When you hear that word, what comes to mind?
The thoughts that come to the minds of most are not positive. In fact, according to a survey given to people 16-29, when people heard the word Christian, the above word judgmental came to mind for almost 90% of them.
Defining Christians as judgmental was second only to defining Christians as being anti-homosexual.
There is a serious problem when the first two answers a person gives when asked to describe Christians are the ones above.
Is it any wonder that so many are leery of the church?
So, are Christians really that judgmental?
Take a moment to read the response given to that question in this article.
In the section titled “Either/Or”, the author describes two common mentalities that are often taught about Christian faith as it relates to judgment:
The first is the “God is love” mentality.
The second is the “God is Just” mentality.
Which one of these most accurately describes where you are?
The article then goes on to argue that the either/or model is not the best approach. Instead, it says we should see this as a both/and. What do you think about that?
One thing is for sure; scripture makes it clear that Christians are not supposed to be judgmental. That job is God’s and God’s alone.Yet, in spite of knowing this to be true, we are still prone to judge others.
It seems to be a part of our human nature.
In this video, Pastor Earl McClellan has some great thoughts on the subject:
He has some pretty compelling things to say, doesn’t he?
Consider the following:
What do you think is behind our tendency to judge others?
Who do you tend to judge? Be honest, you know there is someone/something you can’t help but be judgmental toward.
What do you think is behind that judgment? What does it say about you?
One of the things Earl suggests is that when we find ourselves in the role of judge, we likely need to take steps to reconcile with the target of our thoughts and feelings.
How do you feel about that idea?
What steps could you take to confess your judgment to someone else, and begin the restoration of that relationship?
It is interesting that the only label more readily placed on Christians than being judgmental is being anti-homosexual. We know that there are a lot of varied opinions about homosexuality in our community of faith, but we also celebrate that in spite of those differences everyone is invited to our table of communion.
On any given Sunday in our church there will be someone who believes homosexuality is a sin receiving communion alongside a gay or lesbian person. We welcome both and we pray that through the grace of Christ there is a spirit of understanding, unity, and grace that can be formed between them.
We are including this last video not only because it speaks to this issue, but also because it speaks to how Jesus calls us to respond to anyone we may see as different – any one that we might be tempted to judge.
Again, we know the video is dealing with a very specific topic, but in what ways do his words speak to the larger issue of how we treat others?
For him the bottom line is that we treat others with love. Not a sappy kind of half-hearted love, but with the kind of love that can overcome what he describes as the often-messy realities of life. The kind of love that was expressed in Jesus’ ministry on earth.
We are called to make judgments every day. It is part of the natural course of life. However, when those judgments begin to be more about how other people live their lives than how we are called to live our own, we have crossed a line. We have begun to use God’s rules as a weapon of exclusion and harm and that, in and of itself, is a sin worth judgment.
Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself. Romans 2:1
If you have a thought to share or question to ask, feel free to post a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!