by Tad Lindley
The t-shirt read, “If you don’t like Taco Bell, you’re wrong!” When I saw that I thought to myself, “This guy better watch his step or he is going to get jumped by some tacophobes (after they get done throwing paint on people’s fur parkas).” It is pretty bold in the modern climate of political correctness to tell somebody they are wrong. I have to admire Taco Bell for standing up to the Tacophobes and calling it like they see it.
The danger of being politically correct
The modern madness of political correctness says that it is wrong to tell people they are wrong. If we tell somebody that they are wrong, we are passing judgment on them, and beside that, we might hurt their feelings. And so in this day and age, we are swiftly becoming a nation where we are so careful about not confronting anything, that sin is running rampant. This is not the first time a nation has taken this direction.
Same play, different millenia
When I read about the children of Israel in the book of Judges, twice we read this phrase, Every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6, 21:25). It was a time when people decided to get rid of the whole concept of wrong. Instead of following a common set of rules, every man made his own rules and played by them. There was no moral compass. It is no wonder that we read over and over again, And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served Baalim (Judges 2:11). Turn the page: And the children of Israel did evil in the sight the Lord… (3:7), drop down a few verses, And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord… (3:12). Next chapter, And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord… (4:1). In fact it keeps going, if you don’t believe me, read the rest of Judges (6:1, 10:6, and 13:1). Judges is a 400 year slice of Israeli history, and it details their roller coaster of ride of sin and consequences.
Didn’t Jesus say not to judge?
Very often when we confront something as wrong, we hear these words, “Don’t judge me! Didn’t Jesus say not to judge?” Well, yes and no. Here are Jesus words translated into English, Judge not, lest ye be judged (Matthew 7:1). He goes on to explain that if we are going to pass judgement on someone we had better make sure that our own house is in order first. Perhaps there is no better illustration than the one found in John 8:3-11. A woman had been caught in adultery. A group of men brought her to Jesus. They were hoping to execute her right there on the spot. They had even brought their weapons with them, stones. Jesus said something like this, “Alright boys, you can execute her. Why don’t those of you who have never sinned fire the first shots?” I’ll let you read it and see what happened to the woman.
Judging is not condemning
It was never a question of whether the woman was innocent or not. She was guilty and everybody there knew it. Jesus did not excuse her sin, he forgave it. We have to know the difference between right and wrong if we want to serve God. We have to recognize sin in ourselves and in others. What we cannot do is to destroy someone’s life because of their sin, lest we too should come to the same humiliation over our own sin.
We have to judge
If we are going to raise children, teach a Sunday School class, help a fallen brother or sister, or preach the word of God, it is essential that we judge. We must know the Bible’s teachings on salvation. We must know what God wants from us in our behavior, our speech, and our outward appearance. Jesus himself said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). In other words, Jesus was telling the Christophobes, “If you don’t like me, you’re wrong!” The time to judge our own lives is now, because as the old saying goes, eternity is too long to be wrong.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.