Wednesday, April 01, 2020

In their own words: Day 36

Romans 2.1

Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.

Paul’s letter to the Romans has often been regarded as the summation of his theological thinking. It can feel complex and hard to understand, but it has been very influential in shaping Christian thought. Like many other letters, a major theme in it is the tension between Christians with Jewish ancestry and those who have come from non-Jewish (Gentile) backgrounds. Judgmentalism seems to have taken hold. In the first chapter, Paul talks about a number of lifestyles and behaviours which would have seemed shocking to his hearers, but just when they might have stoked up a bank of disapproval he turns the tables on them, pointing out that while they are tut-tutting at others, they are doing things just as bad, judging others in a way which is destructive and harmful.

We all have to make judgements about people, sometimes for our own safety and well-being, but when does judgement slide into judgementalism? Have you ever felt you were being condemned by someone else unjustly? What did it feel like?

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