Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sick of the judgement

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of the self-righteous judgment in the Church. It comes from me as from anyone else. Who am I to think I'm better than another brother/sister because I've read a few more books and know a bit more about what the Gospel really means when living in the empire? Why should I cut myself off from worshiping alongside my adopted siblings in the Lord because they haven't been convicted as I have?

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of my brothers judging my sisters because of what they wear. The men in the Body of Christ who treat women as second-class citizens in the Kingdom of God and refuse to let them participate fully in service to our Lord.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of my sisters judging politicians for working in a secular government. From one side of their mouths they want to secularize countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, and from the other they want to make the United States of America become more controlled by the Christian religion.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of my brothers judging the relationship the Church has with the world. "The Church is a whore, but she is my mother." Yes, the Church is in bed with the world's political systems, and corrupted by world's powers. This needs to change, but by judging the Church from the outside and refusing to fellowship with these poor siblings desperate for the love of God, we're only causing division within the Church, and this doesn't help at all.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of my sisters judging my brothers for watching movies, and playing video games. "The body is not defiled by what enters the body, but by what comes forth from within." While participating in the culture of the day isn't particularly helpful, it is also not inherently harmful either. This should be a individual choice based on what that particular individual can take; not in trying to define lines one can cross or come up to, but in how one relates to the world while remaining pure.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of my brothers judging my brothers who drink or smoke saying it might cause someone else to stumble. It's a cop-out. Our fellowships do plenty of things that might cause someone to stumble, but we take the time to teach doctrine on these issues so the "weaker" brothers/sisters won't judge the "stronger". But in this area we don't teach anything, we just judge the "stronger."

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of walking into buildings set apart for worship and judging my brothers and sisters for displaying the flag of the USA on the stage. It is a stumbling block for me, and it may be for others - manifest in the way they can't distinguish between the USA and the Kingdom of God - but how can I judge their hearts? Is it any different than displaying a sport team logo? Is it any different than the brand logo on the front of my bass gear?

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of steering clear of fellowships because I can't agree with them on theological minutia. We have the same Lord, and the same Savior. We can find common ground and "love one another."

How will the world know we are His people? We love one another. We must love one another or we've already given in to the Devil.

I chose a fellowship this morning, the day after our Independence Day, specifically thinking this pentecostal worship would remain spiritual and not delve into the politics of the day, and the worship of the nation-state we call home. I thought if they gave in I would have lost hope for humanity. I didn't. They sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and they bantered out the tired "church and state" and "Bible in schools" things. But it was humbling because I LOVE THESE PEOPLE. They're all broken people in need of a Savior, and they know who this Savior is - Christ the Lord. If I can forgive one sin, how can I not forgive this one? "The measure you forgive is the measure you will be forgiven."

I'm done with judging.

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