It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


God or not-God;- Judgement and discernment

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 05:00 PM
Discernment is the act of recognising the distinction between two categories.
Judgement is the act of recognising a preