Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Judgmentalism and the Church

I came across this on the Church and judgmentalism (don't confuse this with making judgments, which all of us do - even though many never verbalize them - but that's another issue). I found it at...


Prodigal Son Story (Luke 15:10-32):
"You remember the story…there’s a great contrast between the way in which the father received the prodigal and the way in which his older brother reacted. In the book, Ogilvie raises a, “What if?” question. What if, on his way back home, the prodigal had met his older brother before meeting his father?

Ogilvie then writes words that challenge me deeply…

“…imagine what might have happened if the returning son had met his older brother on the way, before receiving the loving embrace of the father. The younger son would have never made it home. Living as a starving slave in a pigsty would be better than being starved for love and acceptance with his brother. It sets our imagination racing. How many needy people never make it back to the Father’s heart because of us elder brothers in the church…? If being at home with the Father means constantly contending with the self-righteous, judgmentalism of …indignant attitudes and words from our elder brothers, many would rather go back or stay away. Christian fellowship can so easily be turned into a house of judgment instead of grace…Has anyone gone back to the far country because he or she met us first?”


At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The broken circle Evangel Church
An encircled band of warriors stood,
With hands that gripped so tight.
And swore a vow of protectiveness,
To each brother, within their sight.

“Whatever comes - we’ve got your back.
And that includes your offspring as well.
Our mission, to serve a living god.
And stave off the forces of hell.”

Year after year, they toiled as one.
Each member executing his gift.
when laden with load, or tragedy struck,
They all gathered round to help lift.

Through countless storms and difficult times,
The members all tripped, each one stumbled
But in the midst of all, their many flaws,
God’s grace kept each member quite humbled.

But one day arose, within the group
A rumbling of discontent.
And several broke off in secrecy
Countless hour of plotting they spent.

When the evil plan was fully conceived
They got together with glee
At long last we have what we finally need,
To getrid of this one and be free.

The guilty one, was grabbed and dragged,
Into the midst of their, haughty group
They hurled such hatred and venom towards,
The most faithful server of the troop.

He wept and heaved and fell in their midst
He cried and cried and cried
And when they cruelly recounted this scene
About his penitence they lied!

Broken and shattered, bloody and bowed
Deep pain, the worst in his life.
Secret sins of the men he had once covered
Relentlessly now wielded the knife.

The now wounded warrior, kicked and bruised
Was heartlessly removed from their midst
And then re-assembly, rejoining of hands,
Wiping themselves clean of Judas’ kiss.

They stood together, all snug and tight,
Focusing on a whole different mission.
Replacing mercy and grace, forgiveness and hope
Condemnation consumed their new vision.

"Protect now we must, our own little kingdom
Oh people, now heed what we say"
Don't show Christ's compassion, we prohibit your loving
From the evil ones you must stay away!

Sad little sheep so dumbly did follow
Proclaiming “shepherds can only be right.”
Woe to any who dared voice their dissent
Or expressed any courage to fight!

Newly empowered, self-righteous and noble,
The small-minded group failed to see,
That right in the midst of their circle so round,
Was a man, kneeling on his knee.

Slowly he rose, and looked at each man
All, blindly dismissed his sad eyes.
Their indignation now entwined with disdain.
His purpose, they didn’t care to surmise.

Each man was wary, their hands now prepared,
To reach in their pants for sharp stones.
What happened next, created surprise,
For there arose sad, yet angry tones.

His finger though calloused, slowly was raised
Deliberately pointed at one.
Your actions have shamed me, you men of vast power
They way you have treated a son.

Did I not forgive, all of your own sins
The secrets you each hold in your hearts?
For each I endured torment at the hands of my captors
humiliating spitting by guards?

Thrown back in my face by your loveless betrayal
Your lust and your greed, in alliance,
My father’s selfless gift of His son,
You all clearly stand in defiance.

How can you stand and spit on my name
Then preach of a love you don’t show?
Exhibiting none of my own righteous nature
Rather, destroying countless hearts with your bow.

So ponder these thoughts deep down inside,
For God’s son is now compelled to proclaim
All you have said, destruction you’ve wrought.
Was NEVER done in my name.


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