Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Pain of Judgementalism

Unless I get this off my chest, it will be very hard for me to keep blogging. It has been heavy on my heart for most of the past week. While I am waiting for news on Melanie, it seemed a good time to write about this.
There seems to be such a fine line in how an observation is portrayed and how it can be seen as a judgment. Responsibility belongs to both the speaker and the hearer on how to understand the true motive
One of the things I have known for many years is that when a Christian states how they view things it is seen 99% of the time as a judgment. And for this we have no one but ourselves to blame. If a person states the exact same thing but said it from say a Buddhist point of view and then another says the exact same thing but is a Christian, the two views are taken in totally different ways. One is seen as wisdom and the other as judgment.
Even I see things that way. The reason is clear. How many of us out here have felt the sting, the pain of being told how wrong we are or how bad we are for doing this or that by a Christian ? I can recount many many instances. A rather funny one to me was when we first moved into this nearly all Seventh Day Adventist town, someone knocked on our door and asked if we sold cheese, we were attending the Mennonite church, sold goats milk and fresh eggs and perhaps looked like cheese makers to this person. I told them I make cheese for our family, but did not sell it. They went into a tirade of shouting and condemning, saying "eating dairy products will make us unfit to flee when the Sunday laws are passed and that we must keep Saturday Sabbath or be lost". My children stood behind me in horror as this woman let loose her venom, all in the name of Christianity and in her mind love I suppose.
This is just one single example, but we all have stories to tell I am sure. It could even be from some street preacher on the corner shouting out to another or even a family member.
I have NEVER had someone from another religion do that to me. No Hindu or Buddhist has ever tried to convert me or tell me I am condemned for some action.
There is a saying that "Christians are the only ones that shoot their wounded" . How sad is that ?Why am I talking about this rather delicate subject, in hopes that people will grow aware and stop condemning others. And I personally never want to appear as though I am sitting in some high and holy place looking down on others. I don't ever want that sort of job, I am way under-qualified.
In certain circles within Christianity there are many rules, if you don't do this or that, live to their standards, you have no salvation. Christ said, "believe in me". Simple isn't it ? Let the work of changing be between God and that person.
The funny thing is, Christ said over and over, DO NOT JUDGE. Imagine, a whole group, missing the main message and alienating so many in the process. So many folks have been hurt in the name of Christian condemnation that people shy away before the whole sentence has been spoken.
I wish, that things would change and judgment would be left to God who knows the heart, knows the circumstances of a persons life and that the tide would turn and a time would come when words spoken by a Christian would not make others feel backed into a corner, with claws out ready to defend. We have done much harm with so many generations of telling others what is wrong with them.
I hate that what I have said felt like a judgment to others about my life, but I know why it seems that way. I understand. It was never meant as that though, never.
Been there, been on that receiving end and I bet most everyone who reads this has too.
My life is simple, it is calm, what we have chosen has worked for us, but may not for everyone. I do know people are in pain in this rushed hurried world. Violence is everywhere in our lives, making us frightened. We work for stuff and then worry about having to pay for it, or work so hard to pay for it that we get little time to enjoy life.
In all, loosing track of what really matters in the end. In this nation, nearly 1/4 of the adult population is sleep deprived, stress being the major factor in most cases. Our grandparents slept nearly 10 hours each night, we are down to 6 hours a night for the national average. We are worn out, frazzled and haven't a clue to get back to a good place without surrendering the things we think we HAVE to have. I only wish to share there is a way out, if you want it.
If this has come across as being judgmental, I apologize. It was never my intention.
So if you are a Christian, choose your words wisely and with compassion as we have wounded so many through the years. It may only be in a look, a condemning, look down your nose type thing, or a whisper behind another's back, a phone call to share a " did you see him/her" sort of thing.
We have attacked our own. It is time to stop making others look worse than what we know we carry in our own hearts.
There I have said my peace and that is the end of it. Again I am sorry for ever sounding like I was judging anyone, even one person is too many.
Saying what we did, how we did it, is the facts, not a "look at me, see what I did" thing. If you knew me well, you would know that's not the person I ever want to be.


Anonymous said...

You are so right. This was a wonderful post. I hope others are able to "hear" the honest and loving message you have written here. I am a Christian, I am non-denominational, I love God and I do my best to love my fellow man. I am not perfect, I do not know everything. There is not one single group, religious organization, or person which is perfect. Jesus Christ was the only perfect man. How grateful I am to have that wonderful example to look to. God knows our hearts and He is the one who will judge. I am more than willing to leave that to Him!! LOL.

God Bless,
Rean Day

Anonymous said...

I recognize your pain. How many times have I heard the "water-cooler" gossip ....'As he's supposed to be a CHRISTIAN". Being a Christian does make you better than anyone else--- it just means you're trying... no know sits in the judgement seat--- Giving or taking judgement on anyone but God himself....

Something to think about....

Carrie J said...

Oh Patty, you have hit such a nerve in me with this post. I am Christian, but I do not attend church. Since leaving the LDS church my husband and I have been so attacked by LDS members telling us we are doomed for leaving AND from other Christians telling us we must join the RIGHT church or we are bound for hell. It has been such a struggle but a wonderful lesson about judgement. I, like you, am so at peace with my spiritual life and the choices I have made. I think that the need some others seem to have to judge and condemn comes from insecurities about themselves, and seeing others make choices different from their choices causes feelings of doubt. I know that some that we thought were our friends react with something almost fearful when we by chance encounter them. This is getting too long. Enjoyed the post.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much..

I wouldn't call myself a Christian.. But I do believe in God the Creator.. and his love..

What you wrote today is wondeful.. simply wonderful..

If your ever in TN...let me know I will buy you a cup of tea..

Denise in TN

Anonymous said...

I think the level of venom out there is somehow condensed in the blogosphere. For example, I had no idea how the different denominations felt about each other until I started blogging. I was in a little C of E bubble...pluralistic, saying we're all pretty much the same anyway so why fight over doctrine? It shocked me, seriously, and it upset me. "Love God with all your heart" and "Love your neighbour as yourself"..."There is no other commandment greater than these" ...These lines are from the BCP.

You're so right about judgement. Jesus says it again and again that we must not judge. But the devil finds our weak points and works on them and judgement often comes from a lack of confidence and self esteem...when we criticise others it make us feel better about ourselves. That means standing in judgement is often quite a prideful action. I think we've all been guilty of it, but it is our duty as Christians and as human beings to fight against this deire and keep the peace and love of Christ in our hearts at all times.

Great post Patty, I'm so glad that Melanine is well now.

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