Unconditional Love – BT2
Unconditional-love sometimes has to be tough, so it calls for ‘just, fair, gentle judgment’
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In our Politically-Correct (PC) environment, it seems everybody is quick to quote Jesus, “Krino judge (a) me not in possibility, and you will me not in possibility be judged (a)” (b), but a fuller version of this same teaching (c) links to it “katadikazo condemn-as-guilty (d) me not in possibility, and you will me not in possibility be condemned (d); apoluo forgive, and you will be forgiven” (c). In this latter version, because of the connection to “condemnation” the “krino judgment” in mind is likely that of a court judge who “separates into 2 piles” to free/loose people as either innocent or bind/condemn people as guilt. This has a real finality about it! Also Jesus isn’t referring to NOT absolutely-in-fact judging (ou or ouk), but of me possibility. This allows for God’s unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace through the blood of Christ to be the justice that is enacted upon our failures, thus Christ’s final thought – forgiveness. We need forgiveness from God, just as others do from us.
We also have to remember that Jesus is talking to Jewish people on a hillside in the early part of His ministry who were very judgmental under a very judgmental Law of Moses. It wasn’t until much later that Jesus speaks to His Christian apostles that He will “give them keys of the kingdom of heaven, so whatever you ‘bind’ [as a judge] on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you ‘loose’ [as a judge] shall be loosed in heaven” (e). Nor is Jesus referring to societal judgment: “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (f) authority. Civil judges should judge in civil courtrooms to keep law and order to maintain society from falling into chaos, where evil people would be quick to oppress the innocent, so Paul makes clear we are to obey as ordained by God (g) as we will speak of next. There are many different forms of judging and context determines what we can and can’t do, individually, civilly, and in the Church. We will find that to not judge can me the most unloving thing to do.
<Notes> a) krino: separate/distinguish as with separating grain from the chaff, pick-out or choose by separating, come to a choice/decision/opinion/judgment either positive or negative, typically of right versus wrong or superior versus inferior or innocence versus guilt, especially against an official or legal standard in order to be accurate in order to make an intelligent comparison/contrast, thus to bring to trail or trying of fact in a court of law. b) Matthew 7:1, c) Luke 6:37, d) katadikazo: down-upon-judging, condemn in an exact, personal manner, thus to pronounce guilty as a judge in a court of law. See also the verb katakrino: to krino judge “down upon” or against, worthy of punishment, to sentence as damned: Matthew 12:41-42, 20:18, 27:3; Mark 10:33, 14:64, 16:16; Luke 11:31-32; John 8:10-11; Romans 2:1, 8:3, 34, 14:23; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 11:7; 2 Peter 2:6. See also the noun katakrisis: “krisis qualitative krino judging, but in this case only negatively because it is “down-up” you as a sentence of condemnation, the prefix kata also used to mean ‘decidedly’ guilty: 2 Corinthians 3:9, 7:3. See also the noun katakrima: down-upon krima judgment result/verdict, the exact sentence of condemnation handed down after the due process of krima judging: Romans 5:16, 18, 8:1. e) Matthew 16:19, 18:18 – see below, f) Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17; Luke 20:25, g) Romans 13:1-7.
Paul says in Romans 13:1-7, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities . . . for those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur [judicial] krima judgment (a). For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to evil. Would you have no fear (or reverential respect and awe) of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers/servants of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” There is so much written in the bible condemning anarchy and lawlessness! <Notes> a) krima is the noun of krino verb: judgment, emphasizing its result/verdict rather than qualitative aspect seen in krisis – see below note ‘c.’ This dramatically links cause to effect, every decision or action to inevitable eternal results/verdicts.
Jesus isn’t so much against judgment as too many Christians believe, as we’ve seen above. He also said, “why do you absolutely in fact not krino judge for yourself what is right?” (a) and “Do not in possibility krino judge by appearances, but instead krino judge [with] righteous-just-equitable (b) krisis judgment (c)” (d). <Notes> a) Luke 12:57, b) dikaios: right, judicially-approved or God-approved because it is just/righteous, fair, equitable, c) krisis: where we get the word “crisis”, noun form of krino, thus judgment that emphasizes its positive-negative qualitative aspect, whether positively of ‘you are right’ resulting in acquittal or negatively of ‘you are wrong’ resulting in condemnation – see also note ‘a’ above for krima that emphasizes the actual result/verdict, d) John 7:24.
