Occasionally, and totally unintentionally, I end up watching bits and pieces of Dancing With the Stars. My wife and daughters love the show. They watch it whenever it is on, or DVR it to watch later, and usually in groups of two or more. I usually walk by and make snide comments, mainly because I cant dance and have no interest in watching these folks do it. This doesnt stop me from watching golf, but I digress.
When the dances are over, the dancers huddle up to former WBZ radio guy Tom Bergeron and wait for the judges to tell them how they did. The judges are a professional, usually kind but technically critical lady judge (Carrie Ann), a stodgy grouchy old Brit who is very strict (Len), and flamboyant lunatic (Bruno). By now you must be wondering, what does this have to do with being a Christian on Cape Cod?
My Christian experience here has been one that may or may not be unique. I am one of the people who have danced before the crowd. We all are at one time or another. When each portion of our dance is through, we get judged. Unlike dancers on the show, we didnt always volunteer for this judgment. As a matter of fact, we often dont welcome, nor deserve it. There are different types of churches here on Cape Cod, and different types of Christians. Seeing bits and pieces of the show over the last few years, I have come to see some metaphorical connections.
Len is the staid, conservative, by the book judge we see in many mainline, conservative churches. He has the rules. If you break them, you get a low score. What he says is true, whether the rest of the world likes it or not. He is going to go by the book, and that is that. There is no gray area, no room for error. If you get a 10 from Len, you have been perfect.
Carrie Ann judges with grace but also follows the rules. She is balanced, in that she understands that mistakes are made, but judges accordingly. If you make a mistake, you will not get a 10, but she wont slam you down to an 8 either. The danger here is sometimes she is too lax and people learn the wrong thing because they dont learn what the true standard is.
Then there is Bruno, emotional, loud, jumping around, doing whatever feels right. Although fun to watch, I dont have the energy to be that kind of Christian, nor wish to be judged by such. He can be either very judgmental or not judgmental at all, depending on how he feels. The rules are there, but you dont really have to follow them! This can be confusing, especially for young dancers
The saving grace in this show is that there is a fourth judge who is unseen. That judge sees everything and votes according to everything it sees. That judge has kept people in the competition that have been judged too harshly, or jettisoned those who have not been held to the standard. That fourth judge is, when all is said and done, the final judge, in that if they do not watch, or they do not vote, there is no show, so their voice is heard. This judge has the most power and the right to judge.
This year, that judge actually picked the winner. The judges favored other dancers, but it was the fourth judge, the one who saw all and who could judge rightly, who ultimately chose the winners. I dont want to dance for you, and I dont want to be judged by you, but I will dance on demand for the Judge Who has the right to judge me if He asks. In His grace and mercy, I expect that if He asks me to He will give me the ability to do it and judge me with judgment appropriate to what He has given me.