Letter to the Editor: Spreading the good news is not judgmental, it is a Christians’ duty


Roxy Hammond’s column about religious intolerance a few weeks ago made me think. It made me think about how often we as Christ followers fail to live out the faith we profess and how often we fail to love like He teaches us. I agree with you, Roxy, religion does not give us the right to pass judgment. But I think maybe we have a misunderstanding about what “judgment” really means. Judgment occurs when Christ followers condemn others and don’t love them or extend grace and mercy to them – and sometimes we do that. But when a Christ follower tells someone about His amazing love, mercy and grace, that’s not judgment. It’s love. Here’s an example of what I mean. What if, for some strange reason, you were taking a nap on some train tracks and a train was headed your direction. And what if I noticed your situation, realized you were about to get hit by the train, and just walked away and let you die. I’m guessing that would be considered an unloving thing to do. Right? Now let’s suppose that as a Christ follower I believe the only way to God, and the only way to heaven, is through Jesus Christ. (By the way, that isn’t something I came up with – Jesus himself said it.) And let’s suppose I believe if you don’t go through Jesus, you end up in hell – and I didn’t tell you. That would seem like a pretty unloving thing for me to do. Right? Telling someone that Christ is the only way is not judgmental. Even if we sometimes don’t convey it well (and we don’t), it’s really done out of love. One more thing. You quoted Ghandi that “God has no religion”. The Bible (James 1:27) says that “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” So maybe real religion, maybe what it really means to be a Christ follower, is to show Christ’s love as much, or more, than we talk about it. Then we Christians would really be like our Christ.

Rick WipfCollege Pastor