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  1. #1
    JockBoy87
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    Where is the Right to Judge?

    Does the New Testament condone passing judgment on others? Many verses in the Bible command the reader to make good and ethical judgments about oneself, and one's own actions. Do Christian's today wrongly take that to mean there is a right to judge other's as well? Does the Bible believe judgment of others is hypocrisy? The Bible appears to reassure the reader that God will judge, so there is no reason to be concerned about passing judgment. Consider the following verses:


    1 Corinthians chapter 2 verses 15-16

    ...a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?"

    The Letter of James chapter 4 verse 12 states:

    There is only one lawgiver and judge ... so who are you to judge your neighbor?

    And the famous verse in Matthew chapter 7 verse 1

    Judge not, so that you will not be judged.

    Romans chapter 2 verse 1

    ...you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

  2. #2

    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    I am not concerned with what the Bible says. I know that I do pass judgement sometimes, and it is called bitchin. So let's get real, we do, and if we don't say it we think it. Be honest. It doesn't make it right---or wrong. But it is hypocritical to PRETEND you dont when you naturally do.
    The whole concept of a judging 'God' comes from the creators of the very myth!

  3. #3
    JockBoy87
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludolfo View Post
    The whole concept of a judging 'God' comes from the creators of the very myth!
    Before continuing, I think I should reveal that 1) I have a Jewish upbringing, 2) I am an atheist, and 3) I do not accept a metaphysical origin or moral soundness of the New Testament.

    The debate I'm trying to foster argues with fundamentalist Christians, and others, who believe their religion and related texts justify passing judgment on others.

    In order to defeat these arguments in a way that is convincing to those people, a debate must be held that challenges them on their own terms, i.e. a fundamental interpretation of Biblical text.

    My impression of the fundamentalist idea of judgment is that it is not only hypocritical, the idea 1) ignores its own premise as a literal interpretation of the entire text, and 2) chooses to ignore scripture violates solo scriptura,one of the founding principles of Protestantism.

  4. #4
    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Interpretation of the sacred writings of any religion speaks more to each person's construction of their god than, it does of God and His invitation to all human beings to love one another as, He loves us despite knowing that each of us is imperfect.

    To single out judgemental people of any description whether they be Christian, Jewish or, Atheist is to ignore lodolfo's well reasoned observation that all human life stands guilty of hypocritical behaviour (view the threads across this site for evidence) - without, exception and that any attempt to label one particular sub set of human life, guilty while ignoring the hypocritical behaviour of the rest of mankind might well suggest that there is an agenda driving this topic.

    One important element in the foundation of Christian theological belief is that all human life is imperfect and in need of saving from its imperfections; no exceptions. Integrity is much more than a public demonstration of our piety, and perceived self respect it is the very realisation of our absolute need to be honest with our self at all times; much more so in our private moments when we discard the face, we wear to face the world wherein our masquerade performs its role to delude our sense of self worthiness.

    Our easy recourse to judgements of others is a peculiar trait easily discoverable in those who believe that they can lay claim to perfection, by acting out a public persona that conceals their real person rather similar to Oscar Wilde's character, Dorian Gray whose portrait concealed in an attic revealed his authentic self.

    We learn from Holy Scripture that God is gracious and, compassionate slow to anger, rich in love especially, for those who reject these virtues by permitting their anger and, bitterness to lead them to vindictive assaults on their neighbours.

    Resentments and, revenge more often or, not corrodes the lives of those who fall victim to their own sense of self entitlement judging, condemning and, convicting those whom they believe are worthy of their retribution.

    Paul of Tarsus was never one for holding back on his words, of instruction teaching us that all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and scandal be put away from you, along with all malice if only because vengeful actions are more destructive of the avenger than, of their nominated victim inclined to question the sanity of the hate filled avenger.

    "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."--1 Samuel 16:7

  5. #5
    JockBoy87
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    The purpose of this thread is to explore scriptural justification for passing judgment.

    It has nothing to do with debating who does and who does not judge, rather if those who defend it are justified by scripture. My conclusion so far is that passing judgment is not justified.

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    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    The purpose of this thread is to explore scriptural justification for passing judgment.

    It has nothing to do with debating who does and who does not judge, rather if those who defend it are justified by scripture. My conclusion so far is that passing judgment is not justified.
    Let the individual poster decide how they should reply, that you may not be accused of passing judgement on those whose contributions do not meet with your approval.

    All human beings stand guilty of judging others. No exceptions, for none is perfect.

