Tag Archives: judgmental

Condemnable things

I was thinking about some of the things that the church has demonized over the years, things that we have said were “condemned” or would condemn us. Here’s some I came up with off the top of my head:

  • Movies
  • Dancing
  • “Spot” cards (with Rook cards being okay)
  • Dominoes
  • Mixed bathing (otherwise known as swimming)
  • Alcohol
  • Tattoos
  • Piercings
  • Jazz
  • Rock and roll music
  • Rap music
  • Tobacco
  • Pants on women
  • Short hair on women
  • Long hair on men

We could go on and on. And we probably will.

But I think we need to add one big taboo to the very top of that list:

  • Making laws that God hasn’t made

I daresay that’s far more dangerous than any of the other things on that list.

The condemning spirit

I took one of my blog posts and adapted it for the use of Heartlight Magazine. The article was called “She Had An Abortion.” It ran on their website last Wednesday.

I received a number of comments on that article, mostly positive. One was blisteringly negative. The writer¬†said, “Tim can Criticize Christians for Speaking the Truth ? But Christians Are Wrong for Speaking the Truth Against sin ??” He¬†ended the e-mail by saying:

Shame on the False Teacher , teaching Half-Truths.. Read the Text, Read your Bible, You have One Life, you have an enemy and sin IS his weapon.

As I read it, I felt sorry for the person that wrote it. Not that I’m against speaking out against sin, but this person was advocating vigorous condemnation of those entrapped by sin. When I commented about the message to Steve Ridgell, my co-worker, he immediately said, “That person is hiding something in their own life.”

A flash of recognition came over me. That’s where I’d heard that tone before. Those who are hardest on sin are typically those with hidden sin in their own lives. They are especially merciless if they can relate to that sin. The person struggling with sexual sin will condemn the adulterer with a fury. The person fighting addiction will denounce the alcoholic. I’ve seen it enough to know that it’s true.

There’s usually one of three things going on:

  1. These people don’t understand that salvation is by grace.
  2. These people don’t understand that God’s forgiveness is ongoing.
  3. They aren’t aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in helping us overcome the flesh.

Because they are painfully conscious of the struggles in their own lives, they can be brutal with those who yield to similar temptations. They’ve seen the ugliness of sin in their own hearts, been repulsed by it, and direct that repulsion to others.

Obviously, that’s not true of everyone. But I’ve seen it far too many times. Even in myself.

photo by E. Cerroni