Saturday, November 30, 2019

Judging the Sins of Others

If you're like me, you've seen and experienced your share of Christians judging the sins of others.  It's a spiritual badge a lot of us Christians wear.

From prostitution to abortion, violence, and molestation, Christians are among the first heap coals of condemnation upon the sinners' head.  Some of them will even go as far as to say that if you're depressed, God is punishing you.

If Christian literally means follower of Christ, then it is utterly appropriate to ask the question, What Would Jesus Do? 

Perhaps we should look at the scriptures. If we find that God has a different opinion and response to sin that what Christians are best known for, then perhaps we've been misled by our churches who have taught us these things. Maybe then, we should make a change.

Inward vs. Outward

In 2 Cor 5:12 (and elsewhere), we are reminded that it is the inner qualities that matter, not the outward appearances: 
that you will be able to answer those who boast about a person’s appearance rather than his inner qualities (2 Cor 5:12, 1 Sam 16:7, Prov 24:12, Matt 23:25)
This assertion is followed with a view and understanding of Messiah, who at one time, was judged solely upon outward appearances:
So from now on, we do not look at anyone from a worldly viewpoint.  Even if we once regarded the Messiah from a worldly viewpoint, we do so no longer. (2 Cor 5:16)
And finally, Paul wraps up the entire discourse (thus far in 2 Corinthians, ch. 5), with this idea:
And it is all from God, who through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself and has given us the work of that reconciliation,  which is that God in the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself, not counting their sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. (CJB)
The point then is this: if the work God performed through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah is so complete and wonderfully done - so much so that even God does not count their sins against them - then who are we to condemn or even lightly judge anyone for their sins?  

Judging and condemning others for their sins is not our ministry.

Our ministry from God is a message of reconciliation.