The NT is also clear that we aren’t supposed to krino judge those in the world, but it does give specific instructions for krino judging those in the Church. For example, in 1 Corinthians 5:11-12 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6 concerning Christians practicing sin who wouldn’t repent, Paul says to “not even associate with them or even share a meal, because “is it not those inside the Church whom you are to krino judge?” for as Peter also says: “krima judgment does begin in the house of God” (a). Paul continues: “For what have I to do with krino judging outsiders?” and in another writing, Paul says: “Do you not know that the saints shall, in the future, krino judge the world? And so if the world is to be krino judged by you, are you incompetent to krino judge trivial cases (b)?” (c). Later in that letter, Paul says: “But if we [rightly] diakrino discriminantly-judged (d) ourselves, we would absolutely in fact not come under continual/repeated (e) krino judging. But when we are krino judged by the Lord (Jesus), we are being paideuo child-trained (f) so that we may not be katakrino condemned along with the world (g)” (h). This is likely the type of the Lord’s paideuo discipline of His children (i) – see Least Among You – BT11.
<Notes> a) 1 Peter 4:17, b) cases within the Church to keep them from going to civil judges. James 2:6 is incensed that some rich people were “dragging into court to oppress and dishonor” poor Christians,” and in context implying that some so-called “Christians” were doing this, c) 1 Corinthians 6:2, d) diakrino: to judge thru-the-realizing-channel-of, the prefix used for emphasize, thus to judge thoroughly, thus to investigate or discriminate thoroughly either rightly by close-reasoning or wrongly by going too far, or to judge by vacillating back and forth, as determined by the context, e) the rare imperfect tense “kept on” used here, where normally the present tense would be used for current action often with an ongoing sense, f) paideuo: trained/reared/instructed like a child, g) by default the world is condemned: John 3:17; Hebrews 11:7, h) 1 Corinthians 11:31-32, i) Hebrews 12:10.
Jesus also gave clear instructions, which few churches follow, on dealing with Christians in unrepentant sin, first privately, then with 2-3 witnesses, then to the whole Church (a), only restoring them gently if they repent, otherwise treating them as you would a Gentile (b) or tax collector (c). That is “tough love!” Paul also says those “of the Spirit should restore sinning Christians by the Spirit of gentleness” (d) for the nature of unconditional-love, the singular fruit/nature of the Spirit, includes gentleness (e). <Notes> a) Matthew 18:15-20, b) godless, heathens, c) despised Jews collecting taxes for the Gentile Romans, d) Galatians 6:1, e) Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 4:21.
However, the ‘balance’ of fair, equitable, just judgment within the Church is expressed by James 2:1, 4, 4:11-12 “My brethren, show in possibility no [behavior] in/by/with prosopolempsia partiality (b) . . . if you pay attention to the one who wears fine clothing . . . while you are otherwise to the poor man . . . have you not then [wrongly] diakrino discriminating-judging among yourselves (Christians) and thus become krites judges (d) [here] with evil (context: unjust-inequitable) thoughts? . . . do not speak evil (context: unjust-inequitable accusations) against one another, [Christian] brethren. . . the one who krino judges his [Christian] brethren speaks evil (context: unjust accusations) against the Law (the just-equitable judgment of God) and/coupled krino judges the Law, but if you krino judge the Law, you are not a doer of the Law but a krites judge, but there is only One Lawgiver and/coupled One krites Judge, He who is able to save and to destroy, but who are you to be routinely krino judging your plesion neighbor (e)?”
