Several (hundred) times over the years I have been asked a question that usually goes like this… “How can you consider yourself a good Christian? You hang out with… (homosexuals, pagans, nudists, people who are Miami Heat fans.)” It really makes me reevaluate my friendship with the person asking the question because it’s just not a very Christian attitude at all.
I have never been a huge fan of Paul’s letters in the Bible. I think Paul got a raw deal, honestly. I am fairly certain that he had NO IDEA that his letters were going to end up being canonized by the Council of Carthage into books of the Bible. If he’d have known he’d have written better and more clearly, or maybe not written at all… That said, there are some great gems to be found, my prejudice not withstanding… Romans 14:1-13 comes to mind.
14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master  that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess  to God.”
12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
This is one of the rare cases where what is meant is clearly and succinctly stated. It is also backed up several other places, such as Ephesian’s 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Also in Matthew 7:1-5 “7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 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.”
If you’re a fellow Christian, the next time you think you’re OK to look at someone’s life, lifestyle, circumstance or job and to cast a negative opinion or condemnation of them because of it, perhaps you should rethink the image you are portraying in doing so. In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus was asked
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Recognizing a sin means that you can choose not to engage in it yourself, it’s not a blank check to get out of the rest of what the Man taught us. Beyond all that even lies a lesson from my Grandfather John, a WWII USMC vet and survivor of island hopping in the Pacific. He instilled a few lessons in me before he passed and did so in simple words. I think I had mouth off about someone’s sexual preference or something and he spun me around and told me “when you’re 6 feet down in a sand foxhole you don’t care who the guy next to you wants to sleep with when he gets home, you care that he likes you enough to keep you alive.” Lesson learned and passed on, Pap.