I realize that this is a cooking blog. While I happen to align myself as a Christ-follower, I am far from perfect. I typically do not write on the subject of faith, but occasionally I enjoy writing out my thoughts as a way to form my opinions. What follows is not, in my opinion, coherent or theologically sound, but simply my thoughts. Faith is a journey, and this is where I am today.
Recently, our church has been staging a sort of campaign (not declared, but this is my perception). The campaign seems to be aimed at discouraging typical "Christian" behavior. It's refreshing. In fact, I kind of want to stand up and cheer at the beginning (until I realize that I, too, am massively guilty).
In the midst of our sermon series, I've also been ruminating on several different experiences in my life as well as various things I've read or heard in the past few weeks.
Part of my inspiration for this post came from this article. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I think what impacted me, in addition to the words in the article, were the comments. Most were supportive, but there were a substantial percentage that were judgmental. I think many times the Christian community really believes that those with a certain kind of sin should wear a scarlet letter for the rest of their lives, in essence. That the result of sin should be a lifetime of punishment and damnation.
I also found this blogpost interesting. When I read it several years ago, I wasn't ready for it. Now, I think I understand it a bit better.
I'll never forget a conversation in a small group in which one of our members was recounting an experience she'd had with a roommate. The roommate had found herself pregnant and unmarried. After the initial shock, she was excited to become a mother and to welcome her baby. The member of our group was scathing. She couldn't believe that someone who found themselves in that position could be excited to have a baby unwed and with the obviousness of her sin. The ugliness of that judgement will live with me forever.
I think the root of judgement of others is self-importance. I think telling everyone how busy we are is self-importance. I think staying within our little Christian bubble is self-importance. I think telling ourselves that because we "follow the rules" [and tell ourselves we will be rewarded for good behavior] is self-importance.
I am as guilty as the next person. Mostly because I hate self-important people. I hate judgmental people. I hate typical "Christian" behavior. Each and every time I think through this issue of self-importance, I realize that my sin is just as great as those who are self-important.
My mom recently read an article in which a dad shared that he actually relished the times his children messed up. He felt that he could show them more love in spite of their behavior than he could when times were easy. What a strong spiritual parallel. I don't think God wants us to sin. I do think, though, that sometimes the repentance and redemption bring us back to Him in a way that smooth sailing would not. How much more proof can we show that we love [than loving in spite of behavior]?
I am reminded that there are 47 verses in the Bible about "dying to self". I haven't been able to find any that extol the virtues of those that judge the judgmental (darn).
I am curious to see what you think. I certainly don't have any answers, I just wanted to write out my thoughts.
As Christians we are commanded to show truth and love. I don't think we're doing a very good job, in some cases. I don't want to bash Christians on the whole, but I think some of us would be quite surprised if Jesus lived in our current culture. I don't think He'd behave the way we'd expect Him to. At all.
What do you think?