On being judged

One of the biggest frustrations I hear from my non-Christian friends about Christians is that they get tired of being judged by them. It's a funny commentary. Jesus was really clear when he said: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (This is from the Apostle Luke's gospel.)

Our worldview shapes how we interpret the Bible—on the scriptures we highlight and the ones we minimize. Quite frankly, how we see them at all.

What would Christianity look like if the only teaching we had from Jesus was the one I listed above?

It isn't unusual for us to miss the plot. In fact, it was Jesus's chief critique of the religious leaders of his day. The apostle Matthew records him saying: "You blind guides. You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel." (I confess, I've shared this thought many times reading Christian political commentary on Facebook.)

We have a history of missing it. In Galileo's days, he discovered through observations in his telescope that the earth went round the sun—a heliocentric universe—and he was excommunicated. Why? Because of the scriptures.  There are scriptures that say that the "sun stood still" during an eclipse. There are verses that speak that the earth cannot be moved. And in Ecclesiastes, it talks about the sun hastening to rise.

Of course, now that we have empirical data that says the earth indeed does go round the sun we look at those scriptures differently.  We see the poetry in them. Here's the thing, though. The priests thought they were defending God.  While we can see in hindsight that they were wrong, in that day, they were vehement that they were right.

The posture that saves us from these kind of debacles is one of humility.  In fact, that posture is at the center of the story of Jesus. 

Could we—for a moment—just believe that God might be bigger than our understanding?  That He might be doing something that can't be measured and parsed...only experienced?  For sure, I have opinions about the way things are, but I hold them lightly. I know that I am not the source of all truth and that I see as the Apostle Paul writes "in a mirror dimly."

No one likes being judged. And quite frankly, I think we are for the most part very poor judges, often guilty of "focusing on the speck in our brothers eye and missing the plank in our own" (another Jesus quote.)

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall