J is for . . .

JUDGMENT

I am naïve. I wish we could dump every part of the Bible that highlights God’s judgment. No Revelation as the last book of the Bible (it’ll be Genesis to Jude III instead!). The book of Daniel severely edited. And while we’re at it, let’s no longer read any of the Gospel of John’s spiteful comments about “the Jews.”

Silly me.

But I so weary of how many “faithful folks” think of God as a judgmental Creator. I’m probably wrong…perhaps the Holy is all about dividing folks into right-thinking and wrong-thinking groups. I’m in, you’re out. I have insider information and you’re a dull-witted fool. But I pray not. I believe the Divine’s judgment—if there is any—is more like seeing how good we are created and how much better we can be. Less judging. More cheerleading.

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2 Comments

  1. Ya know, Larry, I had exactly the same thought when I did an exegesis on Romans 8:1 – 8, and put the cover of Dr. Seuss’s book “The Sneetches” on the cover. It’s a nice idea to leave the judgment thing behind as no longer relevant, but for those of us who have either John Calvin or Martin Luther looking over our shoulders, that’s going to be difficult. We can not talk about it, and avoid those Lectionary readings where it comes up, but we must always be prepared to explain it when some ambitious soul reads the Bible on their own, or faces someone who puts a toxic spin on the statements where “only God can judge”. And I like to think that this doctrine has value when dealing with a person who both claims to be a Christian, and who is a tad too judgmental.

    1. Whether from pulpit or by the “water cooler,” dealing with Biblical judgment’s always tough. In part, it’s always a context conversation…what was the world like then? But any discussion about J is also simply (and NOT simply) a time to really take time. What does the other person mean? What do I mean? I’d pray we limit our judging as we belly flop together into the Biblical J pool!

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