Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Stop judging and you will not be judged."

Or, for you secularists, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

The verse from Luke 6:37 - "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven." - is an admonition many devout Christians fail to recognize. The inadvertent propensity or temptation to make inappropriate conclusions regarding the salvation or interior disposition of other human beings is too powerful and tantalizing to repulse. "Certainly," some of you might conjecture, "with so many people from so many ages defiling, perverting and subverting every tenet from both the Old and New Testaments, someone must be in hell by now." That general inference about humanity is then focused on specific individuals we feel fall short of our moral, ethical, and Christian expectations.

I will remind you that our Catholic tradition states, in no uncertain terms, that judgement alone is reserved exclusively for the Sovereign Lord of history, and not for humanity or a combination of God and humanity. Though we may speak bluntly when evaluating the actions of other sinners, to judge the sinner himself is to trespass unto theological grounds we have no business visiting.

The Politicking Pharisees
I look without anger, carping, cynicism, but with profound fascination at the demagogues in public office, who speak of ideals, patriotism, and standards they've repeatedly tarnished in their private lives, or never came close to fulfilling in their public ones. Yet in their speeches and other public discourses, there is an implicit declaration that they are the standard bearers of decency and righteousness, and that through their principled leadership, their constituents will find prosperity. You know the type. You've seen them a million times, and will again a million more.

I've always wondered how a congressman can sit through committee after committee, investigating and drilling subpoenaed witness over some public disgrace, and yet be guilty of something far more heinous that he or she might be keeping secret inside the skeleton closet. This is where that abandoned and forgotten word - which apparently has lost circulation - comes into play: CONSCIENCE. Without one you're not intellectually or morally different than the animals you see at the zoo.

Come election day those of us who were duped before shall be duped once again. Perhaps this cynical mentality is responsible for the burgeoning voter apathy in the United States, which, in turn, propagates the good ol' boys culture of a group that thinks it can operate with impunity.

Now, having stated these points, it should also be mentioned that we are a weak and broken humanity. I truly believe that. We ALL make mistakes, and there might be something in our past we reflect on with profound regret. Father Timoney, the pastor of a Church I attended, in his sermons used to mention that it was useless to try and figure out the Trinity since we had failed to adequately grasped the relatively simple concept of ourselves. How true. We don't know what goes on inside every human being. We don't know with absolute knowledge why some people can open up more to God and His loving grace than others who claim He does not exist. Only God can see inside that person, and for all we know, it might be mercy and love that moves Him instead of wrath.


Adrienne said...

Good one!!!!

Shirley said...

I hope that when I die God will come not as the Just Judge, but as the Merciful Savior.(Quick, pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy!)

Kimberly said...

Thank you for keeping Melissa's picture on your site. What a wonderful person you are.

Thank you for the post on judging. How quick I can be to judge despite how hard I try not to. Thanks for the reminder to be better.

Blessed be God forever!


Tom in Vegas said...


I will keep Melissa's picture posted on my blog indefinitely. Thank you for stopping by:0)

paramedicgirl said...

God gives His grace to those who seek it. Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you Matthew 7:7

Perhaps that is why some people seem to have more of an outpouring of God's grace.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Tom: Superb post.

Katie Alender said...

Judge not, lest ye be judged! So powerful and simple and unfortunately so overlooked.

(Yes, I'm a little behind on my blog reading... d'oh!)