Category Archives: Judgment

IF YOU THINK THINGS ARE BAD NOW…

If you think things are bad now, just wait, they will get worse.

Part of the fault (maybe even a major part) is ours.  We have pointed out what people shouldn’t do instead of being examples of what people should do.  In response we are accused of “judging”  Consequently, the labels “homophobe” and “bigot” are applied to us.

1 Corinthians 5:8-13 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges.

Warfare and political diplomacy can never accomplish the purposes of Christ, the Prince of Peace.

And what should we be doing?  The Scriptures are full of that information.  Meeting in our expensive edifices on Sunday is the least of it.

Find someone and some way to be an imitation of Jesus today.

How?  Blow the dust of your Bible and read the gospels, Acts and the letters.

When? Right now. The need is urgent.

Where? Your neighborhood, your community, your nation, the world.

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Filed under Bigotry, Christlikeness, church, Community, Culture Wars, Current Events, Evangelism, Good & Evil, Initiative, Jesus Christ, Judge, Judgment, Judgmental, Missions/Evangelism, morality, Politics, Religion, Respect, Scripture

Guilty of Being Too Gracious

Trey Morgan

If you don’t subscribe to Trey Morgan’s blog, you ought to.  He is a very thoughtful writer and preacher.  He preaches in Childress, Texas and if you ask me, they are extremely fortunate to have him.  I had an article all ready to post when I read this and thought I must share it with all my readers. Take my advice and go to his blog site here and read his past and present postings.  You’ll be blessed.  I was especially touched by his latest: A $2.99 Hug.

When he asked me the question, I knew I’d heard that type of question before. It was one of those, “What if a person is doing…,” questions that ended with, “Will that person get to go to heaven or hell?”He was calling someone’s morality into question, and I could tell by how he asked, he wasn’t really asking the question because he wanted to know, but because he wanted to trap me with the question. It was the same thing the Pharisees did to Jesus on many occasions.

My answer was simple, “That’s totally up to God. He’s the one who makes the decisions on who goes to heaven and who doesn’t.”

I could tell my answer frustrated him. Redness was building from his neck up to his face. “I knew that’s what you’d say,” he said with a frustrated tone. “I don’t even know why I asked you. You’re too soft on people.”

I smiled and told him, “I’m sorry, but I got out of judging business long ago. Who gets in and who doesn’t is not not my place to decide. But”, I told him, “If I’m going to err on one side or the other, I’d rather err on the side of mercy.” He didn’t like that much either.

I left feeling good about my answer. I still feel the same way today.  I think Jesus was a perfect example when it came to being gracious to others. Remember how Jesus acted around those whose lives weren’t exactly to what God wanted? A prostitute, a wealthy exploiter, a Samaritan woman with several husbands, a woman caught in adultery – all people that Jesus would have had a problem with their lifestyle. Yet all found grace and mercy from Jesus instead of condemnation. No wonder Jesus gained the reputation as being a “friend of sinners.” Maybe we can learn a lot about how to treat people by watching Jesus in action.

When I stand before God someday, if I’m found guilty of anything, I want to be found guilty of being too gracious, too forgiving and too merciful. I feel I have a better chance with God that way than I do if I’m found too harsh, too judgmental and too unsympathetic.

“You’re too soft on people,” that guy said to me that day. Well if too soft means too merciful … then I pray I’m guilty as charged!

“So you must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment.”   ~ James 2:13


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Filed under Attributes of God, Bigotry, Blogs & Blogging, Christlikeness, Condemnation, Encouragement, Eternal Life, Good & Evil, Judge, Judgment, Judgmental, Preaching/Teaching

Rapture / Middle East

Two matters I have written about in previous blogs have once again gained the spotlight.  First the prediction that “rapture” will take place tomorrow (read about “Scare Tactics”  here), and second, the President’s speech regarding Israel and the Middle East (read “Who Owns Israel?” here).

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Filed under Current Events, Ignorance, Israel, Judgment, Middle East, Palestine, Peace, Politics, Rapture, Religion, Scripture

Sharia Law

In a recent post I mentioned Sharia law.  For those of you who would like to know what it is…good luck.  No one seems to fully agree on (1) what it is, and (2) what its tenets are.  This post cannot delve into deeper aspects of Sharia law but perhaps will help promote a better, but very basic, understanding of it.

The meaning of the word Sharia is “The path to the source of water.” The writings of the Qur’an make up part of Sharia law but they are not the same thing. The rest of Sharia is a collection of rules and regulations about justice, cleanliness, government, business, family relations, food (no pork or alcohol), sex, etc. Some of Sharia comes from the Sunnah, which is drawn from examples of the Prophet’s way of life. It is not codified or collected into one document or even a group of documents. Because of this, major disputes can arise about what constitutes Sharia.

Justin Elliott[i] of Salon interviewed Abed Awad, a New Jersey-based attorney and an expert on sharia who regularly handles cases that involve Islamic law.  In response to Elliott’s question, Can you define sharia — is it a specific body of laws?” Awad said:

“After the two primary sources of Islamic law, the Quran and the Sunna, the two main secondary sources of Islamic law are: (1) ijma (consensus of the scholars and jurists, and sometimes the entire community), and (2) qiyas (reasoning by analogy to one of the higher sources).  Other secondary sources of Islamic law are juristic preference, public interest and custom. Sharia is extremely flexible and subject to various interpretations.”

