When the Views of Fellow Christians Aren't Yours
John ShoreBesides here on Crosswalk, John blogs on JohnShore.com.
- 2011 Jun 10
So often when we Christians move through the world we come across brothers and sisters in Christ whose ideas of Christianity differ from our own. Sometimes those differences are minor; sometimes they're significant.
But what, in either case, should we do about those differences? Anything? Everything we can? What in general should our attitude be toward Christians who hold to a version of Christianity different from our own? How are we supposed to treat such people and their ideas?
I would suggest that at least a good place to start is with respect and understanding.
Ultimately it’s not up to any of us to determine what version or understanding of God is correct. You can know which version or ideas about God work for you -- you can certainly understand the truths about himself that God puts into your heart and mind -- but insofar as what another person thinks about and experiences relative to God in their heart and mind … well, that (to be obnoxiously succinct about it) is none of your business.
That said, we know how about impossible it is not to judge the religiosity and/or theology of another. All of us, by instinct, believe, with all of our hearts, that the truths about himself that God has put into our heart is the truth: the real truth, the big truth, the truer truth, the … better truth.
Which, of course, can only mean one thing about those who don’t share our understanding of God and his will.
At best, they’re just … wrong.
And religiously wrong, of course, is never too very far at all from heretical.
And that’s a tough word to ever go anywhere near.
Better to not. Better to just worry about your relationship to God, and let other people worry about theirs.
These words at Matthew 7:1 are simple, and often quoted. But that doesn't make them any less salient whenever we're dealing with anyone in the world, Christian or otherwise:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged.