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June 24, 2008

The Judgment Olympics

Gold_medal He shoots, he scores! As Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like points out, Olympic athletes have nothing on us Christians.

. . . I decided to hold the first annual Stuff Christians Like Judgment Olympics. Not only is it topical in this Olympic year but I think it will give you something great to say back to someone that says something judgmental to you. Imagine yelling "Gold Medal!" when someone in your small group says something unkind to you. . . .

Here are the events:

1. The "I used to"
You've just confessed something that is going on in your life and the person across from you pauses and then says, "I used to do that a lot too before I really connected with God." Ohhh, I used to is a powerful, powerful phrase. What this does is set up that the person you're talking with has moved beyond what you are struggling with. When they were a sweaty Philistine they used to do what you are doing, but now that life is angelic that just don't do that anymore.
Gold Medal

2. The "I'm with God."
The best thing to do when you really want to judge someone is draw up sides. Make sure you take the side of God first which automatically puts the other person on the side of satan. Sound extreme and like something that doesn't happen? It does. Here's what it looks like: "I understand what you are saying, I guess I'm just going to go with God on this one." Or, "I'm not telling you my opinion, I'm just telling you what the Bible and God say." The implication is that you're not disagreeing with the other person, you're disagreeing with the Alpha and Omega. Which does not feel awesome.
Silver Medal

Zing! Oh, yeah. Been there. And I am so yelling "GOLD MEDAL!" next time. For Jon is incorrect, or so I judge (heh) -- that one deserves the gold. Get the full list over at Stuff Christians Like -- and if you have any thoughts to share about Judgment Olympics events you've experienced, let's hear 'em!

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Stuff Christians Like has become one of my favorite blogs since you mentioned it here at The Point a while back. John's wit is razor-sharp. One of my favorites is this one: http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/2008/05/222-first-time-visitors-message.html. Sometimes I wonder just how strange we must seem to "outsiders"!

Dan Gill

Saying "I used to" can also give hope to those who are struggling with a sin and see no way they can overcome it. The key is not taking credit for overcoming, but giving God credit. It can be, "I've been there and I understand," along with "I'm no great shakes, but God has helped me immensely."


So, we can't share with those who are stuggling that we've been there, and God granted victory, and so we can empathize and give hope to them?

And we need to be tolerant in the modern intolerant sense towards all views, instead of being faithful and obedient with full alleigence to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

Wow, how relativistic of you, Gina! You sound just like one of the statistics in Chuck Colson's Point spot today!


Case in point....

Gina Dalfonzo

Gold medal!

Kidding. :-) Jon's post, and mine, aren't about the people who genuinely, reverently, and humbly defer to the Word of God. They're about people who pass off their own (not necessarily Scriptural) opinion as the Word of God. I've seen this done more than once.

As for "I used to do that . . ." a lot depends on context and tone. It can, as you and Dan point out, be done in genuine love and reaching out, but it can also be done quite differently. As Dan mentions, the key to doing it right is focusing on "God," not "I." But sometimes that focus does get mixed up, and the result is a put-down.

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