WHY IS CHRISTIANITY JUDGMENTAL
WHEN THE CHRIST IS NOT?
Many people stopped attending regular church services as they are often discouraged by their ultra-moralist outlook and excessive emphasis on being righteous, making them very judgmental with their teachings. It is common in all Christian groups and churches strict adherence in both the teachings and commandments of the Old Testament and the teachings of The Lord Yeshua-Christos, as well as the writings of Paul, the New Testament writer. The teachings of the Old Testament is very judgmental. The paradox of Paul is that he seems to write against the old commandment and even refer to them as the 'letter that kills' as it is the 'ministry of death' (2 Cor 3:6-7); but in reality he just put his own twist to it calling it the 'law of faith' that he endorsed or established (Rom 3:27, 31). The teachings of Christ differs from the other two mentioned in such that His teachings are not judgmental at all.
Imagine trying to fit three different shapes; a square, a triangle and a circle, can you expect to fit them perfectly? Of course not, that would be insanity. ..
LORD YESHUA IS NOT JUDGMENTAL
The Lord Yeshua is non-judgmental as evidenced by His own claims:
(Jn 8:15, NKJV in all verses unless otherwise noted)
You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.
And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
The Lord Yeshua chooses to not judge anyone for His purpose is to save the world. It is not Him but rather His Word that will judge those who reject Him and His truth. He also instructed His followers to not be judging but rather be forgiving:
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
As The Christ was not judgmental, He broke old barriers that were very judgmental and discriminatory in nature. These are the barriers of nationality (Isa 49:6), legal background (Lk 23:39-43) and even gender polarity (Mat 19:12; Isa 56:4-5), just to save anyone who does His word and believes in Him as the savior. Before the time of Christ, only the descendants of Abraham, which later became the Jewish people, was promised salvation. Even the old commandments that they go by were very judgmental and that condemning one who committed a sin is mandatory, and in some instances punishable by death. As a classic example, in the scriptural Jewish laws death was decreed to those who would belong in the “LGBT” community.
How did The Christ remove these limiting barriers that seem to prevent the entirety of mankind from accessing God's grace of salvation?
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
In the time of The Christ, anyone has the same chance of salvation. There’s no more limiting restrictions. All one has to do is to believe in Him to be The Truth, abide in His Word as He is The Way, and abide in His love as His love gives Life that is eternal. This is how anyone can enter in The Christ and be one with Him and God (Jn 17:21) as He has removed all barriers that can prevent anyone from receiving God's grace of salvation and eternal life.
In fact, even in biblical prophecy He was likened to one who is blind and deaf to show His non-judgmental nature:
Who is blind but My servant,
Or deaf as My messenger whom I send?
Who is blind as he who is perfect,
And blind as the Lord’s servant?
Seeing many things, but you do not observe;
Opening the ears, but he does not hear.”
He can definitely see, as stated in the prophecy, and He open the ears of those who were deaf, and yet, He does not observe nor hear about their sinful nature. The same is true with His followers or disciples who were also prophesied to be as deaf or as blind as the perfect messenger sent by God.
RENEWED THE COMMANDMENTS AS HIS OWN
How can The Lord Yeshua perform His non-judgmental work of saving people without breaking the very judgmental commandments of old? He fulfilled them all so that we do not have to (Luke 24:44):
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Mat 5:17-18)
After Christ fulfilled all the laws what then did He do?
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Mat 22:37-40)
Christ renewed and reissued the commandments as His own. And, having the authority from God He put an end to the commandments of old:
“The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
The Lord Yeshua-Christos replaced the judgmental commandments of old with His non-judgmental teachings. But first, He fulfilled the law, and then RENEWED AND REISSUED them as His own commandments, and then He put a stop to the judgmental commandments and laws of the Old Testament.
WHY ARE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES SO JUDGMENTAL
Majority of Christian churches and groups rely on both the teachings of the Old Testament as well as of Paul, the New Testament writer. Try to understand this precept of Paul and see if you can relate with the previous statement:
(I Cor 5:1-6)
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.
A few points to note: a) Paul already judged the sinners, in this case the sexually immoral brethren; b) such sinners should be delivered to Satan, or publicly expelled and humiliated; c) he judged that "their glorifying is not good", meaning their worship of God is not acceptable because according to him, "the little leaven leavens the whole lump", and thus the need to purge out the old leaven or the sinner. He further explained his judgment in the succeeding verses:
(I Cor 5:9-13, New International Version)
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people — not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
Paul continued with his instructions not to associate with the sinners in the congregation - it even seems to be more acceptable to associate with the sinners outside of the congregation. In Paul's advice, not associating with sinners in the congregation includes not even sharing a meal with them. He stated further with a rhetorical question, "are you not to JUDGE those inside?... EXPEL the wicked person from among you."
