In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How did we get so judgmental?

This is a question that resounds frequently whenever I'm around fundamentalists.

Did you notice that I used the pro noun "we" here? I did that because, doctrinally, I still see myself as part of that group. But it breaks my heart when I see the harsh, judgmental spirit that is prevalent within this group. I can't help but think it breaks God's heart too.

Why is it that we missed the whole joyous truth of the gospel that God loves us while we were yet sinners and died for us?! Why do we ignore the story of the prodigal son and all the Old Testament accounts of such sinners as David, about whom scripture says he had a heart for God?!

I'd be really interested in your thoughts on this.

I somehow think it's because of a few things: we do not accept the sinful part of ourselves and so can not tolerate the sin of anyone else (because it screams to us that we're just like them), we are grateful for all that God has done and so want to be holy for Him (rather than abiding in Him and letting Him grow His fruit in our lives), the gospel is just such good news that we can not really believe it so we are still trying to earn our salvation by being really good (and demanding that everyone else be good too!), and even though we are saved by grace and our spirits were re-born and we're new creatures we're still the same dysfunctional souls that were raised in dysfunctional families so the rigid-black-white-it's-all-easy-and-safe-religion appeals to us.

I could go on and on about each of these reasons (and may do so about each in future posts) but know that no one would want to read all that at once. Plus, right now, I'm really interested in getting your feed back on this.

Why do you think Christians, especially those in the fundamentalist camp, are so judgmental?


Inge' said...

Remember how on fire you were when you first got saved? You thought you could save all your friends, family, the mailman,etc. Then they all rejected you. They called you names like "fanatic" and "holy roller" and many others. Remember how that made you feel? Offended. Hurt. Angry. Bitter. Judgmental. We took it all so personally.

What we fail to remember is what we are told in the Word. People will hate us. People will talk about us to our face and behind our backs. Even though the Word specifically states that it is God they are offending with this tye of behavior, we still take it personally.

By doing this, we become one of "those" Christians. You know the ones. They are in every church in the world. The ones that have lost their compassion. The ones that have forgotten who they still are but by the grace and mercy of God, have been forgiven. The ones God would use if they would allow Him to.

Oswald Chambers states in "My Utmost For His Highest", "God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with." I think that is what we do. We object when things get tough for us and deflect that outward. Instead of embracing the struggle and leaning on God to get through it, we allow it to rule us.

Only when we recognize this in ourselves, can we truly begin the process of confession, repentance, and the dreaded "make up" test.

We all need to look upon others with the eyes of Christ. This can be difficult if we refuse to "get off milk".

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this and I have decided that I am going to have to learn how to condense my comments on your blog! Sorry they are so long. I am so passionate about the Lord that I get caught up in the moment and forget that this is not a conversation. I promise to try and become brief in the future:)

Alice Audrey said...

Seems to me judgmental attitudes come from fear.

Matthew C. Keegan said...

People become judgmental when they fail to consider the entire counsel of God. Jesus' disciples wanted to call fire down from heaven to consume His enemies, instead Jesus rebuked them.

Seems we need to get back to the Bible and make sure that what we say lines up with what Jesus said.

Tracy said...

Inge' - Talk as much as you like. You make a good point about how we can make it personal and get bitter. May I never do that (guess I need to add "again" since I've done it before).

Alice - you've really got a point about fear being the basis for judgmental attitudes.

Yeah Matthew, guess being judgmental is definitely nothing new; both the disciples and the pharisees showed it. May my words always line up with those of Jesus.

Christina said...

I think we have a tendency to get judgmental because it's so much more comforting to focus on other people's faults than actually make an effort to bring the parts of our life that don't measure up under Christ's lordship. It's much easier for me to shake my head at the girls in res rooms next to me who get drunk on weekends and have their boyfriends over every other night than it is for me to realize that I'm not being self-controlled with regards to, say, how much chocolate I eat, because then I'd actually have to do something about it.

JD Curtis said...

Judgementalism isnt particular to conservative or liberal church goers. I'm sure a high income church looks down it's nose at poorer churches (Not in all cases but you get the picture).

I don't think that fundamentalists are any more judgemental than anyone else. Whereas a conservative church may speak out against the sins of abortion or same-sex marraige, a liberal church may become judgemental of a conservative church for calling a spade a spade and stand in judgement of that conservative church, calling them "judgemental".

jenny said...

i guess, people become judgmental when they feel insecurities. it actually comes from different things..

Graceful said...

Insecurity! I know that's what I judge order to puff myself up, both in my own mind and for others to see.

Graceful said...

Sorry for the typo in my post -- it's too early in the morning! Meant to say "I know that's why I judge others."

I also wanted to say thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog!

Rick Morgan said...

Well if you are worse off than I am it sure helps me feel a lot better. Then I don't have to worry about any changes that God would like to see me make, cause I am quite pleased with myself, I am doing pretty good.

Tracy said...

Rick, Graceful, Jenny & Christina - I'm reminded of the whole Matthew 7:3 thing about why do you fuss about the speck in your neighbor's eye when you've got a log in your own. Sometimes I do that.

JD - I actually laughed out loud when I read what you wrote because it's so true! Of course the liberals would be judging the conservatives for being too judgmental - hah! But the reason I'm talking about Fundamentalists is mostly because I am one. So, of course I know most about those I'm around. Also, somehow it seems OK find to find fault with a group of which I'm a part. It would feel wrong somehow to be critical concerning others; most of the time I leave that to them and God. Also, if I'm candid, I was just plain venting. This blog is about my experiences as a follower of Jesus, plain and simple. Just yesterday I got a bit worked up about a group of fundamentalists who I was around, some of whom were being very loving toward a brother with a problem & some of whom were being harshly judgmental. I can't help but remember that although Jesus rebuked people in various capacities the only group He was hard on were the religious people. It's hurtful when we're harsh and God is about love; it's His love that sets us free from sin. I want to be an agent of that love.

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