There’s a reason I dislike and therefore write semi-regularly about judgementalism. I believe it is one of the most damaging blockages to our relationships and would-be relationships, especially for those of us who call ourselves Christians and are therefore supposed to draw people toward Christ with the light that is to shine from our own lives.
Let me start by saying, there is a vast and gaping difference between being judgemental, versus assessing the active behaviour of an individual to see if it lines up with the core values they may speak about.
In my very humble opinion, I believe one of the most dangerous forms of judgementalism is when it manifests as repulsion toward an individual or people group because of their sin.
Their sin just seems so different and so less palatable than our own.
Problem is, when we become repulsed by a person because of their sin, we fail to see their humanity, we fail to see them as people, we fail to see them as created in the image of Father God, just as we are.
This is just as dangerous as the sin we are repulsed by. It is a high form of self-righteousness, which inevitably leads to pride…. The very same view of oneself that led to the downfall of lucifer. “Woah, back up. You’ve gone a little too far there, Bek!”, you might be saying, but honestly, I doubt satan just decided one day that he wanted to be on par with God.
Pride sneaks up on us, one unfiltered, self-righteous thought at a time.
The reality is, EVERY SINGLE one of us has fallen way short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).
Whenever I see someone whose behaviour repulses me, or I start to feel judgement rise in my thinking toward them, I remind myself, There but for the Grace of God go I.
I was listening to a song by Katy Perry recently, Dark Horse. It makes mention of Jeffery Dahmer, an infamous serial killer, who’s crimes are truly horrific.
I had never heard of him until this song. Yes, I must’ve been living under a rock. Yes, I learned a piece of history from pop music, who’d ‘ave thunk it?
Upon researching him, for the song had stirred my curiosity, I discovered that Dahmer had become a Christian whilst in prison for his crimes. Further research, super intensive research….via google, I know, sooooo in depth, led me to this site:
In this article, the Minister who performed Dahmer’s baptism, Roy Ratcliff answers one of the most common questions he gets asked; Was Jeffery sincere in his faith?
This is Roy’s answer:
“….This question bothers me. Why question the sincerity of another person’s faith? Baptism represents a change in lifestyle. A person is expected to change after being baptized. When people don’t change, we begin to wonder. Why were they baptized? Did they did not fully comprehend what was involved?
I can understand those kinds of questions.
But Jeff’s circumstance was different. The people asking me didn’t know about his post-baptismal life. They were basing their question on what he did before he was baptized, not after. That bothers me.
Jeff was judged not by his faith, but by his crimes. The questioner always seemed to hope I’d answer: “No, he wasn’t sincere.” The questioner seemed to be looking for a way to reject Jeffrey as a brother in Christ instead of seeing him as a sinner who has come to God. The subtext of such questions was simple. They didn’t want to think of Jeff as a brother. Such ungraciousness is contrary to the Christian spirit.
Was Jeff saved? Were his sins taken away? Is he a Christian believer? Did he repent of his sins? Or was the blood of Christ shed on the cross somehow too weak, too thin, too anaemic to cover his sins? Did Jeff mean it when he said, “I’m so sorry for what I’ve done. God help me, I’ll never do that again”?….”
This should shake you up.
Now look, I understand that Minister Ratcliff is bothered by people questioning the sincerity of Dahmer AFTER conversion, but, I want to shake you up further….
What if, in an effort to move past our repulsion, we start to view those around us through the blood of Jesus Christ, seeing them for what they CAN be through a transformational relationship with Him, BEFORE they’ve entered into it…..whether or not they are yet portraying any glimpse of their redeemed potential?
Yes, this is an extreme case. Not all of us are called to ‘journey’ with serial killers as this Minister did.
But what this is, is the indescribable scandal of GRACE, that the dirtiest, filthiest ‘scum’ of society can be clothed in robes of righteousness and be called sons and daughters of God.
The people who stir within us feelings of judgement won’t reach righteousness through our lofty glares.
They won’t get there with our tuts and ’tisk tisk’s’.
They’ll start their journey to wholeness when we invite them along to journey with us, just as they are.
We don’t have to agree with, condone or allow their sin to impact us, what we do have to do, is recognise that something inside them bares the mark of our Maker and it’s up to us to introduce them to Him.