Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

JUDGE NOT! REALLY? [T, 10-24-17]

CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter…

When Jesus said, “Judge not lest ye be judged,” [Matthew 7:1, KJV] he was talking about heaven and hell. Don’t judge someone to be damned eternally. That was the biblical context for “judgment,” as in “the last judgment,” of Matthew 25:31-46. That was the context for the word “judgment” for the next 2000 years.

Now, though, hardy anyone believes in the biblical context, a literal, spatial place where we go after death either for eternal punishment or eternal paradise. So “judgment” has switched over to “evaluation,” but only when we disagree with the evaluation.

These days if you make even an innocuous evaluation like “I prefer left Twix to right Twix,” someone is likely to jump in with “Judge not lest ye be judged,” or its less King Jamesish equivalent.

That is especially true if we evaluate a political or religious position that someone else believes in. “Judge not!”

Judgment and evaluation are two very different things. As a Christian, yes, I should not judge you. But as a Christian, yes, I definitely should evaluate you, your positions and actions. If they hurt people, including yourself, then what you think and do is bad, and I should oppose you.

And don’t tell me “judge not,” or I’ll damn you to hell!


Spoiler Alert: If you have read this column in the last 3 months, all that follows is old news:
I started this blog several years ago, when we followed the grandchildren to the “place of winter,” Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP]. I put that in the sub-title, Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter, where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] The grandchildren, though, are grown up, so in May, 2015 we moved “home,” to Bloomington, IN, where we met and married, and where we are known as “Bloomarangs.” It’s not a “place of winter,” but we are still in winter years of the life cycle, so I am still trying to understand what it means to be a follower of Christ in winter…

Following the critical and marketing success of her first Young Adult novel, daughter Katie Kennedy’s Learning to Swear in America, is What Goes Up, a July 18, 2017 release. She is published by Bloomsbury, which also publishes lesser known but promising young authors, like JK Rowling.

Speaking of writing, my new novel is VETS, about four homeless Iraqistan veterans accused of murdering a VA doctor, is available from your local independent book store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, Books-A-Million, Black Opal Books, and almost any place else that sells books. $8.49 or $12.99 for paperback, according to which site you look at, and $3.99 for Kindle. Free if you can get your library to buy one.

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