Judging

“Let no one therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day,”

Since the ceremonial and everything outside the moral law is now passed away, we do not hold to the keeping of traditional religious feasts and days of religious observance. Indeed the rules for the culture of living have passed away and we are free to choose many things that we do and pay attention to.

We are not to judge each other outside the moral law and make value judgments about each other based on what we do in the living of our lives, or even what religious observances we hold to. We are not to judge eating or drinking, what people like to eat, how they eat it, when the eat it, etc… same with drinking. We all make our choices about these things and we are set free by the Scripture to do so. We are not to judge about days that are set aside for God, what they are or when they are.

Unfortunately for us we can be legalistic in our outlook and use all kinds of personal prejudicial judgments to oppress other people. This should not be so among Christian people. People love to tell each other what to do and how to do it, and we display the root of pride that is still in our psyche and that feeds that judgment. It is especially prominent in holiday times, as different cultural groups celebrate differently and have various preferences and traditional habits that the Scripture allows. Too many seek to over ride the Word of God and substitute their own pet likes and dislikes for the various habits of other people. So divisions arise in the mind, and prejudice grows.

Prejudice is a despicable state of mind and harbours ill will towards people who are different and who have different habits from ourselves. It is the root of all the -isms, the barriers that have grown up between the differing cultural groups, genders, age groups, and so on. We impose our own foolish consciences on other people and make shackles for the feet of the redeemed! This should not be so, and is not the way of Christ or Christian people. I am reminded that this is for issues outside the moral law, it is not a free-for-all to do whatever we like. We must not deliberately provoke people either, and make problems where problems do not exist!

Where prejudice shows itself, we must address it, before it spreads and is accepted into the general psyche of the group. Prejudice against anyone is ugly and we should watch our own thought processes and speaking. We should be careful about our language and examine the things we say to make sure they reflect good attitudes and not prejudicial thinking.

Holidays and special days of celebration, are free times and are to be celebrated as we choose. We are free people and must not be put under the yoke of bondage again, as in the group that insisted on circumcision and caused division in the early church. This issue is a continuation of the thought process that sets the Christians free to live their lives for God and not tradition. The old has passed away and the new has come.

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