Written by cycleguy on January 17th, 2016

I try hard…really hard…not to be judgmental. I know I’m not perfect so casting a wide net over people is not conducive to reaching people. But I was privy to a conversation the other day which shows it goes both ways.

At a meeting some “idiot” made a foolhardy statement about how “me and my people (the ones I hang around) feel.” He went on to say they ought to kill all drug dealers (“I don’t want to pay $37000 to keep them in prison”) and homosexuals/LGBTQ people. I have to admit to almost choking on that statement. I was dumbfounded and appalled. Not that I’m into paying money for prisoners or modifying bathrooms for the gender-sensitivity garbage, but I was taken aback. Afterwards, I was speaking to some ladies who were directly affected by that man’s words (one has a gay son). One of them looked at me and said, “I’m sorry to say this but I bet he was a Christian.” I made an off-handed comment about some of the previous speech I have heard from other occasions casting doubt on that, but after I thought about her statement, I got a little peeved.

Why is it we are all lumped into one pile? Granted, we often deserve it. But truthfully, while “they” often accuse Christ-followers of lumping them all into one, is what she did any different? I know there are those who are moral police and want to condemn anyone (not just gay people) who do not agree with them. But not all are that way. After thinking about it, I resented being lumped in with him and his ilk.

Judgmentalism goes both ways. Here is a novel idea! How about we just stop with the hate? I’m all for Truth. I’m also all for Love. The two can coexist. Let’s practice it.


34 Comments so far ↓

  1. SusanP says:

    I like this post.

  2. Jeff says:

    I’m not so sure the two can coexist. The problem is what you call truth. which doesn’t have anything to do with being true. It is based on buying into ancient texts which some like me find ridiculous as a source of even common sense.
    If Christians actually practiced what they preach they may get a different reputation. I think Amish people pretty much practice what they preach. Who criticizes the Amish?
    Christians tend to label people who are same sex attracted as immoral. Really? Says who. Thinking people know that is stupid but nonetheless…. Onward Christian soldiers.

    • cycleguy says:

      First, I do believe they can coexist. while I can believe in truth I can also believe a certain behavior is wrong. i would also be very careful painting a broad brush about the Amish. I am currently dealing with a couple people who have much to say about Amish ways and beliefs. But you also missed the point of my post. While you very blatantly broad-brushed Christians as being condemners, I was referring to “those from the other side” who broad brush us. While I may not agree with a person’s lifestyle, I don’t wipe them off the map. I don’t like being pigeon-holed any more than you do.

      • Jeff says:

        Every Christian I have ever met has said that same sex attracted people are immoral.(Not if they are celibate is silly) When everyone says the same thing a broad brush is very appropriate. I only use the broad brush when appropriate. Having lived and worked in an Amish community I think I can say my experience has led me to believe they mostly live what they talk.

        • Ryan says:

          Jeff, I am curious, what do you base your understanding of truth on? Man made laws and ideals that are extremely subjective?

          I am curious because in a world of subjective truth, I would agree, it is nearly impossible for love and truth to coexist.

          I would also agree that those who call themselves Christians often don’t show the love that Jesus speaks of. I am as guilty at times as well.

          Bottom line, is if all Christians were to truly live as Christians and as Christ describes, the lines would be far less blurred and you could see how truth and love can exist together.

          The fact is we are all human and still struggle… we are not perfect, we will make mistakes, but we live with the hope and promise of God who chose to dwell among man nearly 2000 years ago, that taught that love and truth can exist together.

          • Jeff says:

            conformity with fact or reality; verity:
            the truth of a statement.
            For simplicity purposes I would base declaring something true or to be a Truth on evidence. Does it conform to reality or to known facts?
            I really don’t concern myself with what Religious people say they believe. How a person acts tells me what I need to know about them. If they want to label themselves as Christians it probably only matters to other Christians. I treat everyone the same no matter what they believe. I don’t treat them all the same however regardless of how they act.
            If someone wants to believe what Christians believe it’s OK with me as long as it doesn’t negatively affect the pursuit of Life, Liberty or Happiness of anyone else including myself.
            I am thankful we live in a country that explicitly denies any one religion from being allowed to affect the public space.

