Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
This is ridiculous.
Here’s the title of an article I read this morning: “Hospice Helps Dying Man Lose His Virginity.”
The staff at a church-run facility helped a young man with muscular dystrophy commit fornication with a prostitute—they set it up for him. The founder of the hospice, Sister Frances, said, “I know that some people will say ‘You are a Christian foundation. What are you thinking about?’ But we are here for all faiths and none,” she said. Further, “It is not our job to make moral decisions for our guests. We came to the conclusion that it was our duty of care to support Nick emotionally and to help ensure his physical safety.”
Perhaps that means they gave him a condom.
Similarly, when discussing the ugly behavior of someone in the public eye, a guest on The Bill O’Reilly Show said essentially, “Well, she isn’t doing at all what she says she believes. Her morals don’t match what she says is her Christian faith…” And before she could finish, the host strongly cut her off by saying, “I’m going to stop you right there! That’s not our job—to judge someone else is not ours to do! That’s for the Deity! When you sit there and judge, you’re getting awfully close to Deity! That’s between her and God, and I won’t let you do that on this show!”
Here’s a man who says his show is a “No Spin Zone,” and who claims he is all about holding people’s feet to the fire, and he pops off with that?!
I think we don’t know what the New Testament says about judgment, so we’re throwing it all out the window, even making it a higher level of spirituality if we tell others to throw it out the window, too—“That’s for the Deity!”
But we’re supposed to judge. In fact, it’s a vital part of life in the body of Christ.
There are essentially two kinds of judgment: one condemns to hell, and the other discerns. One is eternal, and the other is temporal. We don’t bother with the first, but we must be concerned with the second. Otherwise, Christian strippers for Jesus (saw them on the news some months ago), drunkards for God, tax evaders for Jesus, and Saturday night playboys for God get no criticism?! No judgment from us?!
That’s ridiculous. And we ought to be more comfortable in saying it is.
Concerning an unrepentant Christian brother, one fornicating like nobody’s business, Paul writes, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you." (1Cor 5:12,13, italics mine.)
If Paul were to speak that, I would expect him to pause and follow it with, “Duh!”
Look, I’m all about knowing God and knowing what He thinks of me and of others so I may live by His grace at work in me. That’s my passion. But behavior has to get our attention, if only to redirect us to Him. Letting Fornicator Frank run loose in the church because “It’s not mine to judge” is ludicrous—judge him, and then go get him! Tell him that his faith and fornication don’t go together. Duh! Treat him as a new creation in Christ by working to awaken him through the gospel and by the Spirit. And if he refuses to wake up and knock it off, heave ho!
Sister Frances, if Nick isn’t a Christian, be a real care-giver and give Him the gospel. But don’t assist him toward hell! He’s already dying—are you nuts?! And if he is a Christian, then make a judgment and help him to know Jesus. Knowing Jesus will satisfy him, unlike hooking-up with Patty Prostitute.
By the grace of God, Paul woke up the Corinthian Christians with chapter one. There he addressed them as the “sanctified” and “holy” sons of God they had become, who were on the way to being kept “blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul knew they were acting way out of line, so, judging their behavior, he built them up in Christ. When once they repented and came to their senses, they were ready to hear how to live.
Make a judgment, and throw unrepentant, Fornicator Frank out!
Paul writes, “If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?” (1 Cor 5:12-6:6 NIV)
So, let’s be clear about judgment. If you're working to restore Christians to the grace of God, it's a much-needed kindness. Even if they're unrepentant and a heave ho! is necessary, you're not forsaking them, but trusting God with them.
And I’m glad I got that off my chest.