Whenever I see Christians passing judgement on others a little part of my mind goes through a philosophical exercise that I am sure that followers of Christ have been doing for hundreds of years. The process goes something like this:
- Jesus preached forgiveness – and one of His core teachings was to love one another (above all else)
- Jesus also warned against passing judgement as none of us are without our faults.
- If you believe the bible, God alone judges – so by being judgemental you are placing yourself above God.
Now, for non Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists please don’t think as a Christian I need any of you to practice, believe or even respect any part of my own faith. Indeed, the only way to earn respect for your faith is by being an example of why your faith is worth a look. I would also caution against thinking that I in any way equate faith with religion. Let’s keep that issue separate for now – another time perhaps.
I’m a big fan of boiling down what is important to me in my own faith, and what I love about what Jesus taught is that it is the most challenging thing you can put your mind to. There is nothing harder than NOT judging people around you. Someone cuts you off in traffic “up yours!” – someone has more money than you “I wish that were me” another Christian passes judgment on the poor and the unemployed “God will judge them”.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32
Wow. Imagine if the Christians really took that to heart! We wouldn’t have vitriol against gay marriage (or the LGBT community in general) nor would we see, what seems at times here in Australia an absolute hatred of the poor and open worship of the rich. This is by no means a new thing among Christians, and certainly, among Jewish writings (or the relabelled “Old Testament”) there is a beautiful refrain throughout that seems to equate our treatment of the poor with our eventual treatment by God.
You levy a straw tax on the poor and impose a tax on their grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. – Amos 5:11
Don’t get me wrong, Christians are welcome to do and say whatever they like to the poor. However, I believe one thing, if they decide to pass judgment upon them, and there is a day of judgment it will not bode well for them. Yes, we will all judge and continue to judge one another, but we can certainly do better, especially when it comes to having a touch of empathy for our fellow human beings who may be suffering.
Take heart and I hope you will all be well:
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation since they will pass away like a wildflower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. – From the Epistle of James
Thank you for reading this far, and I hope that these words speak to your heart, but also to your mind. It is written that a generation will come that will have the laws of God written on their hearts and their minds, and so if you feel the world is a little insane, it may just be that you are more blessed than you know.