“Christians are a bunch of judgmental witch hunters. They find a way to vilify anything that anybody enjoys.”

Increasingly, that’s the reputation attached to Christian folk. And, sadly, some church leaders and teachers go out of their way to promote their holier-than-thou judgmentalism.

As a publisher of Christian resources, I frequently hear from squinty-eyed conspiracy theorists who find evil in innocence everywhere they look. Some examples:

  • If you depict a rainbow you must be supporting a radical gay agenda.
  • If you ask people to silently meditate on a biblical truth you must be a Buddhist.
  • If you refer to science you must be a God-hating humanist.
  • If you discuss the environment you must be a pagan.
  • If you ask students to visualize a certain scenario you must be a New Ager.
  • If you like Easter eggs you must be a Babylonian Mother Goddess worshiper.
  • If you discuss things in popular culture you must be a “neo-Christian.”
  • If you set up a prayer walk you must be an Emergent heretic.
  • If you dance you must work at a strip club.
  • If you keep your underwear secret you must be a Mormon.
  • If you offer a potluck you must be a luck-believing follower of Lucifer. (The correct term, I learned, is “potblessing.”)

This is a classic case of guilt by association. If anyone anywhere has ever used something for a less-than-heavenly purpose, that thing and anyone who uses it must be considered unclean. This brand of judgmentalism has become a self-righteous weapon of mass destruction.

But, actually, such judgmentalism has been around a long time. Jesus faced the same phenomenon. The witch hunters of the day called Jesus a “glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” He associated with the “wrong” people and the “wrong” things. He picked grain on the Sabbath, for heaven’s sake.

The Pharisees are alive and well. Today. And, they’re inhibiting the cause of Christ. They’re portraying the church as a judgmental band of paranoid finger-pointers.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that Christian folk should wear rose-colored glasses. But I mourn the harm being done by those who look at life through crap-colored glasses.