Into a world filled with religious intolerance, promoted by souls who deemed themselves exceptional, Jesus arrived as a contrarian.
The Jews disrespected women, hated the Samaritans and despised the Romans. Not only did Jesus refuse to participate in this national pastime, but he actually propagated the notion that women were to be treated as equals, Samaritans deserved a revival and that Caesar was to be honored for what Caesar accomplished.
For this piece of insight, the Jews gave him a cross response.
Meanwhile, in the midst of our determining whether we have the impetus to stop judging other folks, a more serious situation has settled in on the children of the Kingdom.
At times we find ourselves uncomfortably linked with religious extremists who seem to share some of our batch of prejudice. After all, ISIS does not like women, ISIS has great fear and condemnation for sexual expression of almost any kind.
So until we wake up and realize that we not only need to cease judging the world, but also need to set in motion a path to “unjudge” what has already been done, we just may find ourselves irrelevant to the next generation of searchers.
I have never owned a slave but my ancestors did.
I do not treat women as weaker vessels, but I grew up in a church and a society where females were relegated to lesser positions.
I have never personally lobbied against homosexuals and their rights as American citizens, but I lived through a time when the Moral Majority was insulting and even threatening to these brothers and sisters.
So it falls my lot, mission and joy to repent for the stupidity of the past.
Yes–I get to unjudge the world.
- I get to apologize for 400 years of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, racial profiling and alienation.
- I get to act out acceptance and equality, to atone for the sins of mistreating women by refusing them rights and place.
- And I get a chance to preach the Gospel and let the Holy Spirit do its work instead of deciding what is wheat and what is weeds.
It is a reasonable thing–the necessary step to becoming Jesonian.
Not only do we stop judging those around us, but we allow ourselves a season of sackcloth and ashes, to admit the evil that has occurred in our history, which has forbidden racial inclusion, female equivalency with males and social liberty for all Americans.
So I apologize for my brother Paul, who one day made some sideways comments about women which ended up in a holy book, producing hurtful results.
I’m sorry for Jerry Falwell and Anita Bryant, who used the Gospel to isolate people instead of including them in the fold.
And I’m sorry that we seem to be so afraid of the world around us that we cannot allow the mercy in our souls to realize that evil does have life, but a very short span.
It is time to unjudge the world.
If we do so, we have a message for the next generation, filled with promise.
If we don’t, our religion is the dinosaur that must die so people can walk in peace on the earth.