Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Judging Culture

So, I'm watching "Mike and Mike in the Morning" as is my custom, before I head to Church this morning. They ended up having a discussion on how we have become a "judging" culture - how so many TV shows have call in votes for who stays or goes - how the afternoon shows are dominated by the various Judge shows, how lots of media coverage seems to be breaking down someone's actions or even their apology (consider the discussion over the various statements that Tiger Woods made).

Now, let's consider this from a theological standpoint. The first thing I thought of when hearing this discussion is the common refrain whenever one points out sin of "don't you judge me!" It has seemed to me that this has increased in frequency so much. And maybe this is because we are now just in a culture where we commonly put ourselves in a position of superiority over others - evaluation over others. We rate this - we vote on this - and my on-line review might tank this place, my vote might help kick ____ off the show.

We are used to trying to exercise power over each other -- and so when a Pastor calls someone on something, the assumption is that this is an attempt to exercise power (and possibly even "ruin" someone). I should be honest and even say that perhaps sometimes it is -- but the confrontation of sin is to be a matter of love and service. It is to be a warning given out of kindness and love (because let's face it, if I didn't like you, I'd just let you keep doing stupid stuff until you drive yourself to hell).

The purpose of the Law is to call people to repentance so that they might not be harmed by their sin and might enjoy the growth that they ought to have in Christ. That is not "judging" as we think of it, that is not fostering condemnation, but preparing folks to receive life. Once again, we must learn not to simply think like the world.

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