Again, Facebook is the start of some great conversations. After the entire Chick-fil-a fiasco, I posted a picture of a KFC billboard that said, “We support Chick-fil-A and their Christian beliefs.” Some liked it, some commented. But the latest was from my aunt, whom I have a great and open relationship. Her last comment and the subject of this post was, “if your god loves everyone, who are you to judge anyone?” And thus the conversation continues.
First, some definitions are in order to put us on the same page.
Many songs and poems are written about this 4-letter word. Do we still have an accurate idea of what this means? I posit that we don’t. Although, there are 4 different connotations of the word “love” in the Greek language, the one I am most concerned with at the moment is agape. This can basically be summarized as non-conditional, everlasting, and selfless commitment to another person. However, it is not a forcing love. I love my wife dearly and would be heartbroken if she ever decided to leave me, but that doesn’t mean that I lock her up if she tries. I allow her to make her own decisions, but regardless of her attitude towards me, I still love her. I believe that the most famous example is that of Christ and his love for humanity. Even while being hung on a cross, he still asked his father to forgive them.
So, does God love everyone? I believe he does. There is much evidence in the Bible that God calls everyone into relationship with Him and I believe that while on this earth everyone has been touched by God and understands that He does love them. The choice to accept this or not still remains. Now, if God loves everyone, is he pleased with everyone? Absolutely not! There are atrocities in this world that my mind cannot even comprehend and when I see the innocent killing of children, inside or outside the womb, I am deeply grieved and have to turn it off before my anger and sadness overwhelm me. Husbands beating wives, neglected children, and even the disobedience of my own children are things that I am not pleased with. Some of these demand greater consequences than others, but in all, they still grieve my heart and the heart of God.
Judge or Judgment
Another word that today has been given a negative connotation because it is widely used out of context. The root of its meaning takes us back to a court room where the judge must make a decision in order to uphold the rules and therefore peace. No one walks into a court room and shouts at the attorney’s and says, “Who are you to judge?” Obviously, it is not the intent nor is it the right of a lawyer to pass judgment. Their job is strictly to present the case to the judge who will ultimately make a decision.
Then there is the topic of justice. If God wasn’t just and fair, then he would cease to be good. In the same way that a judge who looked at the evidence of a murderer and determined, “I love you too much to hurt you, so you can go free.” What a crappy god that would be. Seriously, who wants to honor and serve a god that doesn’t have consequences for evil. We have forgotten in this country that judgment is a good thing. We should all strive to be judged. How are we going to get better if not judged. What kind of Olympics would we have if there were no judges? What kind of sports games would we have if there were no scoreboard? Our judgment, whether from God or some other authority is a good thing.
So, let’s marry these two ideas; love and judgment. Now, the original comment was made that if my God loves why do I judge. The answer to that lies in the fact that I don’t judge. I will not ever take the place of the final decision and the consequences of other people’s actions. Why? Because I have been judged myself in my own heart and found guilty. However, I have been given grace and therefore, I continue to give grace to all others. So, while I do not judge the hearts of homosexuals, I do not agree, nor do I support their lifestyle. Does that mean I hate them? Absolutely not! Why would I hate someone my own creator has loved. I would then be in direct competition with God and that never bodes well for me.
So, do I love others? Yes, absolutely and completely because I have been shown what love is. Do I judge others? Absolutely not. It is not my place, nor do I want the job. It is the wonderful freedom of this country to exercise free speech and I believe that Chick-fil-A has done an excellent job of exercising this right, regardless of what the social consequences might be. If anything else, I encourage you to respect the fact that they have the right to their own opinion whether you agree with them or not. Many other companies have spoken with the same right in support of these issues and I respect them for it as well. In the end, I’ll let God be the judge, and I will love them.