May 14, 2012

"Who Are You to Judge Someone Else's Servant?"

In the United States, Christianity is under attack as it's never been before. Certainly, we have a way to go before our faith is put to the test as it is in nations such as China, North Korea, India, or Iran, yet still - we are feeling a pressure that's new to this country. But what bothers me most about this is how Christians are reacting. Instead of coming together as the body of Christ, supporting and encouraging each other, many Christians are behaving divisively. 

For example, I've read a particular blog for about seven years; the blogger, who was once a Protestant, recently converted to Catholicism. I have zero doubt she knows Jesus is her Savior, and earnestly tries to follow him. But now her blog is riddled with strongly negative remarks about Protestants. I'm sure some of this is a reaction to Protestants chiding her recent conversation; but even so, it's alarming how continuously she attempts to divides believers - especially since she's in a unique position to focus on Christ in an effort to bring believers of different denominations together.

Sadly, this divisiveness is nothing new. It's been happening ever since Christ began his ministry. Paul spent a great deal of time focusing on believers who were divisive, encouraging them to focus on their faith in Christ instead. To the Christians in Corinth, he wrote:

"You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?" (1 Corinthians 3:3) And while Paul cautioned us not to "...go beyond what is written" (1 Corinthians 4: 6-7), he also wrote (emphasis mine):

"Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand." (Romans 14:1-4)

And: "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister." (Romans 14:13)

 As Christians, we need to allow God to judge other people's faith. As I often tell my kids, "You can't change him. So worry about changing yourself instead." God commands us to focus on him:

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3)

So let's do that by embracing those who believe Jesus is God's son, sent to die and rise again for our sins.

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