“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”-Matthew 7:1-2*
I love live music.
There is something about instruments and artists coming together to create a piece which can move you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have attended numerous concerts, events, and weekend jams and seen performers from Guns & Roses to George Strait to Elton John. I have witnessed many concerts and the “other” extracurricular activities which accompany the event.
Been there, done that.
Last Friday night, I had the honor to attend a Christian concert with an incredible lineup of TobyMac, Mandisa, Ryan Stevenson, Danny Gokey, Finding Favor, and Aaron Cole called the “Hits Deep” tour in Baton Rouge. Talk about hip-hop worship! It warmed my heart to watch families dancing, singing, and praising along to their favorite songs for three and a half hours. The crowd was diverse in nature but the artists were dedicated to promoting the message of how we are all the same on the inside and should unite as one in Christ. Satan hates when people gather in the name of Christ and he was scheming at this concert venue, in a subtle way.
As my husband and I were walking to the arena, anticipating the entertainment which was about to unfold, I heard a voice booming through a bullhorn. Randy asked me, “I wonder what they are protesting about?” As we approached the doors, we were met by about a dozen people; the men were holding signs stating those who were attending the Hits Deep concert were going to hell for our actions. One man was yelling into the bullhorn and rattling off scripture. To the right of the men were a group of women and children, standing in silence. I walked over to a Baton Rouge police officer and ask if he knew who they were and he said they were from a church in another state.
I was flabbergasted.
This was not another religious faction or proclaimed atheists attacking our beliefs or choice of music, but individuals claiming to be Christ followers, hurling angry words and judgment against thousands who were attending a Christian concert. Why would they be upset with our choice of entertainment? I don’t want to get into the reasons why this group felt compelled to picket this particular concert, but I want to point out the nonobvious reason. The enemy plants seeds of confusion, doubt, and lies and makes us question each other’s motives and decisions for our actions. Filling our minds with validation for our ability to judge the actions of others and come to the conclusion we are taking a stand, in the name of God.
Wait, how many times have I done this to others?
Conviction enters my soul.
I am not going to judge this group who chose to stand outside the concert last Friday night, dedicated to their beliefs they were delivering a message and serving God. Perhaps they were, and maybe they weren’t. I don’t want to fall into Satan’s trap of reviewing my fellow brothers and sisters and rationalizing my conclusions. I need to focus on my behavior and the message I am portraying to others. I am dedicated to spreading the peace and love of God and witness to those who want a personal relationship with Jesus.
I know one thing. It was a blessing to take part in an event where we could forget our differences and focus on one common element: Our God. This group missed a wonderful night of praise, worship, and fellowship with a diverse group of Jesus loving concert goers and it was GLORIOUS! #weare1movement
*The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society