“Jesus was judgmental, as the psychotherapist is not, or at least theoretically is not supposed to be. Jesus got in people’s way and told them they were doing wrong. He told them to stop and turn around. He did not tell them they were accepted as they were. He told them they could be accepted, and that God is an accepting God. He said that to be accepted by God also means right now to become a different person.” – John Howard Yoder Preface to Theology p.327
How about it? Has the Spirit of Jesus gotten in your way lately? Do you stop and turn around when he tells you to? Did you know that was part of the deal? You may have missed that part. It pays to read the fine print.
Oh, and by the way, this doesn’t mean the song Just As I Am is wrong – but it does mean we might need to sing another one after it that says: okay now that you’re here, it’s time to change.
4 thoughts on “Jesus was judgmental”
You (like Billy Graham) write the most uncontroversial / reasonable thoughts on the most controversial topics!
But maybe “judged” instead of judgmental? And the head doctors are trying to change people, or assist in that endeavor, although the pop culture, and sometimes the psychiatrists, do accept and tolerate what should be challenged.
Hell (that most controversial topic) meaning essentially, being rejected by God.
Thanks for the comment. “Judgmental” is Yoder’s choice of words, though he wants to use it in a non-negative way. He wants to draw our attention to the fact that Jesus does not sanctify our sins, he sanctifies us from our sins through obedience to him in the Spirit.
Yoder describes hell, not as God’s rejection of us, but our rejection of God, which leads to separation from God. Respecting our freedom, God does not violate our choice against him. If we insist on eternally rejecting God, we thereby choose eternal separation from God, which is the best definition of what hell is. God’s judgment of us then is nothing other than God confirming the choice we have made.
That’s helpful to understand, but we do need to talk about whether God’s choice is the primary one in salvation! as opposed to our choice.
God’s choice is primary, but he already made his choice through the death of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection. God has chosen us! God’s choice, however, does not thwart our freewill. We remain free to accept his gift of grace or to reject it.
God’s choice is primary, but our choice is a real choice nonetheless.
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