I understand, we are all sinful humans. But I really feel this is one aspect of our lives that, as Christians, we should be EXTREMELY careful about. We have a higher standard of living. Yes, every person on this earth has a problem with judging others. But as a whole, we shouldn't be known for excluding people just because they are different, or just because we think they are being sinful. How is that helpful for anyone involved? It makes the church look pompous, and makes the person being judged lose interest in the One who sacrificed it all to save us from those very sins. Sin is between a human and Christ. The church, as a whole, should be there to support someone struggling with sin. If the sin is dangerous to others within the church, then something should be done. But excluding the person from the fellowship that encourages them to seek Christ, the ONLY Savior from their sin? Absolutely the wrong approach.
A very close friend experienced horrible judgement at the hands of her church some years ago. At this point, she was experimenting with some difficult things, drinking, drugs, the like. One night, she and her best friend were out partying, and her friend decided to drive them home drunk. They were in a terrible car accident, and her best friend passed away. After this tragedy, my friend was completely broken, both inside and out. Her church didn't stand up to support her, be there for her, help her through this hard time, or find help to remove her from this sinful lifestyle, as any Bible believing church should (Matthew 25:35, Galatians 6:2). Instead, they told her that she should "take a break from church". In her darkest hour, the place that should have been there to provide comfort for her, dumped her in the street. Talk about opposite of God's teachings! So now, 3 and 1/2 years later, she is taking the first steps of potentially attending a new church. (P.S. Remember what this blog started out as? Me wanting to invite people to church. Well, this fine lady is my first success! WOO!!!) Anyway...while Christians are encouraged to reprimand each other in love (Galatians 6:1, 2 Timothy 4:2), we are not called to throw those who need us the most out the door.
I understand, it is difficult living in times like these. Times where we, as Christians, are judged to the extreme. Sometimes it is hard to be public about our faith, for fear of snide remarks, sideways glances, etc. Welcome that judgment, it means Satan is feeling threatened and doing his best to cut you down. God never said being a Christian would be easy. He just said it would be worth it.
To the person seeking the hope and joy of Christ—not all Christians are as hard to please as those mentioned above. It's the bad apples of the group that make the rest of us look bitter. Please don't let the Pharisees keep you from the only true peace you will ever find. Keep searching, the Lord will direct your path.
Christians—live up to the higher standard He expects of us. Accept those who are different from you (Romans 14:1-4) People will notice a difference in you and seek what God, through you, can reveal to them.