Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The "judge not lest you be judged" thingie

I am a Christian and I am sick to death of people using their "Christian" faith as a weapon of mass discrimination. People of all faiths are welcome to worship and live out their faith as they please, but they are not entitled to impose their religious beliefs on others -- not even recently famous would-be Christian martyr County Clerk Kim Davis.

Apparently Davis is fairly new to Christianity and apparently she is involved in an evangelical branch of the faith, which tends to be heavy on biblical literalism and light on theological study.

What disturbs me is that she clearly is being taught a Christianity based in fear, not love. Hence her overwrought claim that the act of issuing a marriage license to same-sex couples would endanger her immortal soul. She overlooks the whole "judge not lest you be judged" thingie.

According to news reports, Davis was pregnant with twins by her third husband before she was divorced from her first husband. Her second husband then adopted the twins. She later divorced the second husband and married her third husband, who she also later divorced to marry her fourth husband.

Are you following this so far?

According to her attorneys, her divorces and remarriages happened before she became a Christian, and now all those past mistakes are forgiven and thus not relevant. But Jesus doesn't offer "get out of jail free" cards.

Being forgiven doesn't mean there are no consequences for one's behavior. Some measure of humility is called for, not smugness. Self-examination is good. Examination of the faults of others, not so much.

Jesus' forgiveness doesn't come with a license to judge others. In fact, Jesus is pretty clear about who gets to judge others, and it ain't Kim Davis. Just read Matthew 7:

7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

And there's that inconvenient thing Jesus says about looking at the speck in your brother's eye while ignoring the log in your own.
Still, while I think she should either do her job or resign, I also feel compassion for her. The faith that should be bringing her peace is instead clearly terrorizing her. Hence her talk of this being a "life or death matter."

But dear Ms. Davis, you don't have to make this so hard. You don't have to be so afraid.

See, here's the thing. God loves us all. No exceptions.

The Jesus you follow said that the two great commandments are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. In these two commandments lie all the law and the prophets.

God loves you. God loves you now. God loved you when you were getting divorced and remarried. God loved you when you had your twins. And God will love you even if you issue those marriage licenses.

Because God also loves those same-sex couples who are coming to your office seeking to get a license that will allow them to seal their commitment and mutual love in a marriage.

God IS love. Jesus taught that, again and again. So do not be afraid. It's not all on your shoulders.

God loves who God will love. You aren't on God's selection committee. 

Indeed, you're supposed to be part of the welcoming committee.

1 comment:

Mitch Carnell said...

This is an outstanding article. God is love is really all that matters.