  7. #7
    JockBoy87
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    Let the individual poster decide how they should reply, that you may not be accused of passing judgement on those whose contributions do not meet with your approval.

    All human beings stand guilty of judging others. No exceptions, for none is perfect.
    You have no right to willfully misconstrue, debate with a strawman, or to the question motives of and to the detriment of the original poster other than for that which is stated.

    The fact that everyone judges is not the point or direction of this thread. It is to debate whether there is scriptural justification for passing judgment, not point fingers to deflect from blame.

    Debate the point, not my motives, or don't participate at all.

  8. #8
    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    You have no right to misconstrue, debate with a strawman, or to the question motives of and to the detriment of the original poster other than for that which is stated.

    The fact that everyone judges is not the point or direction of this thread. It is to debate whether there is scriptural justification for passing judgment, not point fingers to deflect from blame.
    Your option to judge my contribution unacceptable for it appears not to comply with your demands simply confirms my observation that all human beings are guilty of judging others.

    I'm not the poster who has presented the reader with a loaded agenda assuming that Evangelical (sola scriptura) Christians are guilty of hypocrisy for judging others. Of course they are. And, so is the rest of the human race.

    I have already stated that each of us can read into Holy Scripture all that reveals our construction of our man made god ....but does not reveal God, who I have already stated is gracious and, compassionate slow to anger, rich in love especially, for those who reject these virtues by permitting their anger and, bitterness to lead them to vindictive assaults on their neighbours.

    The faithful of all descriptions read into our sacred scriptures that which speaks to our understandings rather, than which reflects the will of The One whom we aspire to follow. Each of us stands guilty.

    That there are thousands of Christian denominations evidencing that the human person reads into Holy Scripture its own prejudices rather, than the heart of message which is to recognise our own imperfections before, judging another guiltier than oneself.

    Never assume that an agenda cannot be identified by conveniently overlooking the fact that every human person stands guilty of hypocritical judgements even, those who aspire to identifying Evangelical Christians guiltier than the rest of human kind. I am not an Evangelical Christian.

    This my favourite Biblical quote for it is brief and, the punch line is uncompromising:


    Matthew 7:5

    You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
    Last edited by kallipolis; March 10th, 2013 at 06:34 AM.

  9. #9
    JockBoy87
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    Your option to judge my contribution unacceptable for it appears not to comply with your demands simply confirms my observation that all human beings are guilty of judging others.
    Fortunately, the forum is a temporal institution run by moderators, to whom redress of grievances may be made.

    The particular phrase which I found offense is as follows:

    ...any attempt to label one particular sub set of human life, guilty while ignoring the hypocritical behaviour [sic] of the rest of mankind might well suggest that there is an agenda driving this topic.
    This is a factual and unacceptable misrepresentation of my motives, a hypocritical judgment you have just unjustifiably castigated me for, and it is an insult.

    Like I said earlier, debate the point, or leave.

  10. #10
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Actually, Matthew is not telling you specifically that you should never cast judgment. He said farther down,

    "5 Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

    His point is that, if every person who wanted to correct another man's relatively venial sin were to first try to correct a large sin in himself, most of us might have little peccadilloes, but society would be better off. Matthew proceeds to say,

    12 All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets."

    This actually goes with what Matthew was saying above. You want your friend to be a moral, generous person. Well, if this is such a fine, wonderful way to be, then shouldn't you want to be first in line? Lead by example, and people will follow you. Remember, nobody wants to listen to a hypocrite, for they are told,

    "16 By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

    Read the entire chapter. He does not mince words or beat around the bush. He is very clear in his meaning, IF you read the chapter as a whole, rather than just the verse. He says toward the end,

    "22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?

    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

    Well, read the two lines together. Some people take the second of those two lines and use it for whatever purpose suits them. If both are taken together and together they are taken with the rest, the meaning is clear.

    However, my own view on judgment is that you ought to stop and think before casting any kind of judgment. Look before you leap. Before condemning others for wickedness, learn something about them. Try to understand how they come to be what they are. Learn why they do what they do. Those who cast judgment in ignorance are no judge at all. This is why I read a chapter if I want to understand a line, and I read the book if I want to understand a chapter. While I'm at it, I look over the rest of the gospels, and I eye-ball the rest just to be sure of where I stand.

    Because I read the chapter in its entirety, I can tell you what that first line means. It means, to elaborate upon Matthew, "Go through life absolving yourself of one major sin for every small one you see in others, and give one great thing for every small thing you ask of others. Even if you are not rewarded for it materially, you will be a cleaner person for it."

