Monday, February 18, 2008

Judge not - 3 Nephi 14:1-5

1 AND now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he turned again to the multitude, and did open his mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye.

(Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 14:1 - 5)

My comments:
The significance that I get from verses 1 and 2 is the need to be tolerant and merciful. When a woman was caught in the act of adultery and brought to the Lord by her accusers, they wanted to stone her, and they wanted to know what the Lord would do with her. He said, that let him that was without sin cast the first stone, See John 8:7.

Not having reached perfection yet, who am I to cast aspersions at someone else? Who am I to talk about how great I am in comparison to anyone else?

Ironically, and unfortunately, I see this sort of unjustified judging going on amongst people of different faiths. With Mitt Romney having recently been in the Presidential race, I read several hate filled diatribes on-line, by those that claimed to be Christian espousing how evil my religion is. In retaliation, I saw too many members of my faith not willing to turn the other cheek.

Even those that were not of my faith, but took exception to how the LDS church was being impugned by so-called “Christians” had a bitter taste in their mouths about how we were portrayed. Ultimately, Christianity loses from these arguments. Non-believers might justifiably look at the hate being spewed by those that call themselves Christian and say, “If that’s Christianity, I don’t want to have anything to do with it.”

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article that included: "On the Internet, the Romney bid prompted an outpouring of broadsides against Mormonism from both the secular and religious worlds. Evangelical Christian speakers who consider it their mission to criticize Mormon beliefs lectured to church congregations across the country. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the Catholic journal First Things, wrote that a Mormon presidency would threaten Christian faiths. Atheist author Christopher Hitchens called Mormonism "a mad cult" on, and Bill Keller, a former convict who runs an online ministry in Florida, told a national radio audience that a vote for Mr. Romney was a vote for Satan."

Where religious intolerance rules, Christianity suffers.

Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). When I incorporate his teachings, like those stated in the verses above, into my life, it drives out the need to be better than anyone else. I don’t consider myself superior to others, rather I see all men as children of a loving Heavenly Father, and therefore I should extend a hand out, and a hand up, to all around me and leave the bitterness of dissent to others.

The last thing that I would want to have happen, would be to someday return to my Savior and have him call me a hypocrite because of how I judged others.

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