Judgy Judges Judging

(source)

Dalrock has taken a break from his time consuming screeching about Warhorn to deal with the problem of single mothers not having any marital prospects.

A commenter, Bee, suggested that single mothers give their children up for adoption at birth. As a parent of three adopted children, shouldn’t I get behind this plan? No. Children are meant to be with their biological parents. Society and the church should do what it can to keep children with at least one (ideally both!) of their biological parents. Parents are not generic units than can be interchanged at will. Adoption must always be the option of last resort after all other options are shown to be worse.

Dalrock has a better plan: shame the single mothers publicly.

“Imagine if we simply made a public note in the wedding ceremony, and in the run-up to the wedding, that the single mother understood the seriousness of her sin and was repentant of it, and was deeply grateful that her husband-to-be was willing to be so gracious as to marry her despite the extra burden she has placed on their marriage?”

and

“We wouldn’t have to be cruel about it, just honest, humble, loving, and sincere.”

You can dress that pig up and put pretty lipstick on it, but it is still public shaming. Might as well lovingly, humbly, honestly, and sincerely sew a scarlet letter onto her wedding dress.

In Matthew 18, Jesus laid out the procedure for dealing with unrepentant sin. First you must approach your brother one-on-one and in private and confront them in their sin. If they refuse to repent, you bring a few witnesses and privately confront them again. Failing that, you bring it before the church and publicly let the church decide. If at any point your brother repents, you have won him over. You are then required to forgive him. And lest this be unclear, Jesus compares the wages of forgiven sin to be akin to a cancelled debt: it is as if the debt never occurred.

What Dalrock’s suggestion does is highlight only one sin in particular. This is a blatant violation of Matthew 7:1-5. Jesus instructed not to judge others, for the standard in which you judge others will be the standard in which you are judged. If you judge others for repented sin, you will be judged for your repented sin. By judging others to a standard you do not judge yourself, you are guilty of hypocrisy and worthy of the greater condemnation.

John 8:1-11 describes a woman caught in adultery. Jewish law required that both the man and woman caught in adultery were to be stoned to death. His accusers knew this, which is why it was a trap. If Jesus agreed to stone her, he would be violating the law. If he agreed to let her go, he would be approving adultery. Jesus responded by holding the woman’s accusers to the higher moral standard, accusing them of hypocrisy by selective enforcement of the law. The accusers had highlighted her sin in particular, rather than the sins of the adulterous man or their own sins. When then accusers leave, Jesus refuses to condemn the guilty woman and instead points her to repentance.

Dalrock’s suggested declaration implicitly denies that the single mothers are truly repentant, otherwise a public label would not be required. This exposes the selective judgmentalism for what it is: hypocrisy and pride.

It is wrong to violate Jesus’ teachings, no matter how honest, humble, loving, and sincere you are.

8 Comments

  1. earl

    ‘Dalrock’s suggested declaration implicitly denies that the single mothers are truly repentant, otherwise a public label would not be required.’

    Well they have a kid…so there’s the reason for the public label. Even abortion doesn’t take away a single mother label…it just means they are a single mother to a dead kid.

    They can certainly repent of the sin and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. It doesn’t however take away the experience and the results of the one-flesh union away.

  2. I can’t see your complaint. Dalrock’s suggestion presumes that repentance has already happened, not that it’s being done at the point of the wedding ceremony. It’s a request that she be grateful, not that a wedding have one more layer of ritual.

    “What Dalrock’s suggestion does is highlight only one sin in particular. This is a blatant violation of Matthew 7:1-5. Jesus instructed not to judge others, for the standard in which you judge others will be the standard in which you are judged. If you judge others for repented sin, you will be judged for your repented sin.”

    That passage is only a warning against hypocrisy. Dalrock and his wife, having honored their marriage vows, are well positioned to call out those who don’t.

