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Christians Judging Christians

by Lisa Manning on October 22, 2013

bigstock-Critical-Expression-363791I am about to meddle.  Fair Warning.  : )

The majority of Christians have done it at one time or another.  We see someone in our church, another church and especially in a different denomination that is doing something differently than we believe it is to be done.  We judge them.  Perhaps we never say it out loud but in our minds, we are thinking they are doing something wrong.

Maybe they don’t go to church on the same day as you.

Maybe their religion is okay with drinking alcohol and yours is not (or vice versa).

Maybe they haven’t quit smoking.

Maybe they believe (or don’t believe) in speaking in tongues & prophecy for today.

Maybe they are divorced.

Maybe their outward appearance doesn’t meet your “standard.”

Maybe they are too loud, too quiet, too shy or stuck-up.

Maybe (insert your judgment here).

I just heard that a well known pastor, whom I have listened to on the radio, has written a book against something I believe.  It isn’t his book with which I have an issue.  We all do have a right to free speech.  It is the outright vehemence in which he presents his case.  Anyone who believes differently than he, “is going to hell.”  Hmmmm….obviously, I didn’t get the fax from God about that.  The subject he writes about isn’t sin related.  It is just one of those topics that Christians sometimes disagree about. 

Before I continue with the scriptures I found in my God Time this week, I do want to make something clear.  I do believe that as Christians, we have an obligation to our family in Christ to talk to them if they are in sin.  If a friend of mine come to me and says she is having an affair on her husband, I am going to tell her that she is wrong because the Bible clearly says it is sin.  If someone catches me in a lie, they need to correct me because that is sin.  Many times in the Bible, God has called people to admonish others over their SIN.  But, sin is the operative word.  Smoking is not a sin.  It may not be good for you but neither is stuffing yourself at the buffet after church.  One is just more socially accepted.  Moving on…

Romans 14 talks about Christians judging each other for the food they eat and which days they worship.  Romans 15-16 talk about the ways we can encourage each other.  I think we can take the verses and apply them to any area that Christians tend to judge each other when it is unwarranted.

This verse tells us that we should keep our mouths shut:

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. – Romans 14:22 NIV 

Each of us has to answer to God.  He is our ultimate judge. 

…for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. – Romans 14:3-4 NIV. 

We should be more concerned and encouraging about how others are developing in their relationship with God than in the petty things they are doing that annoy us. 

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit – Romans 14:17 NIV. 

There are others whose motives are only for themselves. 

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. –  Romans 16:17-18 NIV

Our ultimate goal:

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Jesus, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. – Romans 15:5-7 NIV

As I was praying about this, these are the words I felt God say to me:

“Divisions among my people are not from me.  They make me sad.  If my people could come together in unity and not squabble over the minor things, they would be a force that could not be reckoned with.  They could set the world on fire and change the course of history.  Instead, others see them as disagreeable and obstinate, which helps no one.  Forgive your fellow brothers and sisters for the transgressions that bother you.  Then, repent for your hard heart over matters of insignificance.  Show the world there is a difference and only then will they want to be a part of it.”

 I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal who and what you are judging so you can have a “come to Jesus meeting” and move forward in the unity God is calling us to.  Then, ask Him to begin to open your eyes and see others the way God sees them.





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