This article is geared more in the direction of our behaviour towards unbelievers, rather than fellow brothers and sisters. (“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”) makes it pretty clear that it’s acceptable to approach believers in regards to wrongdoing; yet, one should still be considerate, kind, and unpretentious when doing do.
Does any but God possess the right of condemnation?
There’s something fascinating about suffering.
I don’t mean that in any morbid or depraved manner, rather, the whole machine of creation points everything back to God in some way. You see, earlier today, I was listening to Bloc Party
, specifically the song “Hunting for Witches,” and reading through the FAQ on the subreddit /r/Christianity, where I came across their explanation of their views of homosexuality (spoiler alert: the community there as a whole hasn’t got any singular, solidified view), and that apparent perfect storm of events caused something to flash in my mind.
We are hunting for witches. Every day, and in every way. Every issue that we condemn others for is just another way to focus blame off of ourselves for things that aren’t even related to the issue that we’ve decided to condemn. Someone always has to sin worse than us, and we have to find them. We create suffering in the lives of others by our own self-righteous indignation. When we condemn another for their beliefs, actions, or behavior, we create a stress in their lives, and drive them further from God.
Truth is, I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus spent His time on this earth in corporeal form with all the ‘worst’ – for one thing, the Bible isn’t exactly quiet about it (, for example), and for another, He was here to change lives, mend hearts, and He was a force to be reckoned with. People hated Him, they called Him a Drunkard and a Glutton (). They condemned Him for daring to even give the time of day to the “great unwashed,” but it didn’t stop Him. It didn’t matter if the people didn’t agree with Him, were greedy, selfish, gluttonous, lazy, whorish, self-serving, or any number of other faults, He loved them just the same, and spent time with them.
We aren’t called to condemn people. We aren’t called to be the arbiter of damnation in the lives of those around us. Rather, we should be there, when people are suffering, lost, and confused, and we should provide support, reassurance, and, most important of all, the love of Christ. And if someone isn’t a believer, repeatedly berating them for doing things that they don’t feel are wrong serves no purpose other than to build an ever-widening chasm between them and their creator.
Is there anywhere in your life, any place where you find yourself unrighteously condemning others?
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (ESV)
13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (ESV)
19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” (ESV)