            • cycleguy says:

              I’m going back to the Amish comment Jeff. I asked one of the former Amish/conservative Mennonite people to read the blog and your comment. her comment was “he lived and worked around them but obviously wasn’t a part of them. Things can really look good on the outside.” She said more but that should suffice. She and her sister and others have very bad memories from their growing up in the Amish/conservative Mennonite group.

              • Jeff says:

                I have no doubt there are instances of abuse and bad things that happen. My comment was only based on the people I knew and my general impression.

            • Ryan says:

              You describe “how a person acts” being the basis on how your treat them. Do you have specific guidelines that you follow to determine whether they are “behaving” according to your rules?

              Again, very subjective.

              I can’t control someone’s happiness. That is an emotion that is so subjective and based on feeling and circumstance that I am not sure it can be adequately measured.

              Life, Liberty, I can give you those points, however, do you believe in the death penalty or incarceration? Under what rules are they appropriate? Man’s law? again, subject of who is in control and who has the power to enforce such rules.

              –also, please don’t take my questions as trying to be confrontational. I am merely trying to seek to understand. I love a good discussion and you present very interesting dialogue.

              • Jeff says:

                Asking questions I certainly don’t view as confrontational.
                I have no written specific guidelines I follow in regards to every action/reaction between myself and others. There aren’t that many different ways I treat people. It is usually just a matter of whether they are allowed to be a part of my life in some form or whether I have nothing to do with them.
                I don’t believe in the death penalty.
                I do believe in incarceration and financial penalties for breaking rules as a form of punishment and as a deterrent to people who interfere or are tempted to interfere with other peoples L,L,&H.
                While I don’t agree with all laws and don’t believe Justice is always accomplished in courts I have no problem with Man’s laws in a free society as the basis for determining who needs punished and to what degree.
                As for happiness it is not a matter of whether you are making someone happy. It’s a matter of if you are preventing a reasonable law abiding citizen from being happy.
                You seem hung up on Man’s law. I am not sure there are any laws other than Man’s laws to determine how societies function. Some governments try to adopt Gods laws (which are just Man’s subjective interpretation ) and those are very subjective and not anywhere I would want to live.
                I think Thomas Paine was far more brilliant in his teachings and writings of how societies and people should function and be governed than anything you might find in the Bible or the Quran.

                • Ryan says:

                  The point being made is that regardless of ones beliefs, it all comes down to subjective opinion of what is right and wrong if a moral compass is not provided. Even the original deists believe in God and that he provided a moral compass in which to live. You mention Thomas Paine who himself expressed his desire for happiness after his present life. I cannot argue that religion has been abused and continues to be abused. However, to believe that Jesus was merely a man, even after expressing his deity would make him either a lunatic or a liar. I would doubt a liar would be willing to die for a cause that ultimately would not benefit him if he were just a liar. The level of influence that he has had and continues to have in the lives of people did not diminish after his death, but instead grew.

                  I would agree with you in that I would not want to live in a society governed by people who believe they have interpreted everything correctly with what God has provided in the Bible.

                  The number of interpretations are likely as many as the number of people interpreting.

                  I put importance on those items that are of absolute importance based on my belief that Jesus is the son of God. –Do I have absolute proof, no, but there is a significant amount of evidence that Jesus is who is says he is.

                  I don’t discount my belief in Jesus simply because he lived 2000 years ago. I do validate my belief in the lives I have seen changed. Self included.

