Looking To Yourself

Earlier this month David Murray wrote an article entitled Why Are Christians Hated So Much? He goes on to point out that Christians are involved in a host of humanitarian ministries and should be appreciated for their charitable contributions to the betterment of those less fortunate. Why is it we take the brunt of the criticism, while other religions are applauded? He says it is because Christianity calls for a commitment to the exclusive claims of Christ, and most other religions don’t require a similar commitment. I think that is true, but I do not think this is the only reason.

Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, tweeted he had watched the movie Fifty Shades of Grey saying it was a “great movie.” Several of his followers questioned his Christian commitment for seeing the movie. He tweeted yet again, “Saw a movie filmed in the town I call home. Provocative/disturbing no doubt but that does not make me less Faithful. Have a blessed day!”

The older, and I hope wiser, I get I am not as enamored with the entertainment industry as I was when I was younger. Based on some of the reviews I have read I will not go to see Fifty Shades of Grey. But honestly, I have better things to do than follow Russell Wilson, like doing the best I can to follow Christ.

This perspective is not born out of the words of Christ who said, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged,” Matthew 7:1. If those who like to quote this passage would take the time to read the context they would see that it is referring to hypocritical judgment. There is a place in the Christian life for honest objective judgment, John 7:24.

But for those who think Russell was wrong, I would point them to Paul’s words, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted,” Galatians 6:1. All of us make mistakes. If we witness someone making a mistake our first thought should be how to avoid doing the same.

If instead of trying to correct others, we spent more time correcting ourselves, Christians would have less time and be less inclined to criticize others, and would probably have a better testimony to a culture that desperately needs the influence of biblical Christianity. But if Christians insist on shooting themselves in the foot, they should not complain about limping around on a bad reputation.

I think this is the sort of silliness that causes people to get mad at Christians. While there is a time and place to exercise sound scriptural judgment, I do not think that is what happened here. As Paul said, each Christian should be “looking to yourself.”

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