And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2
I shared the full video of Jada and Will Smith’s Red Table Talk on Twitter with a friend. He is a great brother who, like me, loves to look at issues through the prism of our shared faith. His reply was expected: What do you think? My exact response was: Lot to learn as Christians/But nothing to copy either as one. For clarity, I praised their openness, vulnerability and frank conversation, which I felt was really cool, but insisted on the other hand that the notions they pushed about marriage, about love, while it is their individual prerogatives, as humans are wont to do what works for them, it is not the ideal belief for us to celebrate, calibrate or copy as Christians. That idea of an open marriage, the casual dismissiveness of adultery, the nominalization of sin, irrespective of our empathy and understanding, can never be our life. On his part, he added that we can always learn from people’s mistakes and frankness, but we must retain our fear of God. I agreed.
It is easy to be sucked into the frenzy of pop culture; perpetually extending the olive branch of empathy, to the point that our spiritual bluntness is dulled by popular sentiments and biases as opposed to the standard of God’s word. With understandable reluctance, we refrain from judging.
But what would remain elusive to the religious mind is the need to always judge. We are shy of it. And because we have lost the courage to judge, we have watched worldliness cuddle the church for so long. We refer our silence to Christ’s injunction of…Judge not… We forget that the light and sanity of our times in the church would be defined by spiritual men who judge all things (1 Cor 2:15)…test every spirit (1 John 4:1; 1Thess 5:21)….and have the courage to reprove, correct and show the superior path of holiness. What Christ frowns at is a hypocritical approach to piety. Do not speak of a mountaintop of victory over flesh while you wallow in the valley of sinful wretchedness and closet struggles. Remove that beam in your own eyes before clutching at another man’s speck of sawdust.
We therefore refrain from judging, possibly, because we lack spiritual men in the church, or we are equally guilty of the things we should be speaking against. We have watched the unholy marriage between profanity and sacredness in our midst. Sin must be judged in our midst. However, we must not judge in a manner typical of Pharisees. We have been called to judge as spiritual men, to sieve doctrines and truths, maintain truth, eschew errors and correct ills. Let no man question that intention because of our approach. In fact, is the measure of our judgment to correct or to condemn? We must always choose the former.
So, how do you see life? How should you see life?
And this isn’t just about love and marriage, but everything that shapes your notions, principles, values and disposition to life. You must see it all through the eyes of God, of eternity. The Faith’s eye is your only eye. The Faith’s eye is the eye that is stayed on God’s word and elevates it as the standard of life’s practice. The Faith’s eye sees the celebrity culture but does not retain its underlying motivations. The Faith’s eye sees through sins to the sinner but does not endorse sins. The Faith’s eye says, “I see you. I hear you. I don’t condemn you. But here is a better way. This is how to go and sin no more.” The Faith’s eye is not an either/or debate about Christian values of graciousness and biblical holiness or cultural lies and biblical truth. It is a seeing eye. A constant eye. A fixed eye. It sees the crucified Lord. It is fixed on His word.
How would you choose to see henceforth?