Fatwas (legal decrees) supposedly arising from Sharia include beatings (of disobedient wives and others), stoning, cutting off hands, imposing taxes on infidels (or, death if they refuse), killing apostates, jihads, etc. In the more moderate and civilized (or Western ideas of it) regions harsh punishments are fairly rare. In truth, however, these penalties are subject to the whim of those in charge in various Muslim regions…hence the difficulty in determining exactly what Sharia is.

I will let the reader decide what he or she thinks about Sharia law.  I think you can guess how I feel.


[i] Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at jelliott@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin More: Justin Elliott

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Filed under Culture Wars, Current Events, honor, Ignorance, Infidelity, Islam, Judgment, Middle East, morality, Politics, Religion

Japan and Other Disasters

I don’t think I have ever witnessed (through the medium of television) anything worse than the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in northern Japan.  This is not to say that other, equally horrible, disasters have not taken place.  Speaking for myself, television and intrepid journalists have increased our awareness of such events almost to the saturation point of my emotional capacity.  I have been grieving along with the rest of the world over these events and the tragedy unfolding in the Arab nations.  It is almost too much to take in and process.

If the tragedies in themselves were not enough, now the religious pundits are taking advantage of them by telling us how they are God’s work of judgment and/or opportunity to further the cause of Christianity and I’m sick of it!  While it is true that we live in a broken world and that every instance of human suffering offers us an opportunity to respond with the compassion of Christ, I find such pontification nauseating and a work of ignorant speculation and arrogance.

Who dares to speak for God?! Who dares to step in and pronounce His judgment? The causes of earthquakes, eruptions, floods, fires, tsunamis, tornadoes and every other violent release of energy are well known. We live in a dangerous world and sometimes we make the mistake of compounding the danger by building homes and nuclear power plants in unsafe places.  Then, in the aftermath, when we have cleaned away the rubble and buried our loved ones, we do it again. God is not to blame for our foolishness!

Let us love those caught up in these events and do what we can to alleviate their agony…not add to it by ill-timed and insensitive conjecture based on ignorance at best and stupidity at worst.

My blogs:
Whitticisms: dwhitsett.wordpress.com
In the Charamon Garden: charamongarden.wordpress.com
Whitsett Carving: whitcarv.wordpress.com
Mission South Pacific: missionsouthpacific.wordpress.com

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Filed under Attributes of God, Current Events, Good & Evil, Ignorance, Jesus Christ, Judgment, Natural Disaster, Religion, Suffering

Judgmentalism

I sometimes get criticized (judged) for being judgmental, do you?  This accusation usually arises when I have made a negative comment with which someone disagrees.  I submit, however, that we are ALL judgmental.  Last night, for example, I found a dead mouse in the pantry, no doubt a result of my efforts to poison him and his family who have taken up residence in my house.  I judge their presence to be harmful in several ways:

1.       They eat our stuff.  Little holes in the rice bag, nibbles in the butternut squash, obvious nipping at the bread we accidentally left out, etc.

2.       They are nasty little spreaders of various diseases.

3.       They scare the dickens out of the wife as they scurry about.

4.       They make noises in the voids in the walls and ceilings they inhabit.

5.       Their droppings are unsightly.

It is my judgment that they must go and my further judgment that traps and poisons are effective in this regard.

On the other hand, we also share living space with some little geckos.  I judge their presence to be good.  They eat various pests such as cockroaches, spiders and other unwanted critters while doing no harm otherwise. They can stay. So, am I being “judgmental” when I “judge” something to be right and good?

Furthermore, in this democracy, we cherish the freedom to express our opinions.  By definition an opinion is (for our purposes) “a belief or judgment (notice that word) that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty, a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.” Everyone has a right to their opinions. Is my opinion “judgmental” only when it happens to disagree with yours?

There is also a growing number of people who take “live and let live” to the nth degree.  For these folks, nothing is wrong unless it harms another person (not at all easy to determine). All is relative and there is no absolute truth. Your truth may not be my truth. You have a right to believe what you believe but keep it to yourself. Under these rules, it is improper to make judgment about good and bad, wise and foolish, right and wrong. These folks are highly intolerant of intolerance. They have a negative opinion of those who express their opinions.  Their truth is that there is no truth.  It is their judgment that judgment is…well…wrong.

I think what many folks mean by “judgment” is “condemnation.” I do not have the power or prerogative to condemn anyone for anything…that’s God’s business. There is a big difference between judging or discerning between right and wrong and pronouncing eternal damnation. Christians have access to criteria for making decisions about what is right and what is wrong in the teachings of Jesus and the apostles (messengers).  Using these standards and principles I can confidently say, “It is wrong to steal.” In fact, our whole society agrees having codified it into law.  But, if I dare to make that judgment, I had better be sure that I, myself, am not a thief. We must judge ourselves before we dare to pass judgment on others.  If I am honest enough for self-examination I will judge that it is wrong for me or anyone else to steal.

The other day at the coffee shop a man began making trouble for the young woman at the cash register.  He was loudly complaining because they refused to give him something for free. Becoming increasingly obnoxious, he kept at it, holding up the line and causing the staff a good deal of distress. Filled with negative judgmentalism, I got up from my table and began to interfere, politely suggesting that he basically shut up and shove off.  This emboldened the staff who threatened to call the police.  He did leave and I went back to my table and resumed writing and drinking my coffee.  As I left the shop, the manager profusely thanked me for my judgmental intervention.  It may have been foolhardy, but was it wrong?  You be the judge. Oops!

For those who would like to have a look at relevant Bible passages: John 7:24; Romans 2:1; Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 5:12-13; James 4:10-12

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Filed under Condemnation, Culture Wars, Discernment, Good & Evil, Judge, Judgment, Judgmental, morality, Persuasion