Judge not lest ye be judged

The very symbol of Christianity, the cross, will be resurrected atop a Spring Lake church this Good Friday.
Feb 1, 2013


The cross was removed in 2010 after Christ Community Church’s parishioners reinvented the church as C3 Exchange. The congregation sought to be a more inclusive spiritual community, not solely focused on Christian beliefs.

The move to take down the cross, and openly change its philosophy to be one of more acceptance and inclusivity, was met with public outcry. Many of the congregation’s own members left to find other spiritual homes.

A community forum on spiritual inclusiveness was hosted by this newspaper, and many articles and viewpoints were discussed within our news and opinion pages.

Former Christ Community Church members spoke about how they felt the new church was too radical in its progressiveness, and excluded even some of the not-so- traditional among them.

Current C3 Exchange members spoke about how C3 stands for “Compassionate, Creative, Community” and valued the human journey where all are encouraged to honor their unique spiritual paths.

Others labeled the C3 as a cult and its members as Godless heathens. A few argued that this judgment was the furthest thing from the truth.

The C3 Exchange’s subsequent financial difficulties — which led the smaller congregation to ultimately abandon the church at 225 E. Exchange St. in Spring Lake for gatherings in Grand Haven — seemed to solidify in some minds just how astray this church went.

Now, three years after its removal, the cross will once again grace the top of the brick spire that is owned by a new church, Harvest Bible Chapel.

While the move was met with jubilation and blessings across our community, the seed of hatred and harsh judgment also resurfaced.

Let us continue on, as C3 members preach, in peace. Let us move past any anger or resentment from years ago.

Let us, if we so choose, celebrate the return of the cross, and not pass negative dispersions on those who choose to walk other spiritual paths.

Judge not lest ye be judged.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Erroneous teaching will find its own end ... typically in a hole. Regrettfully. No one has to judge anyone. But, to declare truth is necessary to keep people out of holes. Matthew 15:13-14
But He answered and said, “ Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”


The very symbol of Christianity? More like the symbol of enslavement,hypocrisy,war,mythology,evil,murder,fiction...the list goes on.Just read the "holy bible" and my point if proven.

Tri-cities realist

WTFoxtrot, The article stated "the seed of hatred and harsh judgment also resurfaced." Were you just trying to prove their point, or just incite a response? Don't worry, I will pray for you.


Realist, I like your name,but not really fitting for a praying man but please dont waste your time praying for me, id rather you pray, if prayer worked at all, for the millions of starving children around the world that "god" allows to die.But you caught me.I was looking for a response from someone like you, bait and hook.I love to point out flaws and debate about religion.You and rainbowjoe go to the same church?

Mark 11:22-25
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Tri-cities realist

I don't know if we go to the same church or not, since I don't attend regularly. And yes I figured your comment was intended to provoke, which is also what I did by saying that I would pray for you. And you bit too. I apologize for that, but I think we were both just trying to have a little fun on here, albeit at the expense of someone else. I will pray for forgiveness.

Without getting into a religious debate, I will share my own thoughts: I separate God and religion, as God is divine and religion is created by man, and as such is imperfect. As to the existence of God, or whatever someone wants to call it, when I look around, say at the human body and all of it's complex processes, I can't help but think that there is a higher power that created us. For ME, it would take a lot more faith to believe that the earth and all of its life forms were created by chance or mere happenstance. But that is my opinion. I'd like to hear yours, but perhaps this isn't the right forum.


WTF, I think I can safely say the people surrounding me in church each week are not involved in evil, war, murder, enslavement, fiction, etc. Your frequent comments indicate you've got a real problem with religion, or those who have beliefs different from yours. You might want to get some help, dude.


WTF, I think I can safely say the people surrounding me in church each week are not involved in evil, war, murder, enslavement, fiction, etc. Your frequent comments indicate you've got a real problem with religion, or those who have beliefs different from yours. You might want to get some help, dude.


