Friday, July 18, 2008

Good Judgment

I have pondered what to write next for days, but "judging with right judgment" is relatively easy and I need not be long-winded here.

Keep love for the other person the main focus. Draw from Jesus within and speak the truth in love. The truth being simply what you observe in the material world. Keep condemnation out of your heart.

Some relationships include judgment on a regular basis: parent/child; teacher/student; employer/employee; policeman/ get the idea. All of these relationships are fruitful when the judgment needed simply observes the facts and uses these appropriately toward an outcome which is natural in the context of the relationship. Replicating this believer to believer is a supernatural experience from which we cannot shrink away. What the world sees and judges us by, and thereby "judges" our God is our love one for another.

Simply put to judge (analyze, objectify, discern, critique, estimate, categorize) without condemnation is a hallmark of love.


Craig V. said...

Amen brother. Now all that remains is the simple matter of living this great truth :-).

ded said...

Living any great truth means living in The Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ, no? Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." There is no other way to live any part of truth.

Craig V. said...

Yes, we can only live truth by living in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. One thing I've gained from reading Ansel recently is that Christians, following our Lord, used to see truth more as conformity to God's will (in other words lived) than as simply propositional (and this from one of the princes of propositions).

ded said...

And keeping things from being merely propositional is probably both an individual and corporate attitude,


State of being, perhaps best describes. Interesting, He is the Great I Am, the Great State of Being.

If I am seeking to be, am I?

I am in Him is the only state that satisfies these words He has named Himself.

Craig V. said...

In my comment above I meant Anselm (I'm prone to computos, called typos in the pre high tech world).

Anselm is somewhat individualistic, but I think you raise a good point. The body of Christ (who is the Truth) is not an individual but a community.

Anselm does relate existence (being) to truth (being in conformity to God's will). As I was reading him I would sometimes chuckle to myself that he was an existentialist ahead of his time. We could say that for Anselm, to exist is to be in conformity to God's will. This fits well the imagery C.S. Lewis gives us in The Great Divorce where evil people are shadows compared to real (redeemed) people.

ded said...

I have thought some on our (yours and mine, craig v.) various comparisons and insights of individual and corporate experience.

The other day it struck me that some of the differences in our insights are relative to region. I am a product of the old "Deep South" and this is firmly rooted in the infamous "Bible-belt" mentality. You are a product of the "independent" Wild West.

I see you developing your Christian thinking within a regional culture more individualistic and secular, while my background is one of strong forces to enter into conformity and religion.

Your search for Truth has led you to understand the value of the Body of Christ, and I have searched for the place where one is freed from stifling social custom that is of man and not our Lord(the cooperation between church and state that I knew as a child to marginalize a people group based on skin color is just one example of the oppressive spiritual climate of this region).

I hope our exchange continues, as I learn much from you, my brother.

Many cultural realities of the age in which you and I matured are passed or passing. Christianity needs no revamping or new twists to be relevant. However, living its beauty free from cultural arthritis will always be a challenge believers need to face.

Craig V. said...

Great point! I think our different concerns are in part due to the regions we live in.

Living free from cultural arthritis may not be possible (depending on what you mean). The holy grail of a cultureless expression of Christianity is, in my view, an attempt to not be human. The Bible itself is enmeshed in culture (I know that's controversial, but it seems pretty obvious to me). Our quest should then be, it seems to me, to remove the arthritis without somehow thinking that we'll end up with a cultureless expression of the Truth.

ded said...

I am not sure what I meant...hope that doesn't surprise you!

I know that as a Christian I should be able to relate to the culture around me. I have used that more than once to justify seeing a movie I wanted to see. sigh.

I don't think that in making my cultural arthritis comment that I was attempting to start an argument for a new monasticism.

However, when Christian expression serves any kind of cultural mandate, I have to wonder if that is in line with the teachings of Jesus. Can one be culturally relevant and an alien in this life?

I think so, but I need others to help me define what that means.

Craig V. said...

That doesn't surprise me. That's why I raise the question. Many of the words we use have ambiguities built in. In fact, when I used the word 'culture' in my post it has the same problem.

ded said...

I think I meant in the same way arthritis cripples with stiffness, culture can likewise resist change in a crippling way.

This is not to say that we must seek a cultureless Christianity, but that our Christianity needs a purity which is the Kingdom within us at the expense of following cultural mandates (stiffness), rather than the reverse.