Several months ago, a news story came across my path, and I took a few moments to write down my thoughts on the matter, today I would like to share those thoughts. I was rather angry, disgusted rather, at the issue and I believe that it shows in my choice of words, so apologies up front about the terseness of my words. Being a believer in the person and message of Christ Jesus, I realize that the message is often overshadowed by the zealousness of some of those who claim that title and it is up to those of us who understand exactly what this thing called “grace” is to straighten out misconceptions and misrepresentations made in that name. So without further ado, I present the piece I titled at the time, “What is the Standard?”
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive.
These two verses are probably the most misquoted, misunderstood verses in the entire bible. Often they are used against believers, often times rightly so, because of the hypocrisy put on display by those who call themselves “Christians”. One paraphrase of these verses says, “Double standards have no place in righteous judgment; using them will cause God to judge you by the standards you have judged others by.” These verses, in their context, give strict instruction in how we, as believers, should be careful when we act in a manner condemning behavior both inside and outside of the family of God.
Particularly, an incident at a “Christian”–placing this in quotes simply for clarity–college has caught my attention. According to a news report a young woman was removed from her position of employment due to breaking the morality clause of her contract. She specifically engaged in an illicit relationship that resulted in a pregnancy. Here, is the kicker, so to speak: she is now married to the father of her child, who is currently employed by the same college. (:-o What?!)
So, here are my questions:
Where is the grace that should have been shown to this woman?
Where is the call for justice and fairness from believers?
Where is the moral outrage toward the obvious favoritism shown to the man, who is now her husband, who was there when the child was conceived?
Let me be very clear here, scripture is definite in its stance on premarital sexual relationships, they are prohibited, and for good reason, especially when considering the consequences: pregnancy, disease, the emotional toll. But, and it is a big one, she married the father of her child. Do I condone what she did, before she married? No.
So, what is the way that this situation should have been handled?
First, seeing that she has married the father, inquiry about her insight into what she did and what she has done since in regards to her choices, to see if she expressed genuine repentance for her actions and sorrow for her sin. Inquire of her husband, seeking to find the same from him. Second, if they are expressing genuine sorrow for their sins and living in repentance, then they are fine, and should suffer no further consequences than that. But how can we judge the heart? The truth is that we can’t, all we can do is reflect Christ into their lives, and show them the grace that we have been shown, and tell them as Christ told the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Hypocrisy is the enemy of the believer’s witness, and it must be dealt with cruelly and quickly, and keeping what God’s grace cost, that being the life of Christ Jesus, will help defeat it.