Can we not see a sharp contrast with the judgmental outlook of Paul with the non-judgmental teachings of Christ? Does The Lord mean to not judge the righteous but judge the sinners? Of course not. He simply does not want us nor ALLOW US TO JUDGE ANYONE, sinner or not. If everyone just does Christ’s instruction, what reason is there for anyone to MIND other people’s lives?
How could Paul be so judgmental in his mindset? It is because he was a practicing Pharisee, a sect of Judaism that emphasize on righteousness as a way of life and to salvation. And because he believed that he lived a devout, just and blameless life, and served God with a pure conscience he also encouraged his followers to imitate him, thus becoming like him - blameless and righteous. Hear are some reflections on Paul's thoughts:
...circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
(2 Tim 1:3)
I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did...
So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us... You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe...
(2 Thes 2:8,10)
(1 Cor 4:16)
Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
We are not teaching against the importance of righteousness, but not the form of righteousness that Paul was believed and preached, which is the righteousness of the Pharisees. Let us understand that Christ hated with passion the ways of the Pharisees, which was a sect of Judaism in His time. In fact, Christ guaranteed anyone non-entrance to the kingdom of heaven when relying on such Pharisaic mindset:
(Mat 5:20) (read also Mat 23:1-36; Gal 5:16-19; I Cor 5:11-13)
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
Note: A separate article will cover this topic on how Paul's perfectionist mentality altered the message of The Lord.
The righteousness in Christ differs from that of the Pharisees. Indeed, there is a righteous person whom The Lord Yeshua values and made mention. However, his righteousness is not based with their form of righteousness - those which are based on the old commandments nor of Paul's judgmental values - but rather, one based on His teachings of love:
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
The Lord's non-judgmental mindset truly contrasts with the judgmental mindset of Paul. The same is true with The Lord's paradigm on righteousness. His concept of righteousness is not on living a blameless life, after all He can save any sinner, but on living a life filled with love and compassion. Unfortunately, the majority of today's Christian churches adhere to the commandments of old and of Paul’s teachings, making them very judgmental. Just listen to their worship sermons as well as read their publications and one may agree on this point.
CHRIST WANTS US TO CHOOSE HIS NON-JUDGMENTAL WAY
The Lord Yeshua wants us to choose His non-judgmental way over the commandments of old and even Paul’s judgmental teachings:
(Mat 13: 44-46)
”Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The Lord Yeshua wants us to be like the man who found treasure in a field and to be like the merchant who found the one pearl of great price. He wants us to forsake everything, including other sources of faith, and hold on to His teachings only. After all, He is the ONLY WAY for salvation (Jer 6:16; Jn 14:6; 10:7,9).
NON-BENEFICIAL TO MIX AND MATCH
Why is Christ very open in instructing those who want to follow Him to only follow His ways and forsake even the old commandments and any other teachings? He explained it in these parables:
No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
The parable of The Lord talks how using a piece of unshrunk or new cloth to repair an old garment will make the tear worse. Why is that? Because after you wash this garment again, and over time, the new cloth used to patch the tear will shrink and pull the old material with it. In the same manner, putting new wine into old wineskins will break or burst the wineskin since the new wine will still continue to ferment and expand. If one puts the new wine into old wineskins they will break, then the wine is spilled and not benefitted by him. A new wine has to be transferred into a new wineskin and both will be preserved. The unshrunk cloth and the new wine represent the teachings and commandments of Christ, while the old garment and old wineskins or containers represent the commandments of old and the teachings of Paul. YOU SIMPLY CANNOT RECONCILE THE JUDGMENTAL WITH THE NON-JUDGMENTAL TEACHINGS!
This parable of The Lord Yeshua points to anyone, including most churches today, who try to reconcile His teachings with that of the old commandments and the teachings of Paul. Anyone, and that's majority of Christianity, who mixes and matches them only end up with much confusion; for the commandments and teachings of Christ are sufficient by themselves and not needing any companion as basis of faith, salvation and spirituality in our time.
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
The Old Testament and the prophets are always valid as reference for the Messianic prophecies as they testify about The Christ. They are also good as historical guidance on the early people of God, however, one can only receive eternal life by coming into Christ or believing in His Word and teachings alone. We have to stop basing our faith for salvation in the Old Testament as well as on the judgmental teachings of Paul. Otherwise, we will be like the scribe, one who is a strict follower of the old commandments, who also received the teachings of Christ:
Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
The scribe mentioned by Christ in this parable very well represents those who strived to follow Him and yet mix and match their faith and obedience with that of the old commandments and the judgmental teachings of Paul. Let us not be like that scribe for The Lord Yeshua clearly wants us to follow ONLY His commandments, the two commandments based on love – to God and to men, and on ALL OF HIS TEACHINGS THAT REVOLVE AROUND HIS COMMANDMENTS OF LOVE.
In summary, can you expect a PERFECT FIT AND MATCH if you try to fit a square, a triangle and a circle? Of course not! Well, just pick the shape of Christ and be safe from the insanity.