By Dr. Tom
Memphis, Tn - When he took office almost three months ago the Honorable Judge William Firth soon discovered that people in his church were not happy at all. Firth, a member of Crossroads Baptist Church, started getting dirty looks and cold, short responses when he talked to people on Sundays. No one seemed interested in coming over to his house anymore and he was politely told "no thank you" each time he offered to help with various church activities. Confused by the sudden cold shoulder, Firth tried a number of times in vain to find out why people had suddenly begun treating him so coldly.
"I tried to talk to people," said Firth. "I would ask people 'Have I done something to offend you?' and they'd just say 'No, everything's fine.' and would walk away. But I knew something was awry."
Firth finally was able to get some insight into what was going on when he approached Crossroads' pastor, Paul Van Eisdale, and asked him if he knew anything about the situation. Van Eisdale's answer came as nothing less than a shock.
"Pastor Paul sat down with me one afternoon and we had a talk," said Firth. "I said to him 'Pastor Paul, do you know any reason why people are being so cold and unfriendly towards me lately? It seems like the whole church is treating me this way and I can't for the life of me figure out why.' Well, he said to me 'William, I can tell you what it is. They're bothered by how judgmental you are. Ever since you were elected to office your whole job has been nothing but to sit around all day and judge others, and that bothers people.' I was dumbfounded. I told him 'But it's my job, I'm supposed to uphold the law of the land. All I do is look at what the law says and say honestly if a person is breaking it or not.' But he didn't seem to accept that answer. He just looked me in the eye and said 'William, the Bible says you're not supposed to judge others, and that's all your job is all day long, to judge others! As long as you go around being judgmental the people in this church aren't going to be very receptive of you.'"
Firth left the meeting confused and discouraged. He has since begun to evaluate whether he needs to resign from the bench or not.
"I suppose I'm having sort of a crisis here," said Firth. "My pastor says that we're not supposed to judge others, but that's my very job, to judge others. How can I stay in this position and call myself a Christian?"