Who Are We To Judge?
I love the Church of Christ. I was born and raised in the Church of Christ. I remember being at church every time we had something whether it was a gospel meeting that lasted 2 weeks or ACU Lectureship. Historically, the Church of Christ has been known for being judgemental. I do believe that we are working to get rid of being judgemental, which I think is a great thing.
I find it very interesting how people are quick to judge. In society it may be based on race, gender, age and how in shape a person is. Judgementalism finds itself in our churches as well. In the church, we go to church as christians who should be the least judgemental people of all, but we seem to be the most judgemental of all. In Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
I would like to say that not all churches of Christ are like this. Many are are doing the will of God and are encouraging one another, "spuring one another on towards love and good works". They are building up the body of Chrirst by doing whatever needs to be done-period. Each one praises each other for what they are doing and build one another up. They love each other. They take care of each other physically and spiritually. So, again, not every church is like the ones mentioned. If you aren't praising God for what he is doing in your church, you are not functioning the way God is wanting; doing His good, pleasing and perfect will.
I think it is something that we look at our brothers and sisters sitting across from each other and judge them for not being there on Wed. night. We sit and spend the entire service judging others, making ourselves more righteous, more holy than the other people whom we judge.
Lately, we are seeing some christians judging other congregations. They Point fingers, writing nasty bulletin articles and even books about those churches with whom they don't agree. I take the Bible to be the total authority upon which I base my faith. I don't see the Roman church writing letters, nasty bulletin articles (if they had a bulletin :-) back then), or books to address the problems that the Corinthians were having and we know they were having lots of problems way beyond what some churches have today.
Many preachers are now preaching messages of love, grace, and how we need to manifest the life of Jesus Christ within our hearts-making our church's "grace oriented." When people come inside many of our churches, they feel welcomed, loved, they sense God's presence. I am excited about those who are preaching applicable sermons on how to live the disciplined life outside the church. Yet there are some within the church who judge the way the minister is preaching and the church is changing. The judgementalism and criticism eats away and discourages our ministers to the point we are seeing them leaving the Church of Christ to other Christian Churches or other denominations that hold similar beliefs.
I do understand that the Church of Christ is not the only church that has problems. Every church has problems of judgementalism. We look at our lives and try to be self-righteous. Look at the Pharasees and teachers of the law that wanted to be seen by men for their good deeds and were always looking at others and comparing themselves to others. So, I do understand this just doesn't impact the Church of Christ. It impacts every church because "We are all sin and have ALL FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD."
I understand that in every denomination you are going to find those who criticize. I know if I was to call Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, or Joel Osteen, and ask them if everyone likes their sermons on Sunday morning, I bet you that they will tell me that they can't please everyone.
As for the Church of Christ, I believe that we need to to strive for love.
We need to strive to be Christ like in all we do.
I believe this one thing that the Church of Christ needs to address.
We need to address the way our churches and Christians are acting and functioning. Is it positive? Is it negative? Is itt really authorized in scripture? Are we going to let the negative people in our congregation run off the young preachers to Christian Churches or denominational churches with similar beliefs?
Again, I say, lets strive for love, grace, and unity.
Not all Churches of Christ are this way. Praise God for those congregations who are doing the will of God and striving to be open and grace oriented and to have the heart of Christ.
Another thing that amazes me is that each congregation is non-denominational and autonomous of each other, having its own elders and leadership, yet some congregations think it is their right and okay for them to tell those other congregations what to do and how to worship God. Isn't that taking scripture out of context? I don't see the Roman church telling the Corinthian church how to worship and vice versa. So, where is the authority in scripture?
I hope and pray that as years go on that the churches that do accuse becomes less judgemental , having a spirit of grace and love. I hope that the world when they hear the words Church of Christ will say we are gracious and loving.
The questions for discussion: How have you see judgementalism in our society? In the Church of Christ? Do you think this will change? Is there hope? Or do you see more minister's leaving and going to Christian churches because of the judgementalism and not excepting the grace of God? How can the church of Christ stop judging other Christians within their local congregations? How can churches of Christ stop judging other Churches for what they do and understand they are under elderships, autonomous from their own? Why do people judge? Do they not know the severity of it?
Oh, by the way, my wife, the grammar nazi, had finals this week and couldn't correct my English. I have always had learning problems and find it difficult to write, so I hope you'll forgive me for not being the best writer.
What do you think?
Share your thoughts.