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Passions in Poetry

Judging and choosing

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Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea

0 posted 10-27-2001 01:21 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Here is chapter 7 of Mathew (New King James version)

1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. 6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. 13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because F32 narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' 24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

--The basic issue (so far) is how do you reconcile the first part with the later "you will know the tree by it's fruit."

--Interloper has said that I misunderstand the first versus here (which may very well be true), but any help and/or advice will be greatly appreciated.


Immortal Beloved
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since 10-17-2001
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the carpathians

1 posted 10-27-2001 02:07 AM       View Profile for Immortal Beloved   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Immortal Beloved's Home Page   View IP for Immortal Beloved

hmmm...personal veiw:
i would apply the first verses to petty judgements. like judging someone by mere appearance or a single statement you don't agree with.and then deciding you don't like them or there's no reason for you to treat them with civility.(<-is that a word?)

the last verses....often in the bible fruit is a figurative symbol for works,all through isaiha and othr parts of the bible it talks about metaphorical vineyard bearing good and bad fruitage refering to the nation of israel. but anyway,that's not the point,point: fruit means works,judging a person by what they say or what they look like is one thing,but judging someone by what they actually do,their "works" is quite another. You know the tree by it's fruit,aside from what a person says or appears to be,what they do is really what they are. Not to be confused with THINKING you know what someone does and what you truely perceive a person to do.
Local Rebel
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Southern Abstentia

2 posted 10-27-2001 02:28 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I don't think one can hope to reconcile the first part of this sermon with the last part without a broader understanding of the context.  Just taking the (interpreted) words point blank is what seems to present the paradox.

The major themes of Jesus ministry have to be considered in order to fully comprehend what is said here.

-- Judging not lest being judged -- once again the admonishment that everyone falls short of the mark -- even when people said Jesus was good he said -- don't call me good -- only God is good.

-- Understanding Jesus was extremely anti church establisment -- driving money changers out of the temple -- arguing at length with pharises and sadducees -- it was those that held themselves up as 'good' that he distrusted... and he is again saying -- these people aren't good -- the fruit of trees he directs clearly at the false prophets -- who hold themselves up as good -- but if you watch them long enough -- they stumble and fall and their sins will surface -- sometimes dramatically --

the problem with this passage is that since Christianity has become the establishment people attempt to apply it to the rank and file  -- or even to criminals -- and that was not the intent.

So, I think Brad -- your take on that other thread in the alley on Eradicating Evil -- was pretty damn close to the mark for a non Bible scholar.
serenity blaze
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3 posted 10-29-2001 04:12 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Serenity enters, sighing and timidly raising her hand...

The first passage? "Judge not, lest ye be judged,---I take as an admonishment of warning as to karmic consequences of not just our actions, but our very thoughts. The bit about removing the mote from thy brother's eye? I see multiple meanings but one of which is that a drowning person is in no shape to be a lifeguard. (If you truly wish to help your brother, you have a personal responsibility to maintain self to be of any real help.)

7? "Ask and ye shall receive..." This one gets into a personal spiritual view of mine that because of the gift of free will, even such a thing as divine intervention or assistance is by invitation only---one must first acknowledge that what you need cannot be done by your own will, but requires the assistance of a higher power, which requires that we ASK.

12 would be more on karmic law.

13--I have had some interesting conversations on this scripture, what comes to mind especially is someone who took a Buddhist slant is...he interpreted "narrow is the gate" and "the way is straight and narrow" as a reference to Yogic posture of meditation and a metaphor for the position of the spine--which accordingly to his beliefs, would allow for a proper channeling of spiritual energy to circulate among the "chakras"--(spiritual energy centers in the etheric body) I still ponder his viewpoint, not sure if I am in agreement or not, but found it interesting nevertheless.

15-19 Also confuses me I am not quite certain as to whether this is as simplistic as do not judge by appearances. But, therein lies the quandary of the necessity of SOME judgement. But then there is the added thought to not to mindlessly follow the traditions and thoughts of another, as to follow someone else's path, means that you must first leave your own.

20-27? I take as a warning against empty, repetition as opposed to heartfelt, daily soul searching, with a goal of "personal best" as objective. I also recall a conversation with a monk who equated the Catholic recitations of The Rosary, etc. to Buddhist chanting. As an EXERCIZE of meditation to remove thought of self before actual prayer. Not to dig in deeper, but he further added the teaching you cannot fill a cup that is already full, and to "take no thought" and further related that one must empty self of self in order to receive the gift of holy spirit.

