They called her a heretic and a false Christian. Comment after comment purported to know her motives and her relationship with God (or lack thereof). They accused her of having an agenda (as if approaching something with a plan is evil) and of creating a god for herself, simply because they disagreed with her.
When did people become such experts on the inner workings of others? And when did Christians conclude that calling a person’s state before God into question in a public forum is ok?
On the one hand, you could argue that if you make public statements about your faith, and your doubts, you should accept that people will misunderstand those statements, come to a wildly divergent conclusions about you and your ultimate destination in the next life, publicize those conclusions, and wield your statements against you.
Maybe that’s true. But should it be true of Christians?
Jesus said “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” In other words, what goes around comes around.
Jesus taught us to love our enemies, do good to them, and not to retaliate. Accusing someone of heresy and writing them off is a form of revenge, of seeking justice in our own time and our own way. And when we dismiss someone, we demonstrate the belief that some are beyond God’s reach and that God’s mercy and grace aren’t available for them.
Have we forgotten that the Bible teaches that we cannot know what is in another person’s heart? That our hearts are deceptive and who can know them? If it’s tough enough to assess our own hearts and our own standing before God, how do we think we can assess someone else’s?
It’s one thing to disagree with someone and to lay out a thoughtful explanation of why. This is healthy and productive, and dare I say, essential. It could very well be that I’m wrong about something. In fact, I’m sure I’ll find out I got quite a bit wrong. Same goes for you. God will show us in His own time and His own way.
When we condemn someone to hell for their different take on something, we put ourselves on God’s throne as Judge and elevate our little opinions to the level of The One And Only Standard Of Right. We show that God isn’t God enough for us.
I’m pretty sure God is not amused. Not only are we trying to take over His job as God as if we can do it better than He, but we hurt people in the process – people God loves.
Let’s keep our disagreements and discussions to the matters at hand, shall we? We can leave the assessment and correction of someone’s eternal state to God. He’s got this.