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Judging and clarification

The discussion on judgement continues at Martha Martha as linked in my previous post.

I want to clarify something. One of the hardest things I have ever had to face in my real, off-line, face-to-face life is learning to be a woman of God and stand up for what is true, what is right, and what is good. As a child and young adult I always marveled at the stories of the saints, particularly the martyrs who were so willing to give up their lives to stand up for the truth. I don't know if I could personally withstand such a test. I pray that I would, but I honestly do not know.

As a person who came of age during the era of "I'm OK, You're OK" it was somewhat unsettling in adulthood, coming back to my Catholic faith to admit that IT'S NOT all OK. Sometimes it's dead wrong. And what's worse - sometimes what is wrong is made worse because men and women who know the truth stand back and say absolutely nothing. That is when I first learned about sins of omission, and boy, was I guilty of plenty of those.

I think modern Christianity had done a great job backing each other into a corner with this false idea that making "judgements" is somehow "not Christian." That's a lie. We are called to discern the truth and speak out about the truth, in love, everyday. In preparing to comment then on the M2 blog, I came upon these quotes and I want to save them here for now. This comes up for me at least once a year, so I want to have some talking points at the ready. What follows is my comment on that blog.

If you mean "judgement" as in eternal judgement - absolutely! Not one of us is qualified or charged with the responsibility of determining who is saved, and who is not.

However, if you mean judgement as in determining what is right and what is wrong, I think you are mistaken. For example, Jesus also said:

"Ye shall know them by their fruits."

Discerning good fruit from bad is going to take some amount of clear "judgement!"

Speaking of imitating Christ, here are some other quotes from Jesus:

"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment " (John 7:24).

"Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence, make not my Father's house an house of merchandise" (John 2:13-16).

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matt. 12:34).

From the epistles:
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4: 1).

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them " (Rom. 16:17).

"Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith " (Titus 1: 13).

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them " (Eph. 5:11).

"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us " (II Thess. 3:6).

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