“Church” or “Jesus”?

Pastor Ron Hunt

Studies, Polls, and Surveys

“Church” is a word with different feeling responses among many. Polls and surveys consistently show people are very positive about “Jesus,” but much less so about “church.”

People increasingly associate church with judgmentalism. Yet, Jesus specifically forbade judging other people. So, a church really ought to be one of the least judgmental places you ever walk into. And a Christian really ought to be one of the least judgmental people you will ever meet. How the two have gotten separated in people’s hearts and minds is a much longer article.

Starting Over

Fellow Robson residents one day got together and asked, if we could start a church here, what would we want? A vision statement of “Loving God, Loving Everyone, Everywhere” was born. We believed it was the way to sum up Jesus’ teachings and whole life in the shortest number of words.

Jesus Forbids Judging Others

This beginning group came to nine affirmations of who we will commit to be together. The seventh is to be: “Nonjudgmental and supportive of all.” Why? Read Matthew 7:1-5 where Jesus is explicit that we are not to judge. Then read all four gospels and the rest of the New Testament from this clear-sighted viewpoint Jesus gives us by removing our judgmental perspectives. Now, just enjoy living life without judgment of others. Then, enjoy where God takes you on that journey.

Last Thought

Jesus was accused by the religious people of his day for not being discriminatory enough or judgmental enough. Please look carefully at the stories of Jesus in his society and see if that is correct. If it is correct, what can we learn from their mistakes? What can we learn from our own journeys of trying to understand Jesus over our lifetimes together? What kind of Christian do I now want to be? What kind of church do I want to be part of? Is it time to try “church” again?

If you ever want to talk with me, my number and email are below. May you enjoy loving God and loving everyone, everywhere! God bless you, and may you really enjoy not judging!

Pastor Ron Hunt of Friendship Center Church is also a spiritual director and retired psychologist. Worship is at 9 a.m. every Sunday in the Laredo Room and on Zoom. An informal Bible Study/Spiritual Friendship Group also meets Sundays at 10:15 a.m. Both are open to all. You should leave feeling loved and not judged at all.

You may reach Ron at 218-330-5306 or Ron.FriendshipCenter@gmail.com. If you wish to check out our website, it can be found at friendshipcenteraz.wixsite.com/fcaz.