    Which is why none of the Pharisees stoned the adulterer in John 8. They were equally guilty of fornication. Remember Christ had to teach that looking at a woman lustfully was the same as actual intercourse? That’s because the Pharisees carefully obeyed the letter of “Don’t have sex” while shamelessly violating the spirit of it.

    Scripture doesn’t record what Jesus was writing in the dirt during that incident but one myth is that He was writing names & places. “Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

    “At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left…”

    Hmm. What were they looking at, that made them decide to quietly leave?

    1. Ram-Man

      Gunner,

      Dalrock’s suggestion pressures brides to metaphorically wear a scarlet letter. No one has a right to ask another Christian to do that. None of us have to declare to others publicly our list of sins. We can choose to do so as part of our testimony, but it can never be compelled.

      It must also never stem from guilt. When we are forgiven, there is no longer anything to feel guilty about or regret. Those are self condemnations, yet there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

      The hypocrisy is punishing people for sin after they have repented and been forgiven, and yet not living that out personally. Does Dalrock list every sin publicly that he has ever committed so that he can be an example to others of what not to do? Of course not, nor would that be appropriate.

      If you need a declaration because you think the person will engage in more sinful behavior without a public shaming, then you are basically denying that they repented. This is judgemental.

      Jesus didn’t condemn the woman. He instructed her to repent. We must do the same.

      Derek

  3. lexetblog

    “We wouldn’t have to be cruel about it, just honest, humble, loving, and sincere.”
    You can dress that pig up and put pretty lipstick on it, but it is still public shaming. Might as well lovingly, humbly, honestly, and sincerely sew a scarlet letter onto her wedding dress.

    Shaming is the point of this point of view. While funny to read, it wouldn’t be in public. This type of discussion should be brought up in premarital counseling, not in public.
    In Matthew 18, Jesus laid out the procedure for dealing with unrepentant sin….

    Response: Agree that Matt 18 is the proper way to deal with sin, with this addendum: Public sin should be rebuked in public. Private sin is different. (see all examples of Paul, or Christ, rebuking false teachers in public, and in the open)*.

    What Dalrock’s suggestion does is highlight only one sin in particular. This is a blatant violation of Matthew 7:1-5. Jesus instructed not to judge others, for the standard in which you judge others will be the standard in which you are judged. If you judge others for repented sin, you will be judged for your repented sin. By judging others to a standard you do not judge yourself, you are guilty of hypocrisy and worthy of the greater condemnation

    Response:
    That portion of scripture ends with
    You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
    Scriptures about judging others:
    1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 1 Cor 5.
    But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the churchb whom you are to judge? 13God judgesc those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” Id.

    1. Ram-Man

      Lexet,

      In every scripture and example you cited above, the person being judged was unrepentant. Even were I to grant that some sins are public and some are private (this has not been established), you’re neglecting one critical point: the bride has already repented.

      By the way, I really like your new gravatar logo.

      Derek

  4. I just got ’round to reading the feminine squealing on Dalrock. I’m on your side, not for any complicated theological reason, but merely because patriarchy works. I can find a problem in your argument, all the same.

    Without the right of paterfamilias to take into marriage anyone he wants, then there is no paterfamilias. There is no patriarchy without the paterfamilias.

    The minute a man decides to marry a skank-ho single mom, she is no longer a skank-ho single mom. She becomes the honorable affianced of the paterfamilias, and one can not occupy both of those roles at the same time.

    A public declaration of the “sin” of the wife would be an insult to the man who marries this woman, aside from being ridiculous. One might evade shame with a wedding, but s/he doesn’t evade “sin” this way. If sin is a private matter, and repentance is possible without an earthly mediator, then there’s no way of knowing who has or hasn’t really repented anyhow.

    The bottom line is that by doing what Dalrock suggests, one negates the whole concept of patriarchy. I know his heart might be in the right place, but ask yourself if any such thing (announcing all the past misdeeds at a wedding celebration) ever was customary in classical antiquity (either among the Jews, Greeks, Romans or anyone else). No authentic patriarchal culture ever had that as a more, and for obvious reasons.

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