I'm weary for a lot of reasons, but I am especially weary at the moment from the multitude of comments I have been hearing lately about how judgmental we Christians are. It's all over the place really...the media, Facebook status posts, in the comment section of any semi-Christian-related online article, and on the tip of every unbelieving or I'm-a-Christian-but-I'm-not-one-of-those-Christians tongue. And it's making me feel weary.
I mean, after all, what exactly does it mean to pass judgment on someone? Granted, I'm sure you have probably met some Christians who have been judgmental. I have. I've also been a judgmental Christian from time to time. However, I have to admit that before becoming a Christian, I was judgmental a lot more of the time. Which brings me to the point that I'm sure you've met plenty of judgmental people who aren't Christians, too. You know, some might say that when you group all Christians together and call them judgmental, that you are the one passing judgment.
So I looked up the word 'judging' in the Webster's 1828 dictionary. (The word 'judgmental' wasn't there.) This is what I found:
JUDG'ING, ppr. Hearing and determining; forming an opinion; dooming.
Now, I'm just going to assume that no one is actually concerned about Christians 'hearing and determining' or 'forming an opinion'. After all, doesn't everyone these days believe that everyone's opinion has merit? I mean, what you believe is true is true for you and what I believe is true is true for me, right? Unless of course, I believe that there is an absolute truth, and especially if I believe that absolute truth is equivalent with biblical truth, and that couldn't possibly be true! That opinion has no merit whatsoever ... only opinions that agree that my true is true and your true is true can be true. Right?
Once again, I digress.
So, I'm thinking that the most appropriate definition according to Webster for what many people mean when they say that Christians are constantly judging others is 'dooming'. And I'm curious, what is it exactly that you find us, as an ENTIRE group, doing that is so 'dooming'? I think I know the answer. Okay, I won't be cheeky...I know the answer! I know it because so many people are screaming about it these days. Here it is...
Christians are judgmental because we refuse to acknowledge 'sin' as 'okay'.
That is what it boils down to, right? It really upsets people when someone disagrees with their life choices (or in some cases - the life choices of someone they know) and actually says out loud that it is wrong. But is disagreeing with someone being judgmental - is it dooming them? Or is it simply disagreeing.
After all, isn't it Christians (true, bible-believing Christians) who are the first to admit that they are nothing but sinners saved by grace themselves? Apostle Paul said,
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst." -1 Timothy 1:12-15
And I would really like to clear the air for those of you who think I am judgmental. I would like to stand in agreement with Paul. I am the worst of sinners. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a liar and an adulterer, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus!
Paul goes on later to describe how even after becoming a Christian, he still struggles with sin...
" I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing." -Romans 7:18-19
I hear you, Paul...I'm so with you! God has changed my heart and I seek to do His will, but I struggle every day. I struggle with acting out in anger. I struggle with laziness and selfishness. I struggle with hypocrisy. I struggle with sin because I am sinner.
But still, I will not tell you that sin is 'okay'.
Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death" .
If God calls it sin, I will call it sin ... whether it is your sin or my sin. So does that make me judgmental?
Maybe it does. You know, now that I think about it....maybe it's not the fact that you call me judgmental that really bothers me. Maybe its what you imply with the word. Because it seems that no one can ever make a statement about all those "judgmental Christians" without following it up with another comment almost exactly like the following...
Why can't we just treat everybody as equals?
And this is the one that really burns me. Why is it that you think that if I disagree with you, I'm not treating you as an equal? And if that really is your logic, than why in the world can't you treat me as an equal?!
Romans 3:23 says, "For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." That means YOU sin, I sin, WE ALL sin. That's equality, folks!
John 3:16 says, "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that EVERYONE who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."(NLT) To follow up with Romans 6:23 it says, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." You see, God loves ALL of us, despite our sin. He sent His Son to die for ALL of our sins and He offers the gift of free salvation to ANYONE who will accept it. That is equality!
And by the way, if I disagree with you or something you do ... that DOES NOT mean I hate you. It doesn't even mean 'I don't like you'. And it certainly doesn't mean that I find you 'unequal' to me. It just means I disagree with you. As a Christian, I am called to love you...and to be honest, because of the way God has changed my heart over the years... most of the time, I even want to love you! I want to show you the love that God has shown me. I can love you, without loving your sin.
And finally, while you are screaming for all that equality for ALL, could I ask you one favor? Will you truly consider equality for all? Will you give Christians the right to have an opinion without deeming us as 'haters' and 'homophobes'? Too much to ask? Fine. Then will you consider equality for ALL regardless of their age or 'ability to contribute to society'? Will you consider equality for the unborn?
Just thoughts to chew on tonight.
I'm sorry if I've come off as sarcastic this evening. I'm sorry if you feel I've been rude. Like I said, I'm just feeling a little weary.
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