I happen to read AOL for the basic news of the day so occasionally, I scroll down to the comments section to see what people have to say about the stories they see. It seems that no matter what the story is covering, whether tainted food or terrorists or increases in fuel prices, the comments invariably turn to the subject of Christianity and then the bashing frenzy begins. It seems to be the new national sport.
Some of the bashers, unfortunately, have justifiable points to make on the failings of some who profess to be a follower of Christ but act and treat others like hell in their everyday life. There are plenty of false converts and others that like the appearance of being moral, and love to talk the talk, but rarely walk the walk. However, that does NOT include ALL Christians.
When a serious Christian writes a comment defending their faith or speaking out against an issue, the Christophobes always counter with what they just know will put us in our place! The very tired, often quoted but misunderstood directive of 'judge not lest you be judged.' Yawn.
I wish I had a dollar for all the times some ignoramus spouted that statement to try to shame or silence a believer into not pointing out sinful behavior!
Allow me to explain this command of Jesus to you. After you understand it in the context in which it was given, perhaps you can come up with some other dart to throw. This one is getting really boring.
When Jesus was saying we shouldn't judge, he was telling his disciples not to judge one another. That would translate in today's world by saying Christians should not judge other Christians. If a believer knows of an ongoing situation of sin in another believer's life, the Bible tells us how to deal with that within the governing rules of the local church.
'Judge not' does NOT mean we as Christians should not make a moral judgement when we see someone committing adultery, stealing, lying, cheating, murdering, etc. We most certainly should call those actions morally wrong and point out that those actions will have eternal consequences. Any Christian that stands by and fails to speak out because they fear the repercussions of not being politically correct, will have to explain to Almighty God why their pride was more important than warning those who are without Christ.
In fact, it is our duty as Christians to respectfully advise those who are lost of their need for repentance and salvation. We would be remiss and disobedient not to.
Say I saw you snoozing on some train tracks and knew a huge train was scheduled to pass by in the next few minutes. Wouldn't you want me to wake you up and warn you of the danger you face? That you will most certainly die if you don't move?? Would you actually get angry and defensive and tell me to mind my own business, because you can nap wherever you want to? Seriously??
That is what you Christian bashers are doing when we speak out against immorality. Yeah, I understand that no one likes to be told how to live their life. We don't want to tell you what you can do and can't do. We simply don't wish to be accountable to God because we just stood there like some coward when we could have helped you off the tracks. Get it??
Rest assured those of us with the cajones to speak out against sin, despite the vitriol and hatred we encounter, are expected to have our own house in order, so to speak. We Christians still sin but we are grieved when we do because we don't want to hurt our Father's heart and disappoint Him and we're quick to ask for forgiveness. However, if I am habitually, deliberately breaking one of God's laws I had better keep quiet until I get my behind straightened out!
1 Peter 4:17-18 says, "For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
So in the future when you get ticked off because some Christian is voicing their opposition to wrongdoing, remember what I said about the train tracks. If you don't happen to care if you get hit, then for heaven's sake, say something more imaginative than 'judge not'!
Donna Wasson is all of the following: Married. Mom. Hospice RN. Avid reader. Animal lover. Needing to spread the Gospel while there is still time.