  11. #11
    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post

    The particular phrase which I found offense is as follows:
    This is a factual and unacceptable misrepresentation of my motives, a hypocritical judgment you have just unjustifiably castigated me for, and it is an insult.

    Like I said earlier, debate the point, or leave.
    Again, you are attempting to control the content of my posts confirming your easy willingness to introduce an agenda, identifying Evangelical Christians guilty of hypocritical judgements while, conveniently ignoring your own easy judgements of those whom you judge guilty (Evangelical Christians) as, if they stand alone in judging their fellow man while you, resolutely ignore the rest of the human race for our easy choice to judge one another.

    Hypocrisy is a human trait not monopolised by Evangelical Christians with, the forums on this site easy evidence of that fact.

    Holier than, thou judgements are a peculiar revelation of those who believe that their moral behaviour is superior to others, if only because their public demonstrations are evidence of that belief whilst, their private behaviour indicates otherwise.

    Over the years I have learnt that those who protest loudly, that they are not as guilty as others or, even innocent of judgemental behaviour are predictably quick to judgement when their egocentric beliefs are contested.

  12. #12
    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Smith View Post

    However, my own view on judgment is that you ought to stop and think before casting any kind of judgment. Look before you leap. Before condemning others for wickedness, learn something about them. Try to understand how they come to be what they are. Learn why they do what they do. Those who cast judgment in ignorance are no judge at all. This is why I read a chapter if I want to understand a line, and I read the book if I want to understand a chapter. While I'm at it, I look over the rest of the gospels, and I eye-ball the rest just to be sure of where I stand.
    We share a similar understanding for none is perfect, not even one human person.

  13. #13

    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    We learn from Holy Scripture that God is gracious and, compassionate slow to anger, rich in love especially, for those who reject these virtues by permitting their anger and, bitterness to lead them to vindictive assaults on their neighbours.
    I don't learn that all. 'He' seems a total control freak and hypocrite. He doesn't only judge, he makes it so those judged evil will go to eternal damnation. Even the wickedest tyrant dont do that, because the prisoner has the freedom to kill themself and the tyrant has no control over death. But your 'compassionate God' is a 1000 times worse than that, and THEN has the nerve to blame you if you go to hell for ever and ever and ever

  14. #14
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    To single out judgemental people of any description whether they be Christian, Jewish or, Atheist is to ignore lodolfo's well reasoned observation that all human life stands guilty of hypocritical behaviour (view the threads across this site for evidence) - without, exception and that any attempt to label one particular sub set of human life, guilty while ignoring the hypocritical behaviour of the rest of mankind might well suggest that there is an agenda driving this topic.
    Judgment is the faculty of being able to understand the propriety of other people's behaviour. It is something to be celebrated. It allows us both to learn from the mistakes or misdeeds of others, and to limit the consequences of their behaviour.

    kallipolis, it is lovely to see you return. You present your usual defence of any criticism of any branch or interpretation of christianity, which is to circle the wagons around the christian family. In Jockboy's thread, this challenge is remarkably specific: he is careful to take on only of the sort of fundamentalist christian sect who view their own version of theology as both a mandate and a measure for judgment. Yet, you rush these people into the christian castle, hoist the drawbridge, and then shout out "Tu quoque" over the moat.

    All human life is not equally guilty of hypocrisy. In an unrelated question, all human life is not equally skilful at exercising judgment.

    To suggest otherwise in your argument raises insuperable gaps: what is the point of your theology if it neither reduces your hypocrisy nor improves your judgment? What is the point of identifying with a randomly interchangeable 'sub-set of human life?' And there is nothing to stop you from making a thread on buddhist hypocrisy or animist hypocrisy or whatever. Why conflate them?

    As an aside, I'd love to see a study that compares the texts of ancient christian thinkers with the foundations of rabbinic literature, looking only to count the number of logical fallacies or cases of muddled thinking. Without such a study, my intuition is that the ancient Jews were much more committed to logic and to the internal coherence of their theology. The great tradition of rabbinical debate seems somehow more central to the faith than similar exchanges in christianity. The christians seem to recognise that these questions should be attended to. But the jews seemed to feel they had no religion without the debate, the detail, the nuance...

    Anyway, Jockboy, I'm now into unrigorous speculation, though I think it's not wrong. I wonder if your upbringing did allow you to frame such a clear and specific question. Regardless of how, it is specific. And I get the point of the thread: to engage fundamentalism in a way that would allow fundamentalists to find a mandate from their god to treat non-christians with respect.