<Notes> a) prosopolempsia: special respect of persons, Jew or Gentile or race or color or sex or wealth or position, thus showing favoritism, which is krino judging my outward appearances or circumstances and not in their intrinsic merits, thus preferring the rich, high-born, and powerful over the poor and destitute, b) but God shows no partiality in His judgment: Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Acts 10:34; Galatians 2:6, neither does Jesus: Luke 20:21, even if the result is negative: Colossians 3:25, and so neither should we: Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17, 16:19; Proverbs 24:23; Ephesians 6:9; James 2:1, 9, c) diakrino: to judge thru-the-realizing-channel-of, the prefix used for emphasize, thus to judge thoroughly, thus to investigate or discriminate thoroughly either rightly by close-reasoning or wrongly by going too far, or to judge by vacillating back and forth, as determined by the context, d) krites: judge who officially, legally krino judge for krisis positive or negative qualitative judgment or krima result that is a verdict of ‘not guilty’ or ‘guilty’ resulting in acquittal or condemnation katakrino or katadikazo, e) plesion: near/close one, fellow countrymen or fellow Jews as often in the Law such as ‘Love your neighbor,’ but here in context: Christian family members.
As Christian musicians, if we quote the bible and teach from it, shouldn’t we actually know what it says from the original Hebrew and Greek and not 1 of 900 English translations or other bibles in 3,415 languages? I guarantee you will see a lot of differences between even the 66 English translations on Biblegateway.com!
That goes for talking about whether we should judge or not! The NT uses a lot of very specific Greek words to help understand the differences that English often obscures! The NT speaks more about impartially, rightly, justly, or equitably judging others, especially those in the Church, than the NT speaks about NOT judging others, especially those NOT in the Church!
In fact, because of political-correctness and fear of lawsuit reprisal, ‘lack of Church discipline through excommunication’ of unrepentant sinning Christians in the Church, and some of these are teachers or leaders as we have often seen, has resulted in Satan having a hay-day: more of sin’s “stealing, destroying, and killing” seeps into the church so it loses it ‘salt preservation and light in the darkness’ ability to a decaying, dying world on its way to condemnation. Because of unconditional-love, God permits this Satanic judgment to come to the Church, hoping it will ‘wake-up’ by repenting and obeying God to then excommunicate unrepentant church members. However because of unconditional-love, God hopes it also will move the sinning Christian to repentance, escape Satan’s clutch, and be gently restored to His unconditional-loving koinonia fellowship with Him and His church. Few churches practice this today, to their demise, just as God promised would happen! They are doing the most unloving thing by not rightly judging the situation and excommunicating the sinner! Thus Jesus removes the lampstand of many of these churches! They are no longer salt and light to the world! His Spirit departs from them. I’ve seen this too many times!
Nevertheless, indiscriminate, partial or favoritism judging and certainly judge-like sentencing of condemnation is NOT “the Law of Christ” that is “to unconditionally-love one another as I have you,.” This often does bring “like kind, same measure” judgment against ourselves – we don’t have to wait for God to do this by “turning us over to Satan” towards repentance or wait for Judgment Day that is too late to repent, because often times the ‘boomerang’ comes back from people themselves! What goes around more often comes around! Unless God has appointed us a judge in civil or legal matters, it’s best to avoid sentencing others. Still, it is prudent to krino critically analyze, discriminately judge through deep investigation, and judge situations in order to rightly discern good versus evil. To not do so invites disaster!
Lord, keep us from creating false doctrine to confuse matters worse by building them from our English bibles that are so often not accurate. Although many of us have learned the original languages and/or know how to use the language tools to get a more accurate understanding, I know that NOW under the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant The Way, You NOW teach us to be like little children and ‘least among us’ to no longer rely on The Way of the Pharisee or scribe so-called ‘wise and understanding ones’ but to rely on discernment of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for showing me this in: Least Among You – BT7, – BT8, New Covenant Ways – BT16.
Spiritual Education, God’s Unconditional-Love that is Tough Love, Not all judging is wrong but the best is just equitable and right and gentle like Christ would, Government judging is to be honored and followed by Christians, Christians are given rightful authority to bind and loose in just judgment, Christians are to judge unrepentant sinners in the Church not the world, Christians are to judge disputes among themselves, We are to show no partiality or favoritism