In an earlier blog (located here) I talked (or wrote, whatever) defending Christians and the accusations of them being the most judgemental. Now, I want to talk about the ones that are judgemental. Actually I want to talk to those very people.
After speaking with several people that have left churches (and why some are afraid to return) It's become pretty clear to me that they leave because of gossip and rumors. The main reason isnt a spiritual disconnect or laziness (although they are connected) It's mostly because of what others are saying about them. Constantly being judged and criticized.
What many Christians dont seem to understand is that when someone walks through those church doors, they are not automatically transformed into saints. Becoming a Christian (a true Christian) is a process that takes time. Baptism is nothing more than a promise from the person to God saying they will try to change their lives and try to live life Gods way. But they're not in heaven yet, as long as we live on earth, people will slip and make mistakes. It's part of life, as much as we try to live the Bible, its hard and we slip, weather on accident or on purpose.
People go to church looking for answers, looking for guidance and looking for help. Do you provide that? Maybe for the first few weeks you do, but once the stranger becomes a friend, things begin to change. You start to change. You start talking about other people to this person, you tell them negative things about what they're wearing.You start to tell them about people you dont like in church. Everything a new Christian shouldnt hear (or an old one for that matter) they start to hear and this discourages them. We live in a stressful world. Stress at work, stress at home, stress with bills, financial issues, relationship issues. We go to church and have church issues to deal with too? I'd leave too!
It always amazes me the reaction people have to the youth especially. Some guy walks in with long hair, a girl walks in with a nose piercing and the chatters begin, a guy walks in with a visible tat. We know what the Bible says about that. (Leviticus 19:28 You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh...nor print any marks upon you..) But let me ask you. How many Bible verses do you read and not follow? Have you read Mathew chapter 7? Exactly! What they choose to do after reading the Bible texts is up to them. (some people have not read the Bible thus, not being aware of these things)
Personally, I am not concerned with the appearance. I am more concerned with their hearts and their relationship with God. Once that is settled, we can move on to the physical things. I agree with Jesus in the Matthew 7 texts where he basically said "Deal with your own issues, fix up your own life and clean up after your mistakes before you go out and point others mistakes and tell them what they're doing wrong."
Many of you seem to care way too much about jewelry and who someone dates, their age, their beliefs, their color. Judge so much that it draws people away from the church. They say you haven't completed Gods work until you bring a soul to Christ. I say, you haven't done Gods work if you haven't brought your own soul to Christ. Close the mouth and open the Bible. I understand that many of the things you say is important to the persons 'salvation" however it's about how you tell the person and who you tell it to. When it comes to changing someones appearance, you must be very careful in advising them. Most importantly, do not talk about one persons appearance or actions to someone else.