March 14th, 2005


Tribe of Judah StarCraft Series Chapter Leader
Open Hearts, Open Doors

Jesus said to the scribes and the Pharisees, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

-John 8:7 (NRSV)

I was participating in a small-group discussion during one of my graduate classes when the conversation turned to ordination practices within the church. Just as our professor directed us to a new task, a classmate said, "Christians are the most judgmental people I know, and that's why I left organized religion." If there had been time to respond, I would have tried to share a different perspective.

Like all people, Christians can be judgmental -- a practice that contradicts the teachings of Jesus. But Christians are called to be different than "all people." I do not think of the church as a museum for perfect people. Instead, I see it as a rehabilitation center for works in progress.

Paul's letters to the early Christian churches show that believers then struggled as we do today with judging one another. Yet his message of grace offers a model for healing the wounds caused by judgmental attitudes and behavior. Through the church, God provides opportunities for us to move toward becoming the accepting people we are called to be.

Ranee Boyd Tomlin (Colorado, U.S.A.)

Loving God, help us learn to stop throwing stones. Teach us the meaning of "open hearts, open minds, open doors." Amen.