Q: Why are Christians so judgmental and unloving?
A: Because we live in an age of tolerance where almost anything goes, openly questioning or criticizing other people's belief systems can quickly get you labeled as judgmental, narrow-minded, bigoted, hateful, and even ignorant. With regard to Christianity, Matthew 7:1 is often quoted (or should I say "misquoted") as discouraging Christians from putting other religious teachings and practices to the test: "Judge not, that ye be not judged."
This interpretation of Scripture, however, is simply mistaken. The Bible clearly speaks out not against passing judgment in general, but against rendering inaccurate and unfair judgments (John 7:24). In 1 Corinthians 2:15 Paul tells us that Christians are called to make "judgments about all things." Our judgment, though, should not be based on what God has not revealed; but rather, on what He has revealed (v. 13).
God's revealed Word, the Bible, tells us that Jesus Christ is the only way we can possibly reach God and that there's no alternate route (Acts 4:12). It stands to reason, therefore, that other beliefs offering alleged alternate pathways to God only lead to dead-ends. And if we as Christians really want to follow our Lord's teaching to love our neighbors, we can't escape our responsibility to warn them about spiritually destructive roads paved by non-Christian belief systems (Prov. 14:12). True love and compassion should move believers to sound warning cries, even in the face of opposition, to avert countless lives from heading toward eternal separation from God.
Let's realize that when we call teachings into question, it's only because we're concerned about the eternal destinies of people. Let's also keep in mind that Scripture doesn't command us to simply rail against false teachings; rather, it encourages us to offer biblical reasons with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15). Always remember that when it comes to personal relationships, tolerance is a virtue; but when it comes to truth, tolerance is a travesty.
On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast, Hank addresses an email question from Amelia, who wants to know how she, as an Orthodox Christian, can show her LGBTQ friends more of her faith. In response, Hank encourages Amelia to discuss with her friends the beauty of God; the mystery of the Eucharist; the door of the wardrobe that opens into Narnia. Because the issue is never evangelism; it is equipping for evangelism. Furthermore, he advises her to learn about the liabilities of the LGBTQ lifestyle so that she can use the deviations as a springboard for sharing the beauty of an authentic Christian life, using the letter “T” in LGBTQ as an example. Being equipped for evangelism also means being able to give answers, including being able to give a defense of Holy Tradition and of Scripture, which is a product of Holy Tradition. It is hardly sufficient, however, to be intellectually equipped. As Hank has emphasized time and time again on the broadcast, it is axiomatic that we are internally equipped, energized by a power that is in us but not of us. This is the energy that alone can transform the world, including those even now entrapped in a lifestyle that overpromises and underperforms.
Hank also answers the following questions:
Can you explain Romans 13:1?
Satan seems a bit different in the Old Testament and the New Testament. How did we get to what we think of him today?
I feel like my friends and I are viewed as outcasts by fellow Christians because we have tattoos, smoke cigars, and drink beer. What are your thoughts on that?All Sermons by Hank Hanegraaff