In his “Why & What: A Brief Introduction to Christianity,” Douglas Jones writes:
“When professing Christians display their hypocrisy, we bristle that they so widely broadcast their alleged commitment to Christ but act as if He were an empty fiction. Their open adulteries or gossip or lack of reverence show that they don’t really believe that God is their near and present judge. No criminal defendant in a human court would make nasty faces at his judge or dance a rude jig around the courtroom while the judge prepares a sentence. A Christian hypocrite is one who professes that the judge’s bench is filled but acts like it’s really vacant. Non-Christian thought has no cogent answer for such evident and world-encompassing self-deception, but Christianity does. The Christian Scriptures explain that the world is in an abnormal state, due to the destructiveness of our sin. We have rebelled against a holy and gracious God, and so we try to make up grand scenarios in order to evade Him. Such evasion isn’t a marginal error. It is concerted warfare against our Creator, and it deserves divine capital punishment. The alternative to such self-deceptive evasion is to embrace the mercy found in Christ, the God-given substitute sent to take our punishment so that we can be reconciled and at peace with God. That’s the heart of Christianity — peace with God through Christ’s work, with no more radical self-deception about the world.”
There are professing Christians, many among the clergy, who have ripped out their “Christian” hearts and thus do not believe in God as judge (anymore?).
I know two Anglican priests (well) who told me that when we die God doesn’t judge us. The one said that when we die we choose to go “towards the light or towards the darkness.” The other one said “we judge ourselves.”
Both these priests do not indulge in “open adulteries or gossip or lack of reverence” (Wilson above) yet at the same time they “don’t really believe that God is their near and present judge.” So there does not have to be a causal connection between “open adulteries or gossip or lack of reverence” (cause) and the rejection of divine judgment (effect). Having said that, I suggest that these priests have committed a far more serious sin in their disbelief of one of the core teachings of the scriptures: God as judge. More serious, this disbelief surely must reflect in their sermons and teaching.
It’s not surprising that neither of these two men believe in other core teachings of Christianity such as Original sin, the Virgin Birth and the Trinity.
The Bible is clear in many places about God as judge. For example:
1 Timothy 4
“1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.”
Who will be judged the harshest? Men of the cloth – in school and the church.
“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).
Me (in coffin to Myself) – “Do you deserve punishment?”
Myself – “Who Me?
Me – “Yes you.”
Myself – “No, I don’t deserve punishment.’
Me – AyyyyyyyyyyMen to that.