Hypocrisy, Judgment, and Stoning

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 11.58.45 AMBy Louisa Rux

The Charter Opinions 5/29/17

“If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with a good will, who am I to Judge?”

-Pope Francis

Disclaimer: I am in no means dismissing the Christian people who accept people of the LGBTQ+ community with open arms, nor am I attempting to bash the Christian community in any way. My message is focusing on the people of the Christian community who are not welcoming to LGBTQ+ people so my arguments are set up to target Bible believing Christians.

Christians over the past decades have obtained a stereotype that they all–we all, as I am a Christian–hate gay people, and anyone of the LGBTQ+ community, even that the Bible and God preach hatred towards the community. However, this is not true. Myself, and many other thoughtful Christians support the community. Unfortunately, most of the general Christian population does not support the community.

Rachel Armstrong, the former Editor-in-Chief of the ACA Charter and a current columnist, is one who has seen this negativity. “I notice that the majority of the Christian community tend to have a negative attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community, but that does not reflect the Christian teachings, nor the opinions of every Christian.” Elliot Barnhill, a Charter reporter, said something along the same lines of this, claiming he perceived the Christian community’s attitude to be, “Hostile at worst, disdainful mostly, accepting at best.”

What follows are three arguments using biblical evidence for why the Christian community should be more supportive and welcoming towards the LGBTQ+ community, as well as why we should stop wrongfully judging people since we all have sin.

First, Christians need to stop treating homosexuality as if it is much worse than any other sin. In fact, this is not the case. James 2:10 states, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” There is much debate within the Christian community on whether or not all sin is equal or not, but I believe that all sin is equal. Furthermore, we are hypocrites to chastise people for being gay and “sinful” because no one is without sin. Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

It is true that homosexuality is regarded in the Bible as a sin (Leviticus 18 and 1 Timothy 1:10 to name two of these verses). But do you know what is also regarded as a sin? Judging people.

This brings us to my second point. There are many more verses in the Bible that speak of the wrongness of judging others. James 4:11-12 proclaims, “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it…There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?” What this verse means is that we as people must not judge our brothers and sisters, since there is only one person, God, that has the power to judge.

In the Bible, there is a story where Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives. The Pharisees (holy men of that time who were highly regarded, but did not approve of Jesus) brought forth a woman that had committed adultery.

John 8:3-8: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a new basis for accusing him…he [Jesus] straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’”. All the people leave one by one until there is nothing left, and Jesus tells the woman that she will not be condemned, instead instructing her to go forth and live a life free of sin.

There is much that can be learned from these verses, but one of the things it tells us is that we do not have a right to cast judgment and condemnation on others because we ourselves have sin. Jesus showed grace and mercy, and we, as Christians, must do the same in regards to people of the LGBTQ+ community.

One thing that is interesting about the Bible is that when it mentions the seven things that are an abomination to the Lord, homosexuality is not mentioned. Proverbs 6:16-19: “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

Notice that the verse does not say that God hates homosexuality. But it does say he hates haughty eyes. Haughty, by definition, means to be snobbish or to look down on people. One of its synonyms just so happens to be…judgmental.Yet, even though the Lord apparently considers people being ‘haughty’ and judgmental an abomination, Christians constantly behave this way towards people of the LGBTQ+ community. How can we claim to be followers of Christ if we do the very thing that God considers an abomination?

Another verse that talks about judgement is Romans 2:1: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”

Thricely, instead of casting judgment on others, Christians are called to love one another and to spread the Gospel. Mark 12:31 says: “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no greater commandment than these.” We as Christians must be good representatives of the Lord and treat people, all people, with respect. Rachel Armstrong astutely said, “I have yet to go to a single church that doesn’t talk about the importance of love, and/or that God is love. Everybody deserves to be loved, respected, and supported, regardless of their sexuality.”

Christians should also bear in mind that we are told, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” in Luke 6:31. Unless there is someone who wishes to have people angrily march through streets with posters with nasty things written on them while they scream about how they are going to hell, I highly suggest Christians (and others) refrain from doing so.

One of the most important aspects of Christianity is to spread the Gospel. John 3:17: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” We are not called as Christians to judge and condemn people for who they are. We also do not get to pick and choose who we judge and do not judge; we are called to spread love to EVERYONE. The Christian community and the LGBTQ+ community both aim to spread love. It is my hope that both communities will one day be able to do so side by side.

Sources:

“30 Top Bible Verses About Love – Encouraging Scripture Quotes.” Bible Study Tools. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2017. <http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/love-bible-verses/>.

“37 Top Bible Verses About Judging Others – Inspiring Scriptures.” Bible Study Tools. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2017. <http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-on-judging/>.

“BibleGateway.” John 8:3-11 – – Bible Gateway. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2017. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2B8%3A3-11>.

“Can One Sin Be Worse than Another Sin, or Are All Sins Equal?” Obedience – Can One Sin Be Worse than Another Sin, or Are All Sins Equal? – Christianity Stack Exchange. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2017. <https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/2118/can-one-sin-be-worse-than-another-sin-or-are-all-sins-equal>.

Armstrong, Rachel. “Christian+LGBTQ+=OK.” Message to the author. 22 May 2017. E-mail.

Barnhill, Elliot. “Christian+LGBTQ+=OK.” Message to the author. 21 May 2017. E-mail.

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