Soul Talk Advent Series: 'Words to Live a Life By"
Guest Blogger: Rachel Moreland
Dear Christian: Stop Pretending to be God
"Do not judge, or you will be judged. For in the same way that you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Matthew 7:1
I’ll never forget a particular conversation I had with a friend of mine a few years ago. She is not a Christian but would often speak to me about faith because she knew Jesus was important to me, and I reckon she held an element of curiosity about the subject of faith, too.
“And you Christians wonder why I haven’t converted yet.”
“What do you mean?” I looked up from my desk with a mixture of curiosity and concern.
At the time, we both worked for the same Christian organisation; I never fully understood why she bothered working for a faith-based company but I was about to find out soon enough.
“The way you Christians treat one another. So much back-biting. Always judgemental. That’s the reason why I’ve never become one myself.”
I was embarrassed. I felt lumped in with the same group of ‘back-biting’ Jesus-followers.
Judgemental. How many times have I heard from my non-Christian friends how they felt a wave of judgement the moment they walked through the church doors? Or what about the stories I’ve heard from friends whose pastor told them they were not welcome in the church because they were gay.
My friend had experienced rejection from the Church masked as the ‘wrath of God’. And herein lies the fundamental issue with so many of us Christians today: we sit in the judge’s seat rather than the witnesses’ seat.
We momentarily forget our own sinful humanity and assume the role of our Almighty Creator. We repeat the same mistakes of our forefathers Adam and Eve back in the Garden of Eden all those many years ago.
We pretend to be God.
And because we were never designed to be God, we unsurprisingly do a terrible job at it and thus misrepresent the true heart of God. The God who chooses mercy over judgement.
Every single time.
“Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)
In Matthew 7, Jesus is not talking about turning a blind eye to the reality of human failure and sin. Nor is he suggesting that we are to compromise holiness for cultural relevancy. On the contrary, we as the Church will always sit in the tension of being culturally relevant without becoming spiritually irrelevant.
In this passage, Jesus is reminding us where we stand in relation to God. Because we are not God (thank heavens); He alone is our eternal judge. One day, everything will pass away and we will have to stand before Him to give an account.
“Did you love me above all else? Did you love your neighbour as yourself?”
Dear friend, even as I write this now I feel unsettled feeling in my stomach.
Did I love well? Did I give generously? Did I welcome whole-heartedly? Did I serve joyfully? Did I witness faithfully?
I wonder how we, the Church, will respond.
The Church is increasingly known more for what it is against rather than what it is for.
What if the Church chose to be for all people? For straight people and gay people? For rich and poor people? For white and black people?
I wonder how many more would come to know Jesus and live in freedom if we were to get up from the Judge’s seat and take a stand as a witness for Him.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa
Rachel Moreland is a storyteller, content creator, and writer living in Edinburgh. She is the Media and Marketing Lead at homeless charity Bethany Christian Trust and serves on the Board of Trustees for Soul Food Edinburgh. When she is not working, she is on the hunt for the best cup of coffee and planning her next travel adventure. Follow her on Instagram and read more from her blog, With love from Rachel.