lives in a monogamous relationship. They live as if married and were discussing marriage recently. They are both believers in God. Each day they give their lives to God, study the Bible and help the poor. My sister has given away many Bibles and brought people to belief in God.

    My sister does not believe being gay and being in a monogamous relationship is a sin. This is what I believe; Times and customs change. It was the custom in Old Testament times to have more than one wife. This is a form of adultery. Yet God overlooked this in many of his people. He did not charge them with sin or tell them to give up the extra wives. Why? I don’t know.

    In our culture, being attracted to the same sex is accepted by most people and is very, very common. Just like multiple wives in the ancient days. I could be wrong about all this, and probably most Christians would say I am, but I take the verse below to say that God writes his laws in every conscience. I know that some things I did many years ago, I would never do now because I can now see it is sin. I didn’t see that years ago at all. But God sharpened my conscience. My sister’s conscience does not accuse her about being gay. She believes God accepts her as she is. So do I.

    14. “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. 16. This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.” Romans 2:14-16

  16. It’s imperative that we criticize sinful actions but avoid personal attacks. As for the people of Westboro Baptist, they do not represent God or a proper way to speak out against sin.

  17. Matthew 15:17-20 (NIV) 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

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