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christians - judging

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Aqualung, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    Both are an example of judging. Not that there is anything wrong with that.;)
     
  2. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    Good judgement.
     
  3. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    Well first,we should not be judging anybody. That's God's job not ours. Second, I think you would have to deceifer what makes bad "bad". Just because you may consider something as bad doesn't mean that it's bad for others. I think we can all agree that intentionally hurting people, and evil intent is bad. Rape definatley falls under those categories. And although we should not pass judgement, we should rise up against injustice. If we see emotional or physical harm being done to others we should not stand by idle.
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    The judgment that we're talking about here is the judgment of other people. It has nothing to do with judging acts or thoughts or situations. It has to do with standing in judgment of people -- judging their inherent qualities: Are they a "good person" or a "bad person?" There are no bad people. God made everyone good!

    Jesus said (paraphrasing), "Don't judge other people. If you do, you may be judged, yourself." Isn't that what's happened to we Christians? We got into the judgment game -- judgment against street people, judgment against other races, judgment against those of differing faiths, judgment against (dare I say it)...homosexuals. And look at the judgment that has been returned upon us! I read all kinds of threads about how atheists became atheists because they hate the judgmental nature of those who profess to belong to and speak for God.

    We can make a judgment about actions all we want to. but when that judgment then "leaks" over into a judgment about the character or motives of the person who's acting, then we've crossed the line. Love dosn't cast judgment upon the loved. Love simply accepts the loved for who they are, just as they are. One has to be responsible for one's own beliefs and actions. It's not up to others to see that one believes or behaves in certain "acceptable" ways.
     
  5. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Whilst I agree with the vast majority of what you've written, I can't accept that love simply accepts people just as they are. That's a sort of wishy washy view of love that I simply don't believe to be true. If you have a child who is doing something destructive (either to themselves or others) do you just accept it, or try to correct their behaviour? I would argue that it is far more loving in such a circumstance to step in and intervene, even if they see such intervention as unloving. Correction can and should be motivated by love and an unwillingness to attempt such correction seems to me to be rather superficial. Love can be harsh at times as well as accepting, the trick is to discern at which point one approach or the other is required.

    James
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    That's old-school, colonial theology -- the same kind of theology that helped Christians justify slavery. "We are the ones that 'know better,' so it's our responsibility to teach them the proper way of life." We succeeded in destroying the indian cultures in this manner.

    Paul tells us that "love never insists on its own way." There is no "trick," as you say, to loving someone. Love is unconditional. What is wishy-washy about deciding to love someone, no matter what they've done? I see it as a highly-directed attitude.

    In your world, who gets to decide what's the "proper" color, or what's the "proper" social standing, or what's the "proper" sexual persuasion, or what's the "proper" sex? These people have all been discriminated against, because the elitists have judged them to be "improper."

    This doesn't have anything to do with correcting children, or keeping children from hurting themselves. Other people are not our children, and they are not our responsibility. God is their Father -- not us.
     
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  7. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    I don't know how you got from what I posted to colonialism, but never mind. You seem to be very good at leaping to conclusions and judging others for what you think they said without really reading what they actually said. Of course love is unconditional. Do you think that you stop loving someone because you try to correct them? I certainly never said any such thing. I said that such correction should be motivated by love. I'm fully aware that other people are not my children, but that does not mean that the principle that if I see someone I love hurting themselves or others I shouldn't try to help, even if that means correcting them. I would say that you show greater love by being concerned enough to try and prevent the harm caused by another's actions than you do by simply sitting back and 'accepting' them. That's not to say that you can't be wrong, everyone makes mistakes, but that's where the discernment I mentioned comes in.

    James
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    That's precisely colonial thinking! What are you talking about? "We, the elite, know more about the proper way to act than these poor folks over here (whom we love.) Therefore, it's our Christian duty (in love) to correct their actions, because they are not enlightened enough to take care of themselves." That's colonialism. "If I see someone I love hurting themselves or others I [should] try to help, even if that means correcting them."

    Correction is not our job -- acceptance is our job. We can't handle our own lives most of the time -- we all sin. What makes us think that we can handle someone else's life better than they? That's a whole lot of hubris.

    If they ask my opinion, or for my help, I'll give it, for whatever it's worth. But to do other than that is just meddling.
     
  9. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    To be fair, I think you are putting words in James' mouth, and misinterpreting what he is saying; his words (originaly) were:-
    I think you are implying that James is advocating going around, on the moral 'high ground' telling one and all what to do because he knows best, and that he should punish the miscreant.

    James, above was talking about children. I don't think he is advocating the use of the birch..................he is just saying that a child should be told he has done wrong, and punished (in as loving a way as possible); withdrawl of priviledges.............;)
     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I originally wrote in response to his post, where he used correcting children as an example of loving judgment: "This doesn't have anything to do with correcting children, or keeping children from hurting themselves. Other people are not our children, and they are not our responsibility. God is their Father -- not us."

