Benjamin Corey’s blog bio states he is a scholar in theology. Be careful of the “scholars” in society, for they want us to keep our minds idling while they imagine themselves to be able to think for the rest of us. His titular post “Why You’re Completely Unable to Judge Caitlyn Jenner (Or Anyone Else)” is anecdotal evidence.
Unfortunately, religious judgmentalism is the exact opposite of how we are called to respond to someone like Caitlyn– we are called to love, and love is not simultaneously possible while we are judging someone.
Really? The rapist we judge as a rapist we can’t love? James Holmes can’t be loved while judging him to be a murderer? I’d like this scholar of a theologian to explain how it’s possible for God to judge mankind in its sin and yet love humanity enough to send His Son to die in its place. That notwithstanding, what Ben here apparently doesn’t understand is the complexity of love. Now, he may have some unfortunate personal experiences with Christians who are quick to condemn others for their behaviour or words, as have I, but it’s a silly claim to make that love and judgment can’t go together.
Contrary to popular contemporary notions of love, it is not blind. The sort of sentimental affections displayed in media aren’t love. Love, true love, the sort of love which Mr. Corey should be addressing, is discerning. It never fails to amaze me how people in general and contemporary Christians in particular have tossed the scales of judgment out in favour of empty headed ideas of grace and love. God is love. Scripture declares it clearly. From scripture it is also easily seen that God judges. Jesus Himself practiced some “tough love” in judgment.
Either Jesus did or didn’t love even those Pharisees. Just as we love and judge our children when they sin, so too we judge and compel those who we love to repent. This is perhaps the proper approach toward someone such as Bruce Jenner. Jesus wasn’t some milquetoast sentimentalist. The amazing nature of the Gospel is that God loves us in His judgment, a quality that many like Ben fail to recognize.
Essentially, if being transgender is a sin, and you were to judge an individual’s culpability in that sin, you would need to have full knowledge of why they are transgender, and would need to be able to prove that they simply chose it. If there were even the slightest mitigating factors that influenced the issue of why, one would not be able to righteously pronounce her culpable.
Just as Mr. Corey’s understanding of love is skewed, so is his view of sin. Sin isn’t simply the act of being transgender any more than it’s the act of stealing or bearing false witness or murder. Actions proceed from belief. Essentially, there is only one reason why anyone sins, and though any Christian might love Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner even in judgment for his sin, we should pity him more. The nature of sin in the life of a human being means we commiserate with those who know its evil and judge those who indulge in it. It’s difficult to tell how Jenner might apply this to himself, but given his transgender candor it’s probably more the latter than the former. Jenner’s culpability stems from his indulgence, and it has much more to do with his beliefs and attitude than simply the scriptural command about men in women’s clothing.
Sin is evil. Sin is anything that is an affront to God. It’s remarkable how people like Mr. Corey push the envelope of love. Love has limits. It cannot and does not countenance sin. Rather, love judges sin and compels us to turn away from it.