Caesar asked, “What is truth?” Today, we ask, “What is the truth?” Politics, economics, when life begins, truth-tellers, and liars —all up for grabs. If we don’t know the truth, or can’t agree on the truth, how can we judge anything?
Many say one of the main reasons people stay away from church is that church goers, especially Christians, are judgmental. I don’t blame them. Why go to a place where people make you feel worse about yourself than you do already? Or tell you there is something wrong with you when you’ve just spent mucho bucks on a shrink who assured you your reactions are to be expected, considering your childhood.
If you just look at the “Shallts” and “Shallt nots” in the Bible you can get a skewered view that ignores God’s mercy and immense love for us. There are hellfire and brimstone preachers out there to be sure. There are also those who see sin as merely relative choices. Why go to a church that scares the hell into you or one that is a weekly feel-good coffee klatch?
The fact is, God is perfect. We’re not. We cannot approach a perfect God covered as we all are with sin, so God made a miracle happen. His Son hung on the cross and became the perfect atonement, the Lamb of God, the divine scapegoat, for sins we cannot ever make up for on our own, no matter how many good deeds we do.
I judge myself as sinful as everyone else. I can’t point to anyone and claim that he or she is worse than I am. God’s law defines good and evil and by that law, we all stand condemned. But there is also the Gospel, the good news that we are all saved from our sins; that we all are all made into sons and daughters of The Most High God, through Jesus Christ. Law and Gospel are two sides of the same coin.
That means no one I meet is ever less good, less loved by God than I am. Together we are alike; together we are judged as pitiful sinners; together we are saved through Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. I cannot judge anyone unless I judge myself also. All I can do is love my fellow sinner and assure him or her that the Gospel, the “Good News,” is true and ask him or her to join me at the foot of the Cross.