COLUMN — God does not judge based on tradition or personal preference
With my travel, I have been privileged to attend all types of denominational, non-denominational and inter-denominational churches. It has strengthened my faith by allowing me to learn from many different perspectives and helped to build up my faith in what I believe, and why I believe it. I am Jesus-centered and for me, that is what matters. I also acquired some concepts from those exposures that were not quite right.
Those “teachers” are not to blame because they are repeating what they have learned. It is just where they are in their walk and understanding of the Word. Yes, they have a responsibility, but I realize that, just like me, they are human and full of flaws. For those periods when I was learning, I thought I was right. I judged life and people based on those perspectives.
The Word teaches in Romans Chapter 14 that there are people who are mature in their faith and people who are immature in their faith. People who are immature in their faith seem to have a propensity to judge others based on their traditions and preferences. The Word says, “One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.” (Romans 1:2,3). The Word is talking about the differences between two groups of people, but both groups belong to God.
It is not literally talking about what you eat, but how you treat others who are different from you. It goes on to explain that if a person is mature in their faith they will not judge someone based on how they are walking out their faith. However, the immature believer will try to change and even dictate, “If you do not walk exactly like me and my traditions and my preferences, then you are not faithful.” God’s perspective, “Who are you to judge the servant of another?” (Romans 14:4) God is talking about His servants that serve Him. God makes it understood that when believers behave immaturely, they communicate to the world God is not enough. To a mature believer that just cannot be.
Be encouraged! If you struggle with other believers who are different from you, God has given all the love He has so you are able to love one another.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should embrace this point of view. And if you think differently about some issue, God will reveal this to you as well.” (Philippians 3:14, 15).
Yvette Perrin is a columnist for The Charlotte Gazette. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.