                  • Jeff says:

                    Fair enough my friend. The original Deists must have lived 200,000 years ago. I am sure they were ignorant and afraid. I’m not sure they were as worried about a moral compass as they were about surviving. As for happiness after life? If there is a continuance after death, wonderful. I don’t particularly like the Christian Heaven idea of a totalitarian Deity that I must worship. Worshiping isn’t my thing.
                    What you want to believe about Jesus and the whole Jesus story is up to you. The Jews and others that were there at the time dispute the story that was told. And even the Biblical stories as written have huge discrepancies and contradictions. And the fact is there is no evidence.
                    But if that is what you want to believe and it makes you happy then by all means believe it.
                    Just don’t use it as a reason to deny anyone of their Life, Liberty or pursuit of Happiness ( even if you are in the cake baking business).

                    • Ryan says:

                      It is interesting that you say there was no evidence… When you consider the number of manuscripts that have been found. If I may ask, are you claiming there was no historical evidence that Jesus existed?

                      I completely agree with your last comment. Nobody should be denied their Life, Liberty, or Pursuit of Happiness even if they are in the cake baking business.

                      One could have easily pursued their “happiness” at a different cake store. You made my argument previously… I should not be forced to provide happiness as it is subjective and based on moral feeling… I just cannot stand in someones way at a different cake store.

                      Thanks for making my point.

                    • Jeff says:

                      No reply button on Ryans last comment so I will reply here. I am not saying Jesus never existed. I suspect he probably did. I don’t think there is any evidence for most if not all of the story surrounding him. Read the story of Mithra(an earlier God). It’s pretty much the same story with a few changes.
                      If a persons happiness is compromised because they are not allowed to discriminate or be bigoted then they lose. In the public arena discrimination should not and as the cake bakers found out, will not be tolerated. They will just be unhappy bigots. That’s my point. They need to get out of the public space or not discriminate.
                      If your point is bigots can discriminate against whomever they want I think you lost your point a long time ago.

                    • Ryan says:

                      I will definitely research Mithra as I am intrigued by the suggested similarities.

                      I am not suggesting that I personally wouldn’t serve a cake to someone that doesn’t share my beliefs. I am simply saying if the happiness of an individual is dependent upon who serves them, it seems there may be larger issues.

                      I see it no different than someone who is a licensed carrier of a firearm being asked to not carry inside of a business. A private businesses should have the option to choose who they will serve. I don’t necessary like their decision, but I respect their decision and would choose to take my business elsewhere.

                      I think if the business wants to significantly reduce their marketability and profitability by excluding what they are willing to participate in, then it should be allowed.

                    • Jeff says:

                      I think there were a lot of white people that agreed with you not so long ago.

                      We’ll just end here and agree to disagree

  3. Betty Draper says:

    I don’t like to be lumped in with others. Our Kentucky friends always tease us about the liberal Californian friends. As if what state you are from means all are the same. It’s sad to admit but I have done same thing too many times. When I mentioned I was saved in an Independent Baptist church, my Californian friends always say, oh, you are from one of those bible thumpers or one of those who like to hear, Just As I Am 20 times at the end of the service. WE do it, don’t we? It’s that prideful old nature in us, trying to make our selves look better, smarter, more important and wiser. I am with you Bill, come on I tell myself, stop being judgmental and get busy sowing seeds of goodness, tell phone about Jesus, live in His footsteps and not someone else. Great post Bill.

  4. Truth and love can (and should) coexist for us as Christians. As you well know, Bill, I’m not one who takes kindly to judgmental folks, but I’m learning, slowly, to simply love them where they are, realizing God, who can do all things, may be working that very moment on changing their hearts.

    • cycleguy says:

      I do believe they can coexist for followers of Christ Martha. I believe a person can have convictions but be loving without compromising those convictions.

  5. Ceil says:

    Hi Bill! I just wrote a blog post on judgement. It’s so hard to draw the line between personal, biased opinion and clear-eyed loving reflection for some people. I suppose I am clearly in that group sometimes. I certainly am not perfect.

