Judging by Appearance
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"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." (Jn. 7:24)
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From the beginning of time, humanity has been plagued by the tendency to disparage others based on superficial characteristics such as race, ethnicity, tribal identity, socio-economic class, and so forth. Groups have long used these distinctions as justification for waging war on other groups, resulting in horrible body counts.
That prejudicial impulse has played a major role in the history of our own nation. For a long time, the dominant race (whites) subjugated a minority race (blacks) as sub-human, subjecting them first to slavery, then to second-class citizenship. After a bloody civil war and a painful civil rights movement, we've finally moved beyond that dark period in our history. We have even witnessed the election of a black man as President.
During the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Martin Luther King, Jr., famously longed for the day when children would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Yet at the very moment when we are on the verge of achieving that goal, powerful institutions in our society are now pushing us back into the old paradigm of judging others solely on the basis of group identity. Under the guise of Critical Race Theory, our children are being judged explicitly, not by the content of their character, but by the color of their skin. The colors are reversed, but the net effect is the same: more injustice, conflict, resentment, envy, revenge.
The irony here is shocking. For a long time, the "judge not" statement of Jesus (Matt. 7:1) was used as an cudgel to shut down any and all criticism of others. Suddenly the script has been flipped, and judging people on the most frivolous grounds is not only acceptable, but compulsory. We are reverting back to a mode of thought and conduct that will exacerbate our divisions, not heal them. The aura of academic respectability that adorns this philosophy will not excuse the barbarism it is unleashing upon our nation.
The antidote to every false religion--for that's what this is, a false religion--is the gospel of Christ. Jesus taught a message of loving our enemies, of extending unconditional forgiveness to those who wrong us, of living lives of humility, service, mercy, and compassion toward all, regardless of external peculiarities. Those who learn how to implement this teaching in their lives, and actively promote it among others, will have the greatest success in countering this destructive ideology.
Brethren, let's get busy living our faith. A gasping world needs what we have to offer.