On Specks and Logs

The world hates judgmentalism. The idea that someone would loo kat another person, assess their behavior or lifestyle choices, and enforce some sort of negative relational or social consequence on them absolutely makes our blood boil. And there is no institution in the world more associated with this kind of thing than the church. But what if this all-too-common image of the church wasn’t actually rooted in reality? No, I’m not saying the church hasn’t ever been judgmental in the past (or present). It has. A lot. We’ve worked hard to earn our reputation. But what if that wasn’t how things were supposed to be? What if Jesus hated judgmentalism just as much as – or more than – the world does? What if several of the common negative perceptions of the church fell along about the same lines? This week we kicked off a brand-new teaching series looking at this very question. Join me as we look at what the world thinks, what Jesus said, and what this all means for the church.

On Specks and Logs

Used to be, if you wanted to be someone in this culture, you needed to be a part of a church. It didn’t really matter much which one, you just had to have your membership in their record books and attend just often enough that people knew your name and thought of you as a member. Of course, if you wanted to really achieve something significant in the culture, you had to be more than just a member. You had to be an active member. You needed to be on a key committee or two. Bonus points were definitely given if you were a deacon. You also needed to be fluent in the language of faith. Now, whether or not you actually believed any of this was an entirely separate matter. In fact, it was often better if you didn’t, because then you could keep your eyes on the prize you were seeking without worrying about God coming along and messing things up by calling you in a different direction. Whatever level you wanted to achieve, though, being a part of the church was the entrance gate. Today…not so much. 

Read the rest…

You Can’t Judge Me!

One of the charges often leveled against Christians today is that we are a judgmental lot.  And the truth is…we can be.  Folks will point to one of the many passages that call Christians not to judge others and accuse us of hypocrisy.  And the truth is…sometimes they’re right.

But, before we lean too hard into the charges and move to the place that some have gone of refusing to pronounce any behavior or attitude wrong, we need to clarify some things.  In the New Testament there are two different kinds of judgment.  One is not good and we are told over and over not to do it.  The other is actually one we are specifically called and even encouraged to make.  If we get these mistaken, we can wind up doing or allowing more harm than good.   Read the rest…