    But how sad that someone would feel so comfortable in front of others, that they can spout off hate so easily. And obviously think that everyone would agree? You are so right. Drop the hate. If you can’t love, then quietly work on that virtue. Don’t try to infect me with your sad views…
    Hang in there my friend,

    • cycleguy says:

      I have to admit Ceil, I was stunned he rattled off that “hate” so easily. WOW! When the one homosexual who brought up the subject interrupted, this man very pointedly told him to “Shut up. I’m not talking to you.” It is true the interruption should not have been done, but just his attitude tells how he perceived himself and others.

  6. Sharon says:

    I often say that I am so chagrined at how Christians sometimes block the view of Jesus, who He really was and is. I am at fault myself at times. If we could just get our *selves* out of the way! One of the things that I love about Jesus is how He made it a point to not conform to any earthly dictates of what He should say, how He should act, or whom He should associate with. He crossed boundaries with His saving message of love, and He included anyone who wanted to come to Him to “come on in.” I think people hated Him because He refused to hate.

    One thing that really rankles me is when people dismiss me and my faith by saying “Oh, you’re religious.” Oooo, just typing that irritates me. Don’t lump me in with anyone, please. Lord, just help me look like YOU.


    • cycleguy says:

      “Block the view of Jesus” about sums it up Sharon. Each Sunday I pray to “hide behind the cross that we might see Jesus and Jesus only.” It must be out of the pulpit (for me) also.

  7. Linda Stoll says:

    Oh how sad to say that the old campfire song, ‘They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love’ has lost its message.

  8. Lisa notes says:

    Amen, Bill. Can’t we all stop judging each other, Christian or non-Christian? It’s easier said than done, I know. I continue to judge in my heart even when I don’t always say it aloud. 🙁 But praying for change among us all. Grace rules! Great post.

    • cycleguy says:

      Judging goes on among all camps. Followers of Jesus judging others. Others judging others (as my example gave). Change needs to happen. Grace needs to happen!!

  9. Deb Wolf says:

    Yes! How about we just stop with the hate. I shared an old post yesterday on social media titled – Generalizations have My Panties in a Bunch. Any time we’re lumping people together or saying “your people and my people” we have a problem. I keep praying for truth and love to prevail. Thanks for this. I can tell from the comments it stirred some emotions. Blessings!

    • cycleguy says:

      The man did exactly that on Saturday Deb. Sounded like “the group of us who gather around the stove and spittoons.” I want my world expanded not shrunk.

  10. floyd says:

    I believe that all humans tend to justify themselves and their positions. It is a fallen world after all. My guess is that it soothes the gal’s conscious to toss all the bad people in with a group that she WISHES to be without merit.

    It doesn’t matter what people say or write. The truth is that they all know truth, at least to the simplest degree, and make use of their free will to choose contrary to it.

    Just my opinion. Only God knows the heart of the cone head who made those ignorant remarks. I’d say “God only knows His heart, but he is definitely human…”

    • cycleguy says:

      You call him a cone head. I would call him a bone head. 🙂 I know him and know his attitude is as I have written it. Highly opinionated and right.

  11. Ed says:

    I’m afraid I am one of those “judgemental” Christians. And lately I’ve found it extremely unlikely that I will hide it. The bible does say that we are to judge all things…with righteous judgment As far as I can tell, we can only judge righteously if we know what the Word has to say about a particular subject. Am I hated for my judgmentality (among other things)? The Bible assures that I am. But I do know that I have to be careful.
    Do I judge with love, or with hate? I’ve heard both sides of “love the sinner, hate the sin”. Well I do love the sinner enough to judge that his sin (let’s use homosexuality as an example) is wrong. But I know deep in my heart not to judge him. The sinner could be a nice person, except for the one sin. And we all know that one sin can lead to another.
    But here’s what I understand: we all judge whether we want to or not. The point is that we judge with a righteous, non-angered, non-personal anger.