Why Are Christians So Judgmental & Other Nagging Questions
Embracing the Freeing Discomfort of Questions
I often claim that I am a questioning questioner. I think that I am completely comfortable with uncertainty and gray areas. But the truth is, I’m just more comfortable with those things than most religious people. When I am around people who truly question everything, I start to feel a little like I’m standing on a shaky bridge with a river rushing under me. I like to ask a question wrestle through it and then achieve a new certainty. I like to have a safe amount of things remain mysterious to me, but I also want a certain level of certainty.
Nothing makes me see how true this is like my guest blogger this week. Mike Edwards writes for Done With Religion and has his own blog, What God May Really Be Like. I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I read what he is wrestling with and it makes me uncomfortable.
But one day, when I was looking at his blog, I saw something that brought tears to my eyes as I understood the beauty of his questioning. Mike writes for people who are done with religion but not God, and for his kids. If we want the next generation to know God, we have to embrace the questions and reclaim the wonder that has been destroyed by dogmatic fundamentalists.
I’m incredibly thankful for people like Mike who push me to explore all the hard questions. Enjoy today’s sampling and check out his blog to see more of the beauty of seeking to truly know what God may really be like.
Why Are Christians So Judgmental?
By Mike Edwards
One would think Christians wouldn’t be judgmental. After all, we are guided by the principle of loving others as we want to be loved. Jesus certainly didn’t seem judgmental. He hung out with all kinds of people who didn’t necessarily have His same beliefs. Jesus did get His dander up with religious folks because they were misrepresenting God. We may be doing God a favor if Christians questioned their own leadership and stop trying to force their beliefs on the rest of the world. I am not suggesting we shouldn’t stand up when children are abused, women are violated. That requires judging. It should though not be in our nature to unload on others because their beliefs aren’t ours.
Spoiler Alert – One’s view of the Bible may be one main reason Christians are so judgmental.
Some Christians may be judgmental as a defense mechanism.
Christians are only human. I can’t quite explain it but it does seem those most judgmental may be a way to prevent looking in the mirror and judging themselves for unloving behaviors. I suppose some play offense to avoid playing defense and looking inwardly. The is something one can only answer for themselves if they noticed being so judgmental despite being a God-follower.
Are Christians judgmental because of examples of Leadership?
Catholics, Methodists, Etc. establish creeds that are implied one should believe in. Try challenging the doctrines and see where that gets you! One creed may be Jesus came to forgive our sins. Theologians don’t agree if the Cross was to influence a lifestyle toward love or pay a price for God’s sake. So, God never did or couldn’t forgive sins until Jesus died? If God was so concerned about beliefs such as the Trinity, Angels, the Bible, Judgment, the Virgin Mary, wouldn’t there be more agreement what all these creeds. If Religions only had the Creed of Love, maybe Christians would be more united and less judgmental.
It gets worse how Christians judge!
Doctrine differences are one thing because only those who grew up in church care about those matters. Christians though condemn same-sex relationships, women are denied equal or authoritative roles as men, and it is said only Christians can go to heaven so all other religions can go to Hell. Good people often only condemn same-sex relationships because they are convinced a Book inspired by God condemns them. Biblical scholars who respect Scriptures don’t all agree the Bible condemns same-sex relationships. Shouldn’t we take the less judgmental stance toward others since we could be wrong?
Would you naturally assume if not for a Book:
God condemns gays
God prohibits women from serving as pastors or priests
God encourages wives being submissive to husbands differently than husbands to their wives
God judges based on religion when the religion the majority adhere to depends where born
Every view above is debated among biblical scholars. We can listen to what God’s Spirit is telling us also or at least have an open-discussion rather than hide behind a Book like terrorists do! I am convinced this would lead to Christians being less judging.
Mike Edwards left the institutional church and writes a blog at what-god-may-really-be-like.com and also writes for donewithreligion.com