    Is that it? Is that really what you want? I don't want to be accountable to someone else's muddle-headed theology, or to do the thinking on behalf of some fundamentalist so they can relax that I'm somehow "part of god's plan after all" and adjust their behaviour accordingly.

    I can't see the strategic value in finding a "hindu reason" not to persecute sikhs. I can't see the strategic value in finding a "catholic reason" and an "anglican reason" not to persecute each other in northern ireland. I can't see seeking a warrant for the legitimacy of israel's existence in some hadith or other. I really do think it needs to be confronted in a more head-on approach: those fundamentalists need to learn that many issues are simply outside the purview of their religion. Catering to their preference to treat every question in public life as though they are entitled to grant or withhold their religious consent is a recipe for disaster. It would undo the successes of the Enlightenment. And it would ignore all the tools developed in the 20th century: conventions of human rights, international institutions, the rule of law and the ICJ, etc.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Hi Bankside,

    It's always a pleasure to connect with you and, learn something, worth learning. I believe that I have addressed this topic adequately without needing to embellish my opinion further.

    I'm on a 48 hour trip to Piraeus and, will return this evening by ferry boat to my work place leaving, you with the thought that our brief encounters are always satisfying learning lessons. Thanks, for your opinion worthy of its brilliant author.
    Last edited by kallipolis; March 10th, 2013 at 09:26 AM.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludolfo View Post
    I don't learn that all. 'He' seems a total control freak and hypocrite. He doesn't only judge, he makes it so those judged evil will go to eternal damnation. Even the wickedest tyrant dont do that, because the prisoner has the freedom to kill themself and the tyrant has no control over death. But your 'compassionate God' is a 1000 times worse than that, and THEN has the nerve to blame you if you go to hell for ever and ever and ever
    This would be the god of your construction. You are welcome to him.

  17. #17

    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    This would be the god of your construction. You are welcome to him.
    I didn't contruct him nor do I want him.

  18. #18
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Judge not, lest ye be judged is often misunderstood. The verse, I believe, is telling us not to judge, meaning not to condemn someone. Final judgement belongs to God alone.

    Matthew 7:20 does tell us that we can judge the behavior or actions of others, however, and in so doing we are making a judgement of that person, but without condemning them. It says "by their fruits ye shall know them", meaning their works show what kind of person they really are despite what they might claim to be. In other words, actions speak louder than words.
    Everyone wants to be heard. No one wants to listen.

  19. #19
    FEAR THE LIBERAL DETENTE! TX-Beau's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    ...The debate I'm trying to foster argues with fundamentalist Christians, and others, who believe their religion and related texts justify passing judgment on others.

    In order to defeat these arguments in a way that is convincing to those people, a debate must be held that challenges them on their own terms, i.e. a fundamental interpretation of Biblical text.

    My impression of the fundamentalist idea of judgment is that it is not only hypocritical, the idea 1) ignores its own premise as a literal interpretation of the entire text, and 2) chooses to ignore scripture violates solo scriptura,one of the founding principles of Protestantism.
    Fundamentalists do not think that the bible tells them to judge others, they justify judgement usually by "hating the sin," and outright hypocrisy. You will never convince them of anything at all by debating the bible, interpretation, or doctrine. Because they are what they are because of custom and tradition, not biblical scholarship. The bible means exactly what they want it to mean and nothing you say will ever change that.

    If you want to change their minds (having grown up with them let me say that there are very very few you will ever reach - they ARE fundamentalists for a reason) you have to leave the religion out of it and demonstrate why they are wrong by being yourself.

    I have never seen a fundamentalist do anything other than dig in the heels when presented with a religious debate.
    ATTACK OF THE LIBERAL ELITE

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by TX-Beau View Post
    If you want to change their minds (having grown up with them let me say that there are very very few you will ever reach - they ARE fundamentalists for a reason) you have to leave the religion out of it and demonstrate why they are wrong by being yourself.

    I have never seen a fundamentalist do anything other than dig in the heels when presented with a religious debate.
    It is a religion of "feelings" isn't it? It's all about "truthiness." I'd say that of all the branches of christianity, fundamentalist churches are the least concerned by reason and the least susceptible to it: a debate is just an occasion to repeat their talking points.

    But I can't see rewarding them for that by demonstrating anything to them with my character. I'd like them to just discover the world making less and less sense to them over the years as the rest of us go on with our lives.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Well, since they are my family, I have no choice but to put in the effort.

