Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"Odd" Teachings of Christ: #2

Evangelicals [and Protestants in general] believe the "Judgment" is one that none of us passes, for we have all sinned. The idea is that God must judge each of us against a standard of perfection. We all fail and are therefore destined to Hell but for the forgiveness available through Christ.

Doesn't Matthew 7:2 more or less completely contradict this idea? We cannot both be judged "as we judge others" and against the impossible standard of God's perfection.


Anonymous said...


You know in Acts 17 three minds are discussed. The Thessalonians - who were closed minded; the Athenians - who were open minded; and the Bereans - who were ready minded. I think you are more like the latter. Have you visited They've been answering the same questions you raise for over 50 years.

Anonymous said...

The scripture here does not prove or disprove the point you are trying to make, in fact it could be used to argue the exact oposite.

Here on earth, putting Godly judgement aside, if we Harshly Judge someone for something they have done, would you not think they too would then Harshly judge us when we do that thing wrong?

David Rudel said...

That is an interesting take on this passage, but I think it is hard to read the parallel passage in Luke 6:37 as referring to interpersonal affairs rather than how God judges us.

Note in that chapter of Luke, Jesus repeatedly gives commands and provides as a reason something having to do with how God reacts.

It also would seem out of touch with reality that judging others lightly suffices for not being judged harshly by people. People might cut the non-judgmental some slack, but I think people in general judge others based primarily on their own disposition.

Keep in mind that Jesus is essentially giving the equivalent of the "Ten Commandments" for the new covenant here [Sermon the Mount is modeled as a version of Moses coming down from Sinai with the Law of the old covenant]. One would expect, then, that the teachings would refer to interactions between God and God's people rather than simple moral advice about peaceful living.

Anonymous said...

Throughout all of Luke, Jesus repeatedly refers back and forth between 'how God reacts' and how we should react with others.

So, everything Jesus says in this chapter does not always relate back to how God reacts upon each and every statement, rather how He responds to an Open heart vs a closed one, Unless you take v31 - 'Do to others as you would have them do to you.' - to be about God and not others...

and with v36 "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

THIS is about our Fathers Mercy, as he is merciful...

If we where to take this litterally and out of context, we could believe that if we are always nice to others, then others will always be nice to us... same goes with judging others, in this 'realistic' world, even if we judge fairly or even be unjudgmental, we can still be judged unfairly but if we judge unfairly, then we deserved to be unfairly judged in return... (in human society). Luke 6:37 and Matt 7:2 do not necisarily quote to say it is soley based on God's Judgment.

Same with the Ten commandments. you say:

"One would expect, then, that the teachings would refer to interactions between God and God's people rather than simple moral advice about peaceful living."But the commandment - Thou Shalt Not Kill, would obviously relate to simple moral advice for how we treat eachother, and not interactions with God...unless we take it to mean - 'Thou Shalt not Kill God'

Thus Jesus giving the equivelent of the Ten Commandment would mean in these parables, Jesus is giving both a relation to God (like -honor the Lord your God) And simple moral advice (like - Thou shalt not Kill).

Thanks for the reply.

I'm looking forward to reading your next one as i'm sure there are faults in my post! It's great to be able to have these discussions as at the same time, I am learning and re-evaluating my perceptions. Thanks.

(I'm the above anonymous you responded to earlier).

David Rudel said...

Ha, ha.
Okay, so I was not very precise when I said "how we relate to God rather than moral advice about peaceful living."

I suppose it would have been more accurate to say that they do not relate to how others will treat us.

For what it is worth, the passages that refer to forgiveness [rather than the passages that refer to judgment] do appear to directly refer to the Father's forgiveness of us. Matthew 18:35 as well as the postscript to the Lord's Prayer
(Matthew 6:15) and similarly in Mark 11:25.
Hmm..remarkably, Luke does not have such an instance of that either. Odd.

It it useful to point out that often others are pictured "as our judge" because their testimony weighs against us. That can either be because they (under similar circumstances as we) repented when we did not (Matthew 12:41-42), or because we judged them harshly for things that we ourselves did to others (Luke 12:58).

Interesting stuff. Thanks for reading and commenting.

sweetdreams said...

The really good news is that thise whi keep on learning and oing have zoe life now and on the Judgement day by pass jusgemnt and go straight to the father in his house.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
I can guarantee this truth: Those who listen to what I say and believe in the one who sent me will have eternal life. They won't be judged because they have already passed from death to life.