“For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
I see it as something of a mania, this affliction of the American Church with outing those we perceive as being wrong. Yes, doctrinal purity matters, but the ramifications of our calls for it are scary when we meditate on the words of Jesus.
At the core, doctrinal purity is not so much the issue as is personal humility. And if we want to talk about humility, we need to start with the truth that we tend to judge others more harshly than we judge ourselves.
A collective distortion exists in your mirror and mine. We have a tendency to always believe that we’re right and the other guy is wrong. As I’ve written many times before, it is a grave error to presume that we’ve arrived. Fact is, none of us got to a decently solid foundation of truth without holding erroneous views at some point along the journey of faith. Everyone has been wrong at some time or other.
Perhaps we would all do ourselves a world of good if more of us assumed that we might even hold erroneous views/doctrines right now.
I started this post with the words of Jesus, words I don’t think we take well to heart.
Do we ever consider that when we hold out the title of heretic and attempt to pin it on another Christian that title may very well boomerang and wind up embedded in us?
Do we stop to wonder if we’re exactly right on every part of the faith before we attempt to correct someone else’s perceived errors?
Do we ever think that the more we judge the more we will end up judged?
Do we ever ponder that when we deal with other possibly erroneous views (and the people who hold them) with love, it is love that will be applied to our own possibly erroneous views?
The world today is a tediously judgmental place. It seems like everyone walks around ready to lay into another person, poised to spring the trap. And the level of disagreement has taken on insane dimensions, almost as if someone else’s love of the color indigo warrants the death penalty from those of us who may prefer aqua.
It’s as if we have no understanding of the boomerang nature of judgment and love. Hurling the former comes as second nature, yet we’re caught off guard when we get konked in the head by the same standard we just hurled at someone else. And that love thing feels pretty foreign to us, so scant the amount we toss around.
Funny thing is, tossing love actually feels pretty good when it boomerangs back on you and me. That we American Christians throw so little love may explain why many of us feel beaten to a bloody pulp.