I am saddened by what I have witnessed over the past several weeks. The response to allegations of impropriety against Judge Roy Moore reminds me how important it is to take a measured approach to calling out evil.
True followers of Jesus Christ, not CINOs (Christian in Name Only), need to take the full counsel of scripture into consideration before invoking righteous judgment.
The same Bible that tells us, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12 ESV), also tells us, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” Luke 6:37 (ESV).
That doesn’t mean we should never judge, as some may claim. There is balance in scripture. Jesus said, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24 ESV).
There is a difference between judging and being judgmental. Otherwise, how could we possibly identify right and wrong?
Without righteous judgment, how could we live by other charges in scripture, such as, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load” (Galatians 6:1-5 ESV).
Did Judge Moore do what he is accused of doing? I don’t know. Does he deserve the presumption of innocence until proven guilty? Yes, he does!
I have read many articles and heard many pundits claim the allegations against Judge Moore sound credible. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. But, is that the standard of righteous judgment? If so, Donald Trump, Jr. is guilty based on the revelation of a September 4, 2016 email giving him access to hacked emails before they were released to the public.
Oh, wait, that report was proven false. But, it sure did sound credible for a few seconds before it was proven false.
Now, in the case of Judge Moore, instead of choosing someone who may possibly be less than the ideal conservative candidate sitting in Jeff Sessions’ vacant seat, we have someone who is absolutely not a conservative candidate.
With the race results so close, I would contend that all the conservative voices who condemned Judge Moore without knowing all the facts (knowing and suspecting are two different things) are guilty of unjust judgment and culpable in the election of Doug Jones.
In the case of Judge Moore, another biblical story comes to mind, but in this story, the accused was guilty…caught in the act.
“Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?’ This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more'” (John 8:2-11 ESV).
Maybe, just maybe, all the conservative voices vilifying Judge Moore as “plausibly guilty” should have reserved their judgment and shown him a small measure of grace until a final verdict could have proven his guilt or innocence.
Have we learned nothing over the course of the past year?
I supported Ted Cruz, but having a President Trump is better than having a President Clinton. Trump is not perfect, but he is better than the alternative.
I can assure you – aside from recent allegations – Judge Moore is not perfect (none of us are), but he is better than the alternative.
Besides, if he was proven guilty, appropriate measures could have been taken once the verdict was delivered, and another candidate could have been chosen in another special election. Inconvenient? Yes. The right course of action (and righteous judgment) in this case? Also yes.
Indeed, sometimes the high road makes you look down on others. Next time, maybe we should take a more humble approach – like Jesus – and offer a bit more grace.
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7 ESV).
What say you?