As for the other discussions, the idea was presented that Jesus was considered a danger to Judaism because he taught through parable the secrets of Jewish mysticism, thus threatening the powerhold of the priest/rabbis of the Temple. Another interesting sidenote given to me was the parable of the Jewish scribes (?) asking Christ (By whose authority do you teach?)

Forgive my lack of chapter verse quotes, as I've said before, my memory sucks.

But I did find this an interesting thread in light of my recent experience with a friend who has gone dangerously batty--and don't we HAVE to judge somewhat if we are to assume responsible protection of ourselves and therefore our family? Hmmmm....

Forgive me, here, but I am in a true moral quandary. (serenity once again exits...fading to black...)

[This message has been edited by serenity (edited 10-29-2001).]

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Member Rara Avis
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Deep in the heart

4 posted 10-29-2001 05:59 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Brad, Reb, Enchantress

Some good thinking here.  With regard to verses 1-6, Matthew Henry says:
We must judge ourselves, and judge of our own acts, but not make our word a law to everybody. We must not judge rashly, nor pass judgment upon our brother without any ground. We must not make the worst of people. Here is a just reproof to those who quarrel with their brethren for small faults, while they allow themselves in greater ones. Some sins are as motes, while others are as beams; some as a gnat, others as a camel. Not that there is any sin little; if it be a mote, or splinter, it is in the eye; if a gnat, it is in the throat; both are painful and dangerous, and we cannot be easy or well till they are got out. That which charity teaches us to call but a splinter in our brother's eye, true repentance and godly sorrow will teach us to call a beam in our own. It is as strange that a man can be in a sinful, miserable condition, and not be aware of it, as that a man should have a beam in his eye, and not consider it; but the god of this world blinds their minds. Here is a good rule for reprovers; first reform thyself.
Since the discussion was centered upon "judge not lest you be judged" I will limit my discussion to that.

Jesus was saying not to judge any man (or woman) without full, clear and certain knowledge, without absolute necessity, and without tender love.

More later  

[This message has been edited by Interloper (edited 10-29-2001).]

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5 posted 10-31-2001 12:18 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos


a few thoughts...

In the first part of the passage.  "Judge not lest you be judged...".  He is teaching on how we should be merciful to others' faults, quirks, or  offences.   This seems to me what he is saying... If we are exacting and impatient with others,  lenient with ourselves, we will recieve judgement from God.  And when we complain that the consequences are too hard, we will hear from him something like.  "But I am only judging you with your very own standard".   It goes right in line with the biblical teaching that "love covers a multitude of sins".  

The other seemingly contridictory part can easily be reconciled when you consider the words "Beware of false prophets".  These are the ones we are told to discern and to "know" by their fruit.  The former was our relation to our fellows.  This is our relation to our leaders especially in spiritual things.  We are not told to be merciless or rebellious here. . . just to "beware", and to be keen.  Learn the difference between the wooly wolf and the Lamb of God.  When that is understood, the two become harmonious... and both are for our protection.

Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea

6 posted 11-01-2001 01:41 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Great stuff.

Thanks to all who offered interpretations.

I was wondering if anybody would be interested in more stuff like this -- a kind secular, egalitarian Bible study class if you will.  

We just put up more chapters and offer our own interpretations. I think it'd be interesting but the danger, as always, would be disagreement.

What do you think?


Local Rebel
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Southern Abstentia

7 posted 11-01-2001 07:14 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

disagreement is danger? lol
The Lady of Shallot
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since 10-03-2001
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8 posted 11-01-2001 12:20 PM       View Profile for The Lady of Shallot   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit The Lady of Shallot's Home Page   View IP for The Lady of Shallot

I don't know what to make of this. I wasn't expecting a spiritual subject but I applaud you. What a hot topic.

So much talk about judging. People want tolerance. And yes, we should be tolerant of everyone, all people, everywhere. We don't know, we haven't walked in their shoes, we don't know their pain, sorrow or heartache.
But the kind of judging in Matthew I believe refers to having a humility. Yes, that's right, I believe, and of course I could be wrong, I'm no Bible scholar, but having a humility and an open heart for people.

If you find fault what should you do?  Well, you should go to the person and ask them. Ask them, point out their wrong and speak with them about it. Not judging, but one on one.

I believe God is the only one who is qualified to judge.  We don't know another's heart, we could be wrong and if we are?
Then we ourselves will also be judged.
It's the same with forgiveness, if you want it, you have to give it.


-befriend yourself and you will never be alone-

serenity blaze
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9 posted 11-01-2001 08:04 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Brad? I think it's a GREAT idea...and as for disagreement? That's not news....let's go for it!!!
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