    He was refuting what I said earlier about love as acceptance, not judgment and correction. My argument had nothing specifically to do with children. I thought the correcting of children was a poor analogy for him to use, because it reeks of colonialism -- treating other people as if they were children.;)

    [edit]: I feel as if what he was doing was precisely "advocating telling [others] what to do." That's why I said what I said. Maybe James could elucidate what he meant to save confusion.
     
  11. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Then you certainly misunderstood me. You said that love is accepting people exactly as they are. My view is that this is not always true. My example of love for a child was deliberate, but it could just as easily be love for a sibling, a parent, a spouse, a dear friend whatever. The reason I was surprised by your colonialism rant is that I am talking about personal love, not love of a culture, a people or anything else like that and certainly not love by a group. I don't believe in that sort of 'love' at all. It usually either simply means like or respect. I certainly don't agree with the colonial Victorian ideals. Such 'correction' of 'the natives' was not motivated by love but by duty as you rightfully pointed out, and not a little arrogance and smug superiority. If you cannot correct someone (not a whole culture) from a position of love and humility then you shouldn't try at all. Please now tell me how this view in any way corresponds to colonialism.

    James
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Because you were equating the correction of others to the correction of children. To me, that implied that you view those who sin as children in need of loving correction. That's precisely the colonialistic mind set.

    I think we got off-track with my statement "just as they are." Let's go back to that, because I think that's the point where we disagree.

    In the protestant tradition there's a wonderful old hymn, "Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me." In that hymn, we affirm that we come to God just as the sinners we are, and that God accepts us, just as we are. We don't feel that people must act in a righteous manner, or "be clean" in order to approach God. We believe that Jesus has justified all of us, and that we are washed clean of our sinfulness by Christ's sacrifice. (I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that Orthodoxy believes the same thing?)

    I think that, If we are made in God's image, then we must follow the lead of Christ, who welcomed sinners without judgment and, through his hospitality, was able to bring them closer to God, where their sinfulness could be brought into the light and eradicated. I think we, too, must accept all simply by virtue of their being God's precious children, not making a judgment based upon sex, social status, actions, beliefs, etc. I just don't think Jesus "circled the wagons" against the unrighteous, but provided a safe place for them to deal with their sinfulness. People just won't come if they're afraid of being judged. I think that God will judge us, but I also think that 1) God chooses to wait until we have finished the course of our lives to do that, and 2) the judgment is going to be based on something other than a laundry list of good and bad deeds. I think judgment is going to be based upon how we loved and upon how abundantly we lived.

    We may have to disagree on this point. Most Christians (unfortunately, I think) would probably side with you on this particular point. That's why you're Orthodox and I'm not.
     
  13. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Actually, I think your view is closer to mine than you might think. God certainly accepts us as the sinners we are, if He didn't accept sinners He couldn't accept anyone. The problem I had with the idea of accepting people just as they are is that it seemed to me that you meant accepting them and their sins. Christ didn't do that. He accepted the person forgave them and then told them to sin no more. That doesn't mean that I think that anyone is actually able to stop sinning but that they must try to do so.

    On your going out on a limb, though, you're really way out in the thinnest twigs and about to come plummeting down. We Orthodox do not hold to the idea of substitutionary atonement as found in the majority of western confessions, and we never have. The import of the Incarnation and Crucifixion in Orthodox belief are quite different. For that reason, I'd say that the majority of modern Christians certainly wouldn't side with me except superficially. I'd be happy to explain the differences between Eastern and Western soteriology to you if you're interested but it'll be a fairly long post and not really on topic here.

    James
     
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  14. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I'm not going to take up your time or this thread by asking you to do that, although I would love to know what you have to say! I know there are major differences and that most of us have Western thought so ingrained in us, that it's difficult to break out of that. Maybe you could start another thread, if you have the time and inclination? Maybe in the "Christianity" topic?
     
  15. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    I believe the teaching is, "Judge not lest ye be judged in like manner." It would seem this is not an admonition not to judge but to be careful by what method you judge with. Like, use scriptural foundations for making judgement.
     
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  16. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    That citation is from the KJV, I believe. The NRSV doesn't say that at all. I think that the phrase, "in like manner" simply and clearly means, "in return." The admonishment is against the act of judgment itself, not against a certain kind of judgment.
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I'd like to clarify a thought I had with regard to your third sentence. I'm not saying "accepting other people and their sins." I'm saying "accepting other people in their sinfulness." I think it's incumbent upon us to meet people where they are, as Jesus did.;)
     
  18. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    Not really. The Bible makes clear judgements and Christians are told to follow those judgements and decry others who do wrongly. As such we will be judged in like manner.
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    If that's how you choose to interpret the scriptures. I choose a different interpretation, from a version that does not include the "in like manner" statement.

    Without forming a "which is right/which is wrong" inference or argument, in what way, positive or negative, does each interpretation affect the reader? How do the different interpretations affect how the reader responds to the different messages? How would those differing actions impact the world?
     
  20. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    Matthew 7: 1 (King James version)

    "Judge not that ye be not judged"

    Matthew 7: 2 (Joseph Smith translation or Inspired version)

    "Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged; but judge righteous judgement."


    There is a time for forgiveness and grace, and then there is time for righteous judgement.
     
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