Are Churches Too Judgmental?

January 9, 2015

Are Churches Too Judgmental?

            A justification for not attending church that is sometimes heard is that the churches are too judgmental.  Is that criticism justified?

In this article I’m going to take my place alongside of the one who is making that criticism.  Don’t leave me now, in case you are one of them.  Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord.” I would like to reason with you.  You have a reason for not going to church.  That is being reasonable.  If you didn’t have a reason for not going you would be unreasonable.  If churches are too judgmental we need to ask, in what way are they being judgmental.  Isn’t that a reasonable question?

Some men think churches are too judgmental because they don’t approve of the fact that they are living with a woman without having taken the step of marriage.  Are churches justified in their disapproval of common law marriages?  I’m sorry my friend, but that’s the way God says it should be.  Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”  Marriage is a commitment to love and honor your spouse.  It is also a binding legal contract.  It gives stability to the home and family.  The churches come out on the winning side in this argument.

Some women think churches are too judgmental because they don’t approve of the way they dress.  They want to dress in apparel that gives them sex appeal.  Are churches justified in their disapproval of that?  It appears as though they are, if they take seriously what the Bible says about it.  I Timothy 2:9 says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” As someone has said, “Why are they advertising if they don’t have anything for sale?” Again the churches come out on the winning side.

Some men may think churches are too judgmental because they don’t approve of their social drinking.  They think they have the Bible on their side because it says in John chapter two that Jesus made wine.  Yes, that’s what is says, but many question whether it was fermented wine.  Most churches rightly think that the path of prudence is to abstain from alcoholic beverages because of the danger of addiction and the terrible damage that is done because of drunkenness. Proverbs 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” It appears as though churches have good reason for their disapproval of social drinking.

Some think churches are too judgmental because they don’t approve of smoking.  Since smoking isn’t mentioned in the Bible, they don’t see why there should be any prohibition against it.  Do you think the tobacco companies are also judgmental because they put on every package of cigarettes a warning that smoking may damage your health?  Churches have prayer meetings.  A frequent prayer request is for healing of the sick.  If someone requests prayer for an uncle who has emphysema, isn’t it also reasonable to pray that he will quit smoking?  The Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” Aren’t those who are addicted to smoking under the power of cigarettes?  Churches want the best for you.  They feel it is their duty to warn society of the dangers that threaten the wellbeing of people.  Do churches disapprove of anything that is essential to a healthy happy life?

My friend, I have just touched on four things that churches are judgmental about.  Many more could be mentioned.  Could it be that your reason for thinking that churches are too judgmental is because they disapprove of something you are doing, or want to do?  Be reasonable.  Are the churches disapproving of anything you couldn’t live without?

Could it be that you are the one who is too judgmental?  I trust you realize that you have set yourself up as a judge.  You are judging the churches because they are judging you.

Churches without standards are a disgrace.  They have forfeited their reason for existing.  The loving appeal of a good Bible believing church is a warning to escape from judgment. They can’t help but be judgmental.  Their message to the world is a loving appeal for people to be reconciled to God.  Romans 5:9-10 says, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.   For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

My friend, won’t you reconsider your attitude toward churches that are teaching the truth of God’s word?  You need what they have to offer.  Being an obedient Christian isn’t going to deprive you of anything that is for your good.  Psalm 84:11 says, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

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