Yesterday I wrote a somewhat controversial article. Reactions have varied but I have found them to be of the expected so far as of the writing of this article. I removed the article because I decided I don’t think it quite got my message across the way I wanted to and it has affected me a bit. Now after some thought I decided to put it back up. I figure, my blog, my thoughts, so why not? 🙂
Thus, I am taking my time for my Sunday Thought to make some things clear to Non Christians and Christians alike. Because I think both need to understand something that has not been emphasized enough in churches and the public domain.
1 Corinthians 5 NIV
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”~Paul to the Corinthians
The only people Christians are to hold accountable to New Testament teachings are other Christians. Paul’s verses above followed a section where he had to explain something.
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. (Purple text refers to a fellow Christian.)
Don’t get these verses wrong. Not associating comes a long time after Christians attempt to help the fellow Christian to see what they are doing and get back on track. It’s not like, oooo we caught you at something and now you are to be gone from us you bad boy you.
Now, don’t get me wrong about not judging Non Christians, that doesn’t mean a Christian should say, “Hey, that’s awesome,” when seeing something that is against our faith.
Just like Non Christians may say, “It’s fine for Christians to believe what they want, but don’t expect me to applaud what they believe.”
A commenter mentioned it was offensive for Christians to proselytize and tell people they are wrong and bad. I think Christians understand the feeling when we are told we are wrong and bad daily in the media and by our government.
And please, don’t confuse Jehovah ‘s Witnesses’ dogmatic ways of Saturday morning door-to-door knocking and telling you that you are wrong with how Christians are supposed to do it. They even tell Christians they are wrong. Most of my family are Jehovah’s Witnesses so I get it. They and I have had some interesting talks in the past.
I taught my youth group to simply listen to people and if a reason came up to share their faith then do so, otherwise don’t. Forcing never works.
But back to the verses mentioned. Paul had a great way of bringing the focus of the early Christians back to where they belonged. Whenever the early church began whining about everyone else, he always said don’t worry about them right now, worry about yourself and the church first.
Romans Chapter 1 is one of the most misrepresented chapters in the Bible. Why? Because a letter was divided into chapters. Paul talks about what certain things are sins in Chapter 1, then in Chapter 2 he points out that the church members are doing those things so shut up and take care of yourselves instead of yelling about others. But because of the Chapter break people tend to study that first Chapter as a separate piece instead of looking at the whole.
Romans 2:1 NIV
1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.~Paul to the church in Rome
Gotta love it, right? Paul sure had a way with words. So Christians, the next time you begin to judge a Non Christian by our Christian standards, think about these verses in this article today.
For Non Christians I hope there is an understanding that the majority of Christians don’t have problems with anyone. In fact our very faith teaches us to love everyone, no matter who or what they are. Sometimes Christians forget that part, I think it’s partly because it’s not taught enough or mentioned enough in the churches. And I hope people understand that more and more Christians are being told they are bad and wrong as a whole because of a vocal minority that gets the attention and brings negativity to us.
In closing I will say this, do not tell me I cannot speak my my beliefs. I don’t ridicule others, and I expect the same in return. Learn the difference between hate speech and a belief. I may say something is a sin but it does not mean I hate someone who does that sin. You shoplift, you are a thief, you have stolen, you have sinned. I tell you that you have sinned. That is not hate speech. Oh, sorry, the government says it’s bad, so I guess I am covered…for now.
Much Love, Success, and Respect
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