“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” 1Corinthians 5:9-13
I’m not sure if you even read here but just in case you do there are a few things I’d like to say about judging others. First, you are well within your rights to judge each other. Have at it. Paul even tells you to engage in it; not only to judge but to be the jury and executioner. If there are any among you who do the things you find sinful, don’t associate with them. Shun them. Put them out to pasture. Don’t even break bread with them. It’s okay. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Give them a time out, place them on restriction, and put their noses in the corner.
That seems to be your favorite pass-time, anyway. I thought cannibalism had been pretty well outlawed within your ranks, but you all seem rather comfortable with the practice of eating each other for breakfast. Knock yourselves out. There are some 30,000 plus denominations of Christianity, not including Catholicism which has around 245 religious orders or rites. I’m not sure what the difference is except that all of those 245 religious rites still answer to the same Pope so I guess that means it’s just one. Even though they all practice their worship a little bit differently, which isn’t the same, so not one? ‘I see’, said the blind man.
Regardless, it’s helping people to see that it’s all a little bit…well…hokey. So all those people you shun will either go on feeling guilty and horrible and terrible about themselves or they’ll decide they don’t need your approval and move on. With your church discipline it places the disciplinee on the outside; like they’re not even believers. Most of you would say they aren’t True Believers™, anyway. This brings me to my next point:
If they aren’t True Believers™ you shouldn’t be judging them, anyway. Put ’em out of your fellowship and leave them be. What’s that? You don’t believe me? “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” 1 Corinthians 5: 12-13. There you go. Right there from your good book. Instruction manual on how to treat unbelievers.
Do you know what else that means? Your church rules and your Christian law book only apply to you and your fellowship of believers. So stop trying to apply them to everybody else. Gay marriage? Abortion? Not your concern unless it’s happening in your congregation. I think it would still suck air to be so rude to your professing brothers and sisters in Christ to treat them so callously, but there’s your recourse. That’s it. Put them out of fellowship and leave them be. But that’s all you’ve got.
You see, this country is not a church. Our forefathers went to great lengths to spell out in great detail that the government would not and could not sponsor a state religion. Therefore, if you are a Christian and you want to live out your life till the cold, clammy hand of death comes to take you to become dust again being one, that’s your prerogative. And if you want to spend your days on this earth with your nose turned up, looking down on unbelievers because they aren’t livin’ right, that’s your prerogative, too. But what you don’t get to do is tell anyone else how they get to live.
Sure, you can go in the voting booth and pull the lever whichever way tickles your fancy and you can spend your very last dime campaigning for whatever cause is near and dear to your heart. That’s the way it works. But what you don’t get to do is be the judge, jury, and executioner of those who don’t subscribe to your beliefs. It’s not your place and it’s certainly not your right. Put your gavel down and go on about your business.