i decided something today: judgmentalism is the easy seduction of the hipster (or progressive) christian. i’ve been so convicted recently about my own judgmental attitude. god has been just nailing me on this — not by showing me god’s wrath or something like that, but by revealing to me that i’m hurting the heart of god. and the frustrating part of this is that god is showing me how i’m doing this to people in the opposite direction that i’m heading: people more conservative than me. i mean, really, wouldn’t it be easier if god showed me how i’m hurting his heart with my judgmentalism toward people who are adherants to frameworks of faith that i wish i could possess? wouldn’t that be neat? but, no. god has to go and show me the hurt being brought on the kingdom by my judgmentalism toward those who’ve hurt me, those who taught me legalism, those who were even more extreme than i in their devotion to structure and rules and answers.
and today i was confronted by it from some friends i love very, very dearly.
[[update: i have decided to delete the story i had here. it was very personal, involving people i love; and it’s not right for me to “put it out there” without their permission. so, to neuter the story: some people i feel a strong amount of kinship to, people i choose to be with because of their lack of legalism and abundance of grace to me, showed, today, the dark underside of judgmentalism. it was toward a young guy new to our collective experience, who’s doing what young guys do: showing some great passion while making a few decisions someone who’d been around the block a few more times would not make – call them rookie moves. i think that’s all i can tell and still have it be neutered.]]
but here’s the point. a big part of why i love these people so much is that they really understand grace. they have been burned by legalism and judgmentalism in the past — every one of them. and they want nothing to do with it.
i’m not trying be holier-than-thou here — i’m sure plenty of stones could be cast at me. and, ironically, if they weren’t so set on judging, i would likely be going there myself — they just got to it first, so i’ve been offered a reprieve. it just seems to me that judgmentalism is a muck of quicksand that we humans can’t quite seem to get ourselves out of. me and my friends in the emerging church are just as prone to judgmentalism as first-fundie-baptist church down the street (though the emergent response to our critics is an absolutely stellar piece of non-judgemtalism).
the most enlightened so easily slip into dismissing the “un-enlightened”
the most progressive so easily slip into dismissing the non-progressive
the most mature so easily slip into dismissing the immature
the most hip and culturally-creative so easily slip into dismissing the less hip and less culturally-creative
the most whatever so easily slip into dismissing the un-whatever
lord, save me from this.