The current state of the U.S. is arguably turmoil. The nation is lost and looking for answers. More than ever people are trying to understand themselves and the world around them. Many are looking inward for direction, following their own moral compasses. They believe that opinions should be expressed and any opinion is fine. Almost any opinion. Unless you disagree with their opinion.
That's the current problem that Christians are facing: You can have any opinion you want, as long as your opinion is not directly contradicting anyone else's opinion. We have created a "you do you and I'll do me" kind of society where anything goes. This is the kind of society where being different is great, but if you're any bit conservative, you should keep your opinions to yourself. Because then you're not letting people do what they want.
You're judging them. You're not loving them.
Yet, the more I look at the problem, the more I see an issue of definitions.
In my argumentation and debate class, we went through debates and the proper form of debates. One huge point we learned is that if you cannot agree on definitions, you will spend the entire debate arguing on two entirely different topics. Or you'll spend the entire time trying to defend why your definition is better suited than your opponents.
Yet, nothing changes. Nothing gets fixed. Nothing is confirmed as truth. So both sides of the argument become indignant and judging. The argument doesn't end in clarity. The argument is still confusing and there's no winner.
I've already spent some time defining judging and how we're currently applying that term incorrectly. But now, I think we need to go to the root of the argument. Love.
What people are searching for in this self-finding journey is love. They want people to love them for who they are, no matter what kind of person they are and no matter what they have done. They want someone who will love them without changing them. They want unconditional love.
But the love their looking for is not the same love that they are receiving.
In the realm of where judging comes in, again, there are some people who are genuinely judging, but there are some who are actually loving.
Think of it this way, imagine there's someone you love and care for. Genuinely you want them to be happy and would do anything for them. But they're doing something that is harmful to them. Something that they should not be doing. And you know what they are doing is wrong. Would you let them continue to harm themselves?
Or think about children. Children do things they shouldn't do all of the time. If a child is doing something they should not be doing, out of love, wouldn't you stop them?
So, love is often defined as saying the best and doing the best for someone. If you're doing what's best for someone, that's love. Even if they don't necessarily agree. If you are preventing them from something harmful: that's love.
Of course, I know there are extreme examples where someone's form of love is not helpful and is in fact very harmful. Some of you may make that argument to exclude what I am saying altogether. If that's what you want to say, that's fine.
But do remember, love is poorly defined. People don't want the kind of love that is correcting. People want the kind of love that confirms them in whatever action they want to take. They want unconditional acceptance more than they want love.
Thus, the problem: An argument of definitions, not an argument of issues.