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Is the Church to be judged?
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The interactions of God with humanity can be seen in the pages of history, almost a third testament, to be considered alongside the Old Testament and the New Testament. We’ll call it the ‘Last Testament’. He wasn’t going to add in any more covenants, after all the ministry of Jesus was the final word as far as salvation is concerned and the covenant with Abraham was pretty watertight too. No, the purpose of the Last Testament is to be simply a record of the historical Church, from the time of the Church Fathers to the present. The books of this Last Testament would be a series of letters (or e-mails?) by a modern day ‘Paul’ to the Church at large.
There would be much that was good, life-affirming and heartening. But there would also be some dark chapters, reminiscent of the gloomier sections of the Old Testament prophets. Book titles could be, ‘Concerning the Crusades’, ‘Concerning the Inquisition’, ‘Concerning Church traditions’, ‘Concerning Holy War’, but the main thrust would be a modern day ‘Romans’, perhaps we’ll call it ‘Jerusalem’. This would be a letter specifically written to Jewish Christian fellowships in Jerusalem and would be a list of all the sins committed by an unforgiving and self-righteous Gentile Church against the Jewish people over the centuries, ranging from the insults and accusations, to deportation, murder and massacre. It would mention the fact that all of these actions were committed by ‘Christians’ working from a fundamentally flawed understanding of the mind of God, carrying out judgements, on behalf of God, on a people it considered cursed.
Now the point of all this is that the sins that so called ‘Christians’ over the centuries have committed are at a level far exceeding anything the Jews did. Yet the Jews received a 1900 year exile for their misdemeanours! What does the ‘Gentile Church’ deserve? You may point out the fact that the Jews were ultimately exiled (and ‘rejected’) for their rejection of Jesus their Messiah, but is that any worse than the indescribably evil acts committed by ‘Christians’ in the name of Jesus? The Jews rejected salvation through their Messiah, but were the hymn-singing ‘Christian’ Crusaders, who waded through the blood of slaughtered Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem, truly following the words of Jesus?
Let’s say that the Gentile Church received the same punishment as the Jews of old and we’re now in the 25th Century looking back, reading the Last Testament, noticing that the descendants of those Gentile Christians are themselves wandering the world without a home. Would we read about their sins and call them an accursed people too? ‘Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you’ (Matthew 7:1-2). So the lesson we should take from this is that God alone is our judge and only God is in a position to judge others, whether Christian, unbeliever, Jew or Gentile.