Don’t go to church, They will judge you

I have talked to a few people who have left the church and I was able to ask them why? Why did they leave the church? The answers are answers that have been around for a long time. About half the people said because people in church are hypocrites. That people do not practice what they preach. Most of the other half said it was because that they felt judged when they went into church because they were different and did not fit into the mold that was “the church folk”.

I had never experienced anything of this sort until this past Sunday. Some of you may know that about a month ago, I got a tattoo that is visible when I wear short sleeve shirts. It is a purple elephant because I lost my Papa in August to Alzheimer’s. Purple is the color for Alzheimer’s and Elephants supposedly never forget. It is a tribute tattoo to my Papa and the brave fight that he had against this nasty disease. It is also a reminder that we can’t give up against Alzheimer’s. But this past Sunday it was warm enough to wear a short sleeve polo shirt to worship. Not only that, but I got a haircut this past Friday. It was a drastic change but it is pretty easy to take care of. Plus it was a free haircut done by people who were learning to cut hair in Memphis. Free is always great.

(Both pictured below)

Well I got to church, where I work, I was not greeted with “Hey Thad” or “Good to see you, man”. I was greeted with “where is your hair? Who did this to you?” Not the greeting I am used to. When I told one person that it was a free haircut, they replied with a “you get for what you pay for.” I feel like more was made out of my hair on Sunday then was made of the sermon that was preached. Even one of our contemporary worship leaders made a comment over the microphone.

And because it was warm and my tattoo was showing I got comments that were not positive on that as well. People saying “Oh, I didn’t know you had that.” and looking very negatively on it. Others pointing it out and just having faces of disgust that a church worker would have a tattoo showing on their body.

And I found this clip to even further illustrate my point of people being judged at church. It lead me to one question, Why? Why do we judge people so much without getting to know their hearts.But it also lead me to see why most churches cannot keep people around that are new.

I now see why people who are judged leave the church. People don’t even try to get to know people before they put a label on them. It really is not a fun thing to walk through when you can feel the eyes on you just staring you down and you are getting comments that aren’t positive. So that is why people decide to leave the church that they may be visiting. People come to church to be filled and worship God in a way that suits them. People, not just at church, don’t want people to be looking at them and speaking negatively about them.

But this is not what the church is about. People leave because they feel judged but what if every week we made people feel LOVED. If we loved, we could change the world. If we loved we could change the perception of what people think of the church. If we were devoted to love people as much as we were committed to making Facebook statuses or tweets. We could change the world. So lets think before we judge someone at church. Is this really what Jesus would want us to be doing?

Thad Ernst

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5 comments

  1. Patti Mullin · February 23, 2016

    Amen! It’s been said……”Reading the Bible does not make you a Christian”.

    Like

  2. TheUnmaskedAvenger · February 23, 2016

    Tattoos have their advantages; I remember about a missionary to the Ukraine who had a ministry among young adults just because his tattoos told his story. To them, people without tattoos might as well be invisible, they’re often ignored. It takes telling them about his tattoos to get an opening to tell them about Jesus’ love for them. Some of the best ones are just like yours, with a meaningful story that represent things that are very important.
    Sometimes I use a ministry, Locks for Love – I get a free haircut and my hair is donated to make wigs for kids going through cancer, every now and then Christians are a little shocked to see me lose more than half of my hair. Can you believe that some Christians think that hair is so sacred that God ordered it in 1 Corinthians 11 that men and women have particular hair lengths and he gets upset when we disobey it? Some fear the consequences so much they never cut their hair. How did we get all of these unspoken rules about who can do what? I think when people get judgmental, it’s their loss. Instead of choosing to get to know a friend better, they chose to criticize and hurt their witness and their relationship with a brother or sister in Christ. They earn every once of that reputation of being judgmental, perhaps out of being jealous that others are far more freer than they are and they can’t help but lash out at that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jernst56 · February 23, 2016

    They will judge be cause they want you to conform to their standards, not God’s. God does not want us to fit into the world’s mold. Christians can be the most critical because it is easier to point fingers and criticize then to look in the motorway their own flaws. Just remember, Love God, Love people. Love you. Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. keensf · February 23, 2016

    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    You do you and you keep loving people in the BIG and joyful way that you love them and in the way that Christ loves them. You’re a shining example of who we’re called to be and how we’re called to love. Proud to learn from you and call you a friend.

    Like

  5. Meredith · February 23, 2016

    We sometimes say things not realizing how much we hurt each other with our words. Being Christians doesn’t always keep us from being stupid and thoughtless. Just remember there are those who love you with good hair, bad hair, tattoos, or no tattoos. Most of all remember you are God’s child and he loves you.

    Liked by 1 person

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