Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Here Comes the Judge (part 1)

Way back, in 1995, I used an illustration from the “Simpsons”. I think it was one of the few times that the youth at church actually listened to my weakly sermon. I had to apologize to the adults because I was revealing, that on occasion and only for research purposes, did I watch the Simpsons.

It was a simple line from the lips of none other than, Ned Flanders: the do-gooder, stereo typical, judgmental Christian. Someone had asked Ned where his wife was. His reply, “She’s at church camp learning how to judge better.” Alas the world often sees Christians as ones who are only good at judging.

Have we got over our love affair with judging? Let me show you how it was and is and is yet to be.

A long, long, time ago in a land much different than today, it was all the rage to wear suits at church. Hard to imagine but it’s true. A new Christian might foolishly pose the question, why? When the person being asked got their teeth back in their mouth they would give the unquestioned universal answer, “how would you dress if you were going to a wedding?” (back in the day people wore suits at weddings, as well) If you do it there, doesn’t Jesus deserve your best? You could get saved out in a cow pasture, wearing coveralls with holes in them, but by gum, when you show up at church, you better wear a suit. If you wore jeans the evil eye was placed on you and you just knew that you had forfeited all lands in heaven and would never be allowed to date anyone, ever.

(“got their teeth back in” was because there mouth had opened so wide in shock, that someone had actually dared to use the “why” question, that their teeth literally would have fallen out)

Modern day judging. I was at a ministers conference a couple of years back. A few of the ministers who had taught the previous stuff about suits, were waxing eloquent about how foolish some of the other ministers were because they were still in bondage to suit wearing. This crew of guys had been glorious set free. They had seen the light and now they only judge those wearing the evil, uncool, suit.

The church has often trivialized the gospel by focusing on cultural norms as a means of judging people into a sense of belonging. Nothing like good, old fashioned judging to make you feel right at home. There was an old line that went like this, “don’t drink, cuss or chew and don’t go out with girls that do.”

Somebody said this truth to me years ago regarding this type of ugly judging. It went like this, “Christians are no different than anyone else, they just do it 10 years later.”

If you have any fun judging stories of past or present, please post them.

I will get around to what we are to judge in my next post, but for now have fun coming up with all the crazy ways that we manage to kill each other, through ungodly judging.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yay daddy, i read your blog. (ask and ye shall receive....haha!) ~L