By Michal Ortner
Michael Hidalgo, a pastor at Denver Community Church and contributor to Relevant Magazine, addresses the issue of judgmental Christians in his blog, “Why are Christians so Judgmental?” The phrase “do not judge” is so commonly used among Christians and non-believers, but not so easily understood.
Hidalgo says that the real problem is not in discerning the difference in good from evil, but when condemnation comes into play.
“Just last week, I spoke with a young woman who had not been to Church in over 10 years. Her reason was simple: she felt condemned. When she was younger, she made a mistake. The attitude and words of those in her Church told her she was not welcome. So she left. To this day she carries the wounds given to her by others,” he writes.
Something about a judgmental attitude “feeds” humans and their need to feel “superior and righteous.” In contrast, to “reconcile, restore and renew” does not seem to bring as much fulfillment. According to Hidalgo, “the people of God are called to be ministers of reconciliation.”
“The cross was the single greatest act of love in human history, and it was, at the same time, extremely violent. The difference is Jesus took the violence on Himself. He did not strike out at those who mocked Him or fight against those who nailed Him in place; He forgave them. In the midst of punishment at the hands of humans, Jesus loved and loved violently,” he explains.
This is the ultimate solution to the prideful attitude of judgment. Hidalgo continues the story of the young woman who left the church for over 10 years. He says that she returned because someone showed her love. Rather than condemnation, she was met with empathetic tears that led to reconciliation.
“We must see our appetite for judgment has caused us to be overstuffed and unconcerned for the hearts of others. Many of us have abandoned our call to be ministers of reconciliation. Rather than renew, redeem and restore, we tear down and create mounds of ruin. We have a bloodlust, forgetting all the while that the blood spilled on the cross was enough for all of us—and no more blood needs to be spilled,” Hidalgo writes.
Hidalgo gives a call for Christians to abandon their judgmental attitudes and to take up their cross of violent love for others. This can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit.