Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Making Moral Judgments

"You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly" (Leviticus 19:15).

We Christians place a high value on empathy and compassion - or at least we should, if we are trying to live in the image of Christ!  Where far too many Christians run into trouble today however, at least in the West, is when we sacrifice truth in the name of compassion - when we excuse, or worse yet affirm, what Christ would call sin in the name of sparing someone's "feelings."  There is no love without truth.  Sentimentality, yes; but not love. 

Love seeks the other's good, his/her objective good - and that is freedom from sin and life with God.  A person can derive pleasure from something that is killing them.  We see it on the natural level:  smoking, abuse of alcohol, contraction of a sexually transmitted disease.  And the same is true on the supernatural level!  Sin kills the soul, and to remain in that death - to never have repented and accepted God's forgiveness - is to step into Hell.  And for a Christian to affirm someone else engaging in what is objectively sinful behavior, or to keep silent when speaking up could save that person's life, is the opposite of love

The Christian does not speak up out of the desire to condemn, but to save - exactly as Jesus did.  We need to judge - to evaluate actions - by Christ's criteria. His judgment does not change because we shed a few tears or feel "condemned" by what He tells us; He loves us far too much to cave to that kind of sentimentality.  He knows our lives hang in the balance.  "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:17).

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