Judge Not, Lest You be Drunk
by Conflicted Pastor
I’m drunk, so let’s do this!
I always feel as though my best philosophical/theological insights are strongest under the influence of the precious firewater. In this case, we’ll see what kind of intellectual gold Clayhouse Wines can provide us.
This obscure blog has had few commenters. Of the few, the majority have been negative comments. I get it, though… many of the things that I write seem anti-church. Over the years I have found that the most vocal branch of Christianity is the “The Bible Says We Are Supposed to Hold Our Brother Accountable” Christian. We love to hold each other accountable. We really love to do that part of the Bible.
I wonder why that is (?). The Bible is filled with stories about relationships with God. We can read those stories and apply them to our lives, or apply them to the lives of other people. Why do we care so much about how other people live their lives? I know, I know… The Great Commission. Fuck! Is there any other Commission (great, or otherwise) that has produced more hypocrisy? I seriously doubt it.
The Great Commission was given to a group of disciples who spent three-and-a-half years watching and listening to Jesus. Jesus. Not someone talking about Jesus, or speculating over words written thousands of years ago, but to Jesus, himself.
What’s my point? Well, I guess it is that I just don’t get it… why do we love judgment so much? Sometimes I think that a lot of Christians love the Bible because it gives them an excuse to judge. We all want to judge, it makes us feel better about ourselves. When you write a negative comment, you judge me as a reprobate liberal. And I, in turn, judge you as a legalistic Pharisee. We all do it… one way or another.
Here’s a reference point…
15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17
But then that leads us to another question. How do we balance this with grace? I think there are two important contextual notes in this passage: ‘tax collector’ and ‘church’. We certainly don’t think that today’s tax collectors are as crooked as the tax collectors in Jesus’ time. So… is the modern church the same as the church in Jesus’ time? The logical answer is, well, no… which I know can be hard for some “Christians” because logic and religion are not often found holding hands.
There weren’t any mega-churches during that period (yet that is the gold-standard of church success these days). A ‘brother’ was a person who was of similar faith and part of the same church ‘family.’ Today, we equate that to mean any Christian, any Christian at all. I hate to admit it, but all Christians are not part of the same family… certainly not immediate family, anyway. More often than not, we are cousins; twice removed.
So don’t judge me for my many faults… pray for me. And, I, in return, will do the same for you… as it should be… as Jesus would want it.
Every Christian, or any person of any faith will, one day, come to the crossroads… do we judge, or do we show grace? Sadly, grace tends to lose this battle.
But, hey… at least we feel good about ourselves!