    Otherwise - though it wouldn't have occurred to me to put it like that, you are correct. It's always amusing (and slightly scary) to see dissenting opinion, logic, and fact bounce right off the forehand and crash into the dust, because GOD, IS A'SPEAKIN' TO ME! PRAISE JEEBUS!!
    ATTACK OF THE LIBERAL ELITE

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Jesus condemned the Pharisees for judging others. He told them they will not see heaven because of their judgments. They condemned themselves.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    The problem is that Fundamentalists do not accept that they are in any way judgmental.
    ATTACK OF THE LIBERAL ELITE

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    I'm not a christian, but I find this rather simple: that the new testament enjoins moral positions and proscribes self-righteousness.

    Judgement lies in the domain of the latter.

    And it's of course possible to adopt a moral position without being self-righteous.
    “Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.” ~ Mark Twain

  25. #25
    JockBoy87
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by TX-Beau View Post
    Fundamentalists do not think that the bible tells them to judge others, they justify judgement usually by "hating the sin," and outright hypocrisy. You will never convince them of anything at all by debating the bible, interpretation, or doctrine. Because they are what they are because of custom and tradition, not biblical scholarship. The bible means exactly what they want it to mean and nothing you say will ever change that.

    If you want to change their minds (having grown up with them let me say that there are very very few you will ever reach - they ARE fundamentalists for a reason) you have to leave the religion out of it and demonstrate why they are wrong by being yourself.

    I have never seen a fundamentalist do anything other than dig in the heels when presented with a religious debate.
    That is not what I find.

    Televangelicals constantly say that we should judge others.

    Consider this explicit declaration from notorious homophobe Bryan Fischer:

    If judging other people is wrong, then, to personalize it, [the leftist] has no moral right to judge me, which is exactly what he is doing by condemning me for criticizing deviant sexual behavior.

    http://www.afa.net/Blogs/BlogPost.aspx?id=2147530935

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by TX-Beau View Post
    Fundamentalists do not think that the bible tells them to judge others, they justify judgement usually by "hating the sin," and outright hypocrisy. You will never convince them of anything at all by debating the bible, interpretation, or doctrine. Because they are what they are because of custom and tradition, not biblical scholarship. The bible means exactly what they want it to mean and nothing you say will ever change that.
    That is very astute. Unfortunately, they are going to find themselves soon to be a marginalized minority group. One thing I have had to learn, when dealing with the kinds of people you are talking about, is that you have to either accept them for what they are or wash your hands of them. They can no more change what they are than you can change the fact that you're gay.

    I am a lot closer, emotionally, to my father than I am to my mother. My mother is often terribly weak-stomached, and she is terribly impatient. Although at heart she does care, she has trouble being very affectionate or showing warmth. The consequence, though, has simply been that there is a lot more of a connection when I am talking to my father. However, my father is a thousand times the Glen Beck-loving Jesus nut that she is. Although I can have a rational conversation with my mother about politics, it's not something that I can really discuss with my father. My mother eventually said something to me, though, that I realize now was very wise: "you won't change him, you know."

    I just think that some people just lose their ability to really stop and consider things, and I think that some of us take that ability for granted. It's a child-like state of mind in which we are like clay, waiting to be molded. If we can hold onto it, we remain like the uncarved block, and we are able to comprehend new ideas. Maybe not as quickly as when we were kids, but we can still do it. When we let it go, though, it's gone. We lose that fluidity.

    I can have a very fond relationship with my father, but that part of him is dead.

    I have never seen a fundamentalist do anything other than dig in the heels when presented with a religious debate.
    I have known plenty of non-religious people who are just as bad on certain topics. When confronted with something they do not understand, they can balk and dig in their heels. When their assumptions are challenged, they can cross their arms and plug their ears to reason like the most seasoned fundamentalist Christian, and they are every bit as haughty and full of shit. The religious do not have a monopoly on ignorance. In fact, the more clear this becomes to me, the more I focus my contempt not on any explicit belief system but on ignorance itself.

    If one is quoting one line from out of Matthew, for example, I do not accept the idea that there is an excuse not to read the chapter in its entirety, and one really ought to consider skimming through the book after having any discussion on it just for a refresher. It does not take very much energy to read, and it is an abomination if one claims a book as the source of one's religion yet never truly studies it.

    I cannot begin to tell you how depressing it was when I started trying to seriously discuss the Bible with Christians, and I discovered just how widespread illiteracy is in the population. I come away from these conversations thinking, "and these people claim they base their lives on this? Huh?"

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    That is not what I find.

    Televangelicals constantly say that we should judge others.