Joe,I think I can safely say that would be judgmental? But you are right, I do have a problem with religion.I could give you a list a mile long,but i wont waste your time with it because if I pointed out anything conflicting with what you believe you would dismiss it.I think most religious fanatics seem to pick and choose from the bible what fits their lifestyle the best.But to finish it up with a valid question for you, If someone was to kill thousands of people "they" are considered a monster? In the bible "god" killed thousands upon thousands of people, yet he is still a "god"? thou shall not kill! Keep going to church brother!

deuce liti

I understand your and Rainbow's frustration with religion.

If I told you that the things fortold in the bible hundreds of years before they happened came true and were later confirmed by secular history, would you start to have some faith in the bible? It's a small start.

The real problem arises not from God or the bible, but from man. 99% of "christains" are not worshiping God the correct way. You are right that they pick and choose from the bible. In fact, most of their beliefs come from creeds and doctrines that were written by man and NOT inspired of God. Jesus himself says that man's traditions and doctrines invalidate the word of God.

The Creed of Nicaea became the Trinity doctrine. God was never a trinity in the bible, but this doctrine of man changed that.

Think about it: when Jesus walked the Earth many people did not believe who he was (the son of God) even though they witnessed his miracles. And these were his own people. Cut to 2000 years later and most people STILL don't believe who he was (by the very people who claim to follow him!).

Now you take all that and combine it with the fact that 99% of "christains" don't do what christ said and it's no wonder you guys feel the way you do.

For instance Jesus said to love your enemy and pray for those persecuting you. Yet how many christains join the military and kill the enemy? Or vote for politians that vote for war? The very OPPOSITE of what Jesus said. Where's the faith?

That's one small example, but I hope you see that there's one bible yet thousands of different forms of christainity. You can see that they left God's word and have taken up their own version of worshipping God that "feels good" to them and they just know God approves of their worship. This of course is their way of tricking themselves because living by God's real standards is too scary for them. God does not approve of false worship no matter how "innocent" the intentions.

So try to see past their hipocosy and examine what God wants and how you can live for him. After all God gave us free will out of love for us because he could have created us to be like robots. True love is expressed by how we use our free will.

deuce liti

Just a quick add to the hipocrosy: God doesn't approve of the use of idols and images in his worship. Just like this here cross. True christains never use this kind of imagery.
Again, just because this is way false christainity has become today doesn't mean that God and the bible are false.


"The real problem arises not from God or the bible, but from man. 99% of "christains" are not worshiping God the correct way." Wow. True colors shine bright.

Tri-cities realist

Actually the more literal translation is "thou shall do no murder".

deuce liti

Also, keep in mind that most of the time when God did kill people he gave them plenty of advanced warning. Repent and change from your bad ways or false worship. They didn't. Just like today. :)


WTF, I could give you a list of all the good things in the world and it would be a lot longer than a mile. I am far from being a "fanatic" or a Bible thumper. In fact, I didn't attend church for decades after being raised in Catholic schools. I have recently started attending Mass on occasion, though, and I do find some comfort there for reasons I can't explain. I pretty much try to live by The Golden Rule, and I long ago cast aside any thought of being an atheist when simple things, like staring skyward on a star-studded night, made me understand there is something out there far greater than us. I cannot rationalize why there is such inequity and misery in our world, but it's clear to me the blame can mostly be attributed to man. In the meantime, I try not to be critical or judgmental of others and their beliefs. Peace, bro, and have a good day.


And I owe you an answer to your question, WTF. Someone who kills thousands is certainly a monster. I cannot claim familiarity with the Bible since I last glanced at it in grade school. If it is as you describe, In words written by man, I would call that monstrous as well. But God is still out there. Best I can do, bud.


Same stupid arguments about religion. God resides within each of us. No point casting aspersions.

deuce liti

Actually no, God does not reside in each of us. People have made themselves their own God by speaking for God. "God is ok with me gambling, killing, smoking, fornicating, whatever, etc" is the very attitude that pushes God away from us. God has very reasonable standards and they haven't changed. Society's standards have changed, especially since the advent of television and the internet. As long as we speak for God and justify our actions we continue to alienate ourselves from God no matter how small. God resides in Heaven not in us. If that were so, God would die with our every death.


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