Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Why I am Arrogant and Judgmental

I think I have figured out why I am arrogant and judgmental. At least in the eyes of others. I had a pretty extensive conversation with my in-laws the other night. This has been a ten year conversation and has been known to get very heated, but even though things have mellowed out over the years, (We all realize we love each other and continue to debate because we really care about the salvation of the other), it got really heated this last Sunday dinner.

We have gone in circles enough, and I am learning not to get tied up chasing rabbits down holes where I know I am not going to get out easily. Lately, I have been able to really distill the Gospel down to God's holiness, our sin, God's wrath, God's mercy through Christ, and our response. We have gone through this before, but all of a sudden, it hit me. Follow my logic here for a second:

Premise A. Good people go to Heaven.
- Nobody is perfect, but you can measure on a sliding scale because "God knows your heart"

Premise B. Dru says that he is for sure going to Heaven.
- Dru also says that people who [haven't heard of Christ] are going to Hell.

Conclusion. Dru is better than the good people of Africa who never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus through no fault of their own. Therefore, Dru is first arrogant to say he knows what God will do, and second judgmental for sending good people to Hell.

It might take a bit, but let me break each of these down.

First, I never said "Good people go to Heaven." Because the Bible says that there is no one "good" but God. The trouble comes in when religion is taught to people instead of the Bible. I spoke to a Muslim the other night, and he said the same thing. His religion taught, nobody is perfect, but if you try with your heart to follow the commandments given in the Koran, you will hopefully end up with Allah finding your "good" outweighing your "bad".

The scary thing is that the Catholic religion teaches the very same thing. My mother in law told me that her religion considers Allah the very same God that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship. She also said that even if you are not actually baptized in the name of Christ, nor count on Him to cover your sin, you still are able to have the "baptism of desire". I guess this means that if you follow the Law of God simply because you know it is right, even though you never read a Bible or ever heard of Christ, much less repented and placed your faith in Him, you can still have God judge you and find your "good" outweighs your "bad. I guess the Catholic god is more like Allah then we knew.

Now, any time I pointed out that none of this was in the Bible, Catholic translation or otherwise, I was told that you had to read the Catechism or catch the latest word handed down from Rome to learn this stuff. For example, a year or so ago, the Catholic Church decreed that you needn't evangelize (share the gospel) with a Jew as they already had a deal with God and they would be just fine without Jesus. I learned that my Father in law would be better off on Judgment Day as a non-believing Jew who really had lived his whole life for other people, and never committing any sins that would be serious in God's eyes than the person who lived his life sinfully, came to realize that and repented and placed his faith in Jesus. (Guess what, that's me.)

This is basically what every religion teaches. Everyone knows in their heart that Hitler is going to Hell, and Mother Theresa is going to Heaven. Why? Because of what they did in their lives. It sounds right, it is intuitive. When you talk with people of ANY religion, you need to realize they are starting with this premise as 'true'.

Next, I walk in with this great promise of eternal salvation and start talking about Jesus, and when asked if I am going to Heaven, I say, "Sure Bet!" If you ask me about the people in China who have never heard of Jesus, no matter how clearly I say, "People don't go to Hell for not believing in Jesus, they go to Hell for breaking God's Law. All you have to do is honestly examine your heart and you'll see that you are guilty of breaking even the small part of the Law that you understand.", all people hear is "Yep, those poor good people of the jungle are going to be sent to eternal punishment because God loves a good joke and through no fault of their own, he will unjustly and cruelly punish them. But, remember, the guy who is telling you this, even though you know all (well, most) of the bad things I have done, I am on a first class seat on the express train to Glory!"

See, I am definitely arrogant and judgmental.

Friends, be very careful to define terms and spend enough time laying out the correct premise when you talk with somebody. When I say, "I am going to Heaven and a non believer is going to Hell", it comes out very clearly, "I am better than that other person."

In reality, I am besides Paul, the Chief of Sinners. The only difference is that I have been shown my heart in the mirror of God's Law. My stony heart has been broken up by examining my sin in light of perfection. Then, and only then, has God's grace been applied to cover up my sin and find me borrowing Christ's righteousness on Judgment Day. Only when I humbled myself before the Creator, and truly repented of my sin, and placed my complete trust in Christ alone for my salvation could I be assured of my place in Heaven.

Friends, be sure to convey to the world that we are not better than anyone, but by God's grace, better off.

1 comment:

Jason Hotham said...

It sure can be frustrating can't it. Every person will proclaim his or her own goodness. The only way they will see the light is if God shows it to them. My advice...pray, pray, pray.

God bless,