    Consider this explicit declaration from notorious homophobe Bryan Fischer:
    No where in your quote does Notorious Homophobe Bryan Fischer ( herein after referred to as NHBF) actually say that God or the Bible tells you you have a moral right to judge other people. That post is about sidestepping the "do not judge" criticism by telling people critical of NHBF that THEY can't judge HIM.

    In fact, the Evangelical double speak and hypocrisy is right there if you know what you're looking at.

    "...Leftists think it’s their trump card. Anytime a social conservative expresses criticism of, say homosexual behavior, the secular fundamentalist throws the “judge not” card on the table, declares game over, and smugly dares his vanquished opponent to breathe another word. ..."

    Hate the sin, not the sinner. The ONLY reference to Christians judging other people is couched in those terms. The rest of that blog post seems to be him pouting and being pussy hurt. Basically whining that the "leftists" are hypocrites for judging NHBF while telling him he's a judgmental ass and Christ said stop it.

    Which is bullshit since if you aren't Christian you can be as judgmental as you damn well please, but if you are, one expects you'll follow your own damn doctrine.

    Not once in all the years I was forced into church did I ever hear that God or the Bible gave anyone (other than God) explicit permission to judge people.

    Of course they judge people all the damn time. They just call it something else.
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Smith View Post
    That is very astute. Unfortunately, they are going to find themselves soon to be a marginalized minority group. One thing I have had to learn, when dealing with the kinds of people you are talking about, is that you have to either accept them for what they are or wash your hands of them. They can no more change what they are than you can change the fact that you're gay.

    I am a lot closer, emotionally, to my father than I am to my mother. My mother is often terribly weak-stomached, and she is terribly impatient. Although at heart she does care, she has trouble being very affectionate or showing warmth. The consequence, though, has simply been that there is a lot more of a connection when I am talking to my father. However, my father is a thousand times the Glen Beck-loving Jesus nut that she is. Although I can have a rational conversation with my mother about politics, it's not something that I can really discuss with my father. My mother eventually said something to me, though, that I realize now was very wise: "you won't change him, you know."

    I just think that some people just lose their ability to really stop and consider things, and I think that some of us take that ability for granted. It's a child-like state of mind in which we are like clay, waiting to be molded. If we can hold onto it, we remain like the uncarved block, and we are able to comprehend new ideas. Maybe not as quickly as when we were kids, but we can still do it. When we let it go, though, it's gone. We lose that fluidity.

    I can have a very fond relationship with my father, but that part of him is dead.

    I have known plenty of non-religious people who are just as bad on certain topics. When confronted with something they do not understand, they can balk and dig in their heels. When their assumptions are challenged, they can cross their arms and plug their ears to reason like the most seasoned fundamentalist Christian, and they are every bit as haughty and full of shit. The religious do not have a monopoly on ignorance. In fact, the more clear this becomes to me, the more I focus my contempt not on any explicit belief system but on ignorance itself.

    If one is quoting one line from out of Matthew, for example, I do not accept the idea that there is an excuse not to read the chapter in its entirety, and one really ought to consider skimming through the book after having any discussion on it just for a refresher. It does not take very much energy to read, and it is an abomination if one claims a book as the source of one's religion yet never truly studies it.

    I cannot begin to tell you how depressing it was when I started trying to seriously discuss the Bible with Christians, and I discovered just how widespread illiteracy is in the population. I come away from these conversations thinking, "and these people claim they base their lives on this? Huh?"
    A lot of times people on the left think that Fundamentalists are apparently Fundamentalist through some cosmic accident, and if we just point it out, they'll change.

    Well, Fundamentalists are Fundamentalists because they choose to be. There are Far more people like me who got out while the gettin' was good, because we didn't want to be Fundamentalists - and really, that's fine. Their religion, their choice. I don't have to like or associate with them.

    Gay people are huge targets these days, but the sad thing is, that if you look at Baptists of my Grandmother's generation, there was a chance for things to have gotten much better. Unfortunately, politics intervened and added all these banner issues to Fundamentalism that have grossly distorted the whole branch of Christianity. Issues that have no other purpose than to whip up frenzy and fear for cash and political gain.
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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    The anti-intellectual wing of the postmodernist movement is just as bad, but yeah. You know, it's really a strange form of neoteny that some of us maintain that weird polymorph ability later on in life. I think you see it most often in academics.

    The screwed-up thing is that my grandmother has it. If you're not following, I'm talking about that thing of retaining some level of plasticity later on in life. I mean, she's pretty firm on her commitment to her church, but she's actually shown a lot more adaptability than either of my parents, regarding both my sexuality and my opinions regarding religion. She's a fun gal, too. Lifelong, uncompromising teetotaler, but she'll play beer pong if you can find someone to do the drinking for her. Unsurprisingly, she's kind of like me in that she looks to be about half her age. Seriously, I still get carded, and I'm approaching 30.

