Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Riddle of Judgment

     The Lord of All Worlds has said, "Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged."

     One of His holy Apostles has said, "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?"

     I see a riddle here.  Riddles invite answers; or at least, thought.

     But if it is a riddle, it is a holy riddle.  If it is a holy riddle, it invites a serious answer; or at least serious thought.  I have been thinking seriously about this.

*       *       *

     Your thoughts are most welcome.


  1. My assumption, and I could be wrong (I was born again only less than a year ago), is that the context is Righteous Judgment versus Unrighteous Judgment. Christians are equipped to judge righteously, particularly within the context of the church to the extent that we abide in Christ and by the Word of God -- never according to our flesh.

    The passage 1 Corinthians 5:12 comes to mind: "For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?" (ESV) If one is not walking righteously (clinging to the cross for dear life!), however, judging is a pathway to folly indeed. Thoughts?

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    I wonder if a clue to the riddle is found in a second riddle -- or rather, a paradoxical statement spoken by Jesus and recorded in the book of John.

    "I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true."

    Further thoughts?

  3. Sorry, should have put my name to make this a little more natural. Great question...

    Here is the context of that statement:
    "Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one."

    Again, I think this links "judge not lest ye be judged" to judging in the flesh, but it is fascinating that Jesus says here that He does not judge, even though His judgement would be true.

    This seems to be deferring judgment of the flesh (which is under the law) to the Father, which begs the question -- can Christians ever judge? And I think they can within the context of righteous judgment within the spirit, within the church, but we are NOT judges of the flesh, which is subject to the law of God.

    Your further thoughts? :)

  4. Here's some food for thought commentary based on a broader context of Corinthians, starting with 1 Corinthians 5:13.

    God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    (Brad B: I think this is why Jesus says he judges no one when He states to his audience that they are judging according to the flesh.")

    When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?

    (Brad B: again, the law applies to the flesh, but the saints seem to presently have jurisdiction within the spirit/church)

    Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

    (Brad B: This seems to imply that the saints WILL judge the world eventually, but I am assuming that God the Father does that for now and Christians can judge righteously WITHIN the church/spirit until that point.)

  5. Dear Brad,

    The system is eating my comments today! (This is my third attempt to respond.)

    I take it that Christ, in the Sermon, was inviting, or invoking, that His disciples, all of us, are to share His Mind. And as we do, we, like Him, "judge no man." And we can follow Him right down the mountain, from the Sermon into the World, "judging no man."

    As we live and move in His Mind, in the World, it also follows that "if I judge, my judgment is true." In small matters of the day, and, at some point, in the matters of angels.

    The key idea of this thought lies in the knowing, and having, the Mind of Christ.

    Which is similar to, or identical with, your phrase, "within the context of righteous judgment within the spirit."