I probably shouldn’t write about this, but I will.
Last week at theology group, I threw out the statement that we are not to judge others, assuming this was something that everyone agrees to.
The first question shot at me was something about fruit. So I responded that yes, we can look at the externals, the fruit of a person’s life, but we aren’t able to know what is in another person’s heart.
Ha! You would think I said something totally outrageous. Suddenly I was on trial, and the presbyterian pastor with the starched collar began his line of questioning, with a smugness that made me suspicious.
Laying out his argument, he said, “So you would call someone a non-christian, wouldn’t you?”
“As I already said, we cannot know the condition of another person’s heart.”
In the meantime, I wondered if during the weeks that I missed, they had concluded that I was a universalist, which I’m not (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and I was trying to figure out how to answer their questions without proving their conclusions about me.
“But you would say that someone isn’t saved, right?”
This was where I missed my moment to turn the question around. With a thousand thoughts running through my mind about how I view people and their relationship with God and His with them, I stalled and stood up to refill my water instead of answering.
“Well, you would say someone is an unbeliever, wouldn’t you?”
“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is . . .”
Shoot, that ended weakly, leaving me thinking all week about what I should have said. Oh well, maybe next time.
(BTW, we do this for fun. No sacred cows are harmed in the debates.)