The other day I was asked to join with a group of people in “condemning” a popular Christian author and speaker. The individual who was subject to condemnation had issued a letter and apologized for the biblical content of one of his messages.
Very clearly, I believe this individual made a mistake by apologizing for his position. I believe we are on dangerous ground when we even contemplate apologizing for biblical content of messages. (Someone gets their feelings hurt by every sermon. There would be no end to the apologizing.) Preaching is intended to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Sometimes the message stings. When light appears in darkness, people squint.
I have noticed recently that the media, and many people on the left, seem to have discovered the word, “condemn.” They want many things condemned. They want you condemned if you did not correct a fellow student in the 3rd grade who wrote a bad word with chalk on the sidewalk. Or, they will say, “Do you condemn the president’s words on that subject?” or, “Do you condemn the Congresswoman for her tweet?” Take a listen to the news and see if you do not hear that word used more than in the past. Obviously, conservatives have their share of “condemners.” Case in point being the group I was invited to join.
Please let me be clear: We are called upon daily, and multiple times during each day to determine right from wrong, truth from falsehood. Thankfully, we have the objective standard of the Word of God, the Bible, to make those evaluations. And we MUST make those evaluations. I would suggest that “condemning” is an entirely different ballgame than calling out something that is wrong, Condemning is way above my pay grade.
In John 8, the Pharisees brought before Jesus a woman two had been caught in the act of adultery. The law called for stoning in this case. They thought they had Jesus in the proverbial bear trap, and he would have to condemn the woman to remain true to the law of Moses. Jesus famously wrote in the sand, then looked at the accusers and said, “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” The accusers left, from the oldest to the youngest. Jesus straightened up and said to the woman, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The Son of God, who could have condemned, did not want to condemn. I will gladly “correct, rebuke, and encourage.” I will choose to leave the condemning to others.