    Well, anyway, one thing I wonder is just how much of it is congenital. Could it be that some of us just have a tendency to think like fundamentalists from birth, and some of us stay in a sort of child-like, metamorphic state until much later in life? Now, that's an interesting concept there...you see, I saw a special one time on Discovery, back when they still aired some educational content, about how an ancestor of Man called Homo Ergaster had a brain that was, as far as volume, more or less commensurate with ours, but they never experimented with new ways of doing things. They could make primitive tools, but the means of making them were passed down virtually unchanged, generation after generation. The thing is, though, the kind of inquisitiveness that it takes to be "inventive" is really a child-like trait. It is true neoteny.

    Interesting.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    In order to defeat these arguments in a way that is convincing to those people, a debate must be held that challenges them on their own terms, i.e. a fundamental interpretation of Biblical text.
    What if fundamentalists were not deeply concerned about the intellectual integrity of their political and social programmes?
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    What if fundamentalists were not deeply concerned about the intellectual integrity of their political and social programmes?
    But they are interested in a literal reading of the Bible.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    But they are interested in a literal reading of the Bible.
    What if "literal" means "Yeah, that's what I always figured..." to someone who is not deeply concerned about the intellectual integrity of his theology?

    What if "literal" means "the emotional act of proclaiming with gusto?"

    It depends on what the definition of "is" is.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    But they are interested in a literal reading of the Bible.
    Does a literal reading of the new testament mean that we ought not judge murder, rape and greed?
    “Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.” ~ Mark Twain

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoltanspawn View Post
    Does a literal reading of the new testament mean that we ought not judge murder, rape and greed?
    Correct. The public is not charged with judging criminal matters.

    That's why both the Constitution and the Bible mandate courts. In fact it's one of the first commandments in the old testament known as one of the "Noahide Laws."

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    Correct. The public is not charged with judging criminal matters.

    That's why both the Constitution and the Bible mandate courts. In fact it's one of the first commandments in the old testament known as one of the "Noahide Laws."
    It's widely viewed by christians that the judicial predisposition of the OT was overturned by Jesus.

    Tactically speaking, I think you'll have a hard time convincing literalists that they ought not adopt, even as the general public, a moral position against criminal matters like rape.

    Other problematic matters, like greed, envy, anger, lie outside the purview of the courts.

    Fundamentalists won't interpret the prohibition against judgment as a mandate for legalism.

    On the other hand, as I lack any real expertise with the bible, it may be that your interpretation of literalism is textually accurate.
    “Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.” ~ Mark Twain

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    And the famous verse in Matthew chapter 7 verse 1

    Judge not, so that you will not be judged.
    Matthew 7:1 is often quoted out of context. If you read the full chapter, you will see that judgment of each other is expected. The follower is expected to know and judge himself before attempting to judge others; however, the need to judge is apparent – “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

    It seems logical that Christians must have some way of differentiating good from evil. Perhaps they can derive most of those conclusions from scripture, but they must also be careful to avoid deception and lies from others who claim to understand the truth. Certain behaviors are understood to be evil, but the Christian must use his judgment continuously in the process of making decisions when going about his daily life.

    The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.


    Psalms 37:30
    Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
    Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

    Amos 5:14-15
    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    1 Corinthians 1:10
    Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
    Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
    Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
    If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
    I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

    1 Corinthians 6:1-5
    Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

    Romans 16:17-18
    Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

    2 Corinthians 6:17
    Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
    For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts

    2 Timothy 3:5-6
    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    1 John 4:1
    Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

    Malachi 3:18
    I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

    Revelation 2:2
    Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

    John 7:24
    To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

    Isaiah 8:20
    For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
    For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

    1 Corinthians 11:30-31
    Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

    Matthew 7:4-5

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    So, what is the problem with judgment in Matthew 7:1?
    “Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.” ~ Mark Twain

  38. #38

    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    This must be the Dot Cotton show.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    But they are interested in a literal reading of the Bible.
    Not in the sense you seem to be implying. Their "literalism," is not your literalism. Fundamentalists apply their brand of Christianity TO the Bible. They don't sit around debating minutia, there are no "courts" of theological opinion or otherwise, they have a kind of traditional practice and "understanding" of what the Bible "literally" says that is as much custom as scholarship, probably more.

