Christians often see Romans, chapter 1 as an indictment of the “world” & it’s self indulgent sinfulness. Conservative Christians like to wield this chapter as proof that homosexuality is wrong.
I just read the second chapter of Romans and I have to say that I see it as a pretty clear indictment of the judgementalness, hypocrisy & myopic sense of arrogant superiority & entitled “tribalism” of many of us “Christians.”
Paul’s warning against being a Jew in name but not at heart applies to us today too. Aren’t we also quick to judge non-Christians, meanwhile deluded about ourselves because we’ll go so far as to oppose the very things Christ did & would have us do as well? Self-righteous about our “family values” and being “true Americans,” but apathetic about injustice, strangers, orphans, widows, and the poor?
Don’t we make our own opinions, ideologies, comfort, convenience, security & above all our pride into our false idols, even as we judge others for doing the same?
How often do we look down at those who use drugs but can’t wait to have some drinks after work or on the weekend? Pose gay marriage but on our second divorce? Indignant about people living together, but spend plenty of time looking at porn? Appalled by burglary, but look for every way possible to avoid paying taxes? Offended by profanity but can’t get enough gossip? Horrified by neopaganism yet check our horoscopes frequently?
I think if we’re serious about following Jesus,we’ll read, review, and reflect on Romans chapter 2 frequently. If we do, we’ll see ourselves very differently. We’ll also see “the world;” humanists, agnostics, skeptics, secularists, non believers, and members of other faiths dramatically different too.