    They know what the Bible says not because it actually says it (though they can cherry pick to support just about anything like nobody's business) but because they feel God's "word" in their hearts. Pastors and Preachers operate Sunday services in the realm of emotion and theatrics - NOT scholarship. You can't debate that.

    There is no tradition or expectation of things like "Rabbinical Courts," debates on interpretation or anything even remotely related. At most if you have questions or dissenting opinions you can talk privately to the preacher - who will of course be very kind about telling you you're full of it.

    That's why these Churches are pretty autonomous and have a tendency to devolve into cults of personality. The only authority is the preacher - not the Bible, and he decides (or some times groups of them decide) what the Bible literally says. The people are not there out of a love of theological debate, or literalism like you're defining it, they are there because of how the sevice makes them feel. The Bible - whatever you think it actually says, is pretty much just a prop in the production.
    ATTACK OF THE LIBERAL ELITE

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    Consider this explicit declaration from notorious homophobe Bryan Fischer:

    If judging other people is wrong, then, to personalize it, [the leftist] has no moral right to judge me, which is exactly what he is doing by condemning me for criticizing deviant sexual behavior.http://www.afa.net/Blogs/BlogPost.aspx?id=2147530935

    This collection of words is from the same link:
    It’s worth noting in passing that whatever Jesus did mean by “judge not lest you be judged,” he did not mean what leftists think he meant.
    Does this help?


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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by TX-Beau View Post
    Not in the sense you seem to be implying. Their "literalism," is not your literalism. Fundamentalists apply their brand of Christianity TO the Bible. They don't sit around debating minutia, there are no "courts" of theological opinion or otherwise, they have a kind of traditional practice and "understanding" of what the Bible "literally" says that is as much custom as scholarship, probably more.

    They know what the Bible says not because it actually says it (though they can cherry pick to support just about anything like nobody's business) but because they feel God's "word" in their hearts. Pastors and Preachers operate Sunday services in the realm of emotion and theatrics - NOT scholarship. You can't debate that.

    There is no tradition or expectation of things like "Rabbinical Courts," debates on interpretation or anything even remotely related. At most if you have questions or dissenting opinions you can talk privately to the preacher - who will of course be very kind about telling you you're full of it.

    That's why these Churches are pretty autonomous and have a tendency to devolve into cults of personality. The only authority is the preacher - not the Bible, and he decides (or some times groups of them decide) what the Bible literally says. The people are not there out of a love of theological debate, or literalism like you're defining it, they are there because of how the sevice makes them feel. The Bible - whatever you think it actually says, is pretty much just a prop in the production.
    This was evident to me from my end of the telescope, because I'm really that far from evangelism in my family, my community, my social circles, my education… It's wonderful to hear the insider's perspective, and delightful that you escaped.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Hi JockBoy87,

    If you are dealing with fundamentalists, there is a limited basis for judgment provided in the New Testament. In his first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul clarifies his position on judgment and makes it clear that there is room for Christians to judge others who are in the Church, but that it is for God only to judge those who are outside of the church. The purpose of judgment in this case is to keep the church pure/clean, not to force all people everywhere to turn from their sins. This becomes clearer if you read the section immediately preceding in the beginning of chapter 5. Paul rebuked a situation where a man had an ongoing sexual relationship with his father's wife, something "that is not even found among the pagans", and yet the church did nothing about it. Scandalous!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, NIV
    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral persons— not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? God will judge those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.”
    You could make the argument that since you are an atheist, a Christian has no right to judge you according to the standards of the church. Usually, even fundamentalists will cede this point. Whether they will actually back down is less certain. In the midst of a heated "culture war", I've encountered many fundamentalists who honestly feel that their judgmental attitudes are justified because they think they are defending their faith against the "gay agenda" which they fear is coming to destroy marriage, convert their children, and generally lead to the complete and total downfall of America. In reality, they are drowning in their own ignorance, and only education can help that.

    Personally, I would make the argument that the Bible does not condemn gays or lesbians at all, but that is a much more involved argument and I don't think it's necessary for your purposes. Fundamentalists are more likely to accept the argument that they can't judge you because you are not a Christian than they are to accept the argument that being gay is not actually a sin. One argument is simple and relatively easy to accept, while the other requires you to actually justify yourself and turn their theological heads upside down... something most people are too stubborn to do! lol. Anyway, hope this helps.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Romans 14:

    13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge ye this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock in his brother's way, or an occasion of falling.

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    Re: Where is the Right to Judge?

    Quote Originally Posted by mbamike View Post
    Romans 14:

    13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge ye this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock in his brother's way, or an occasion of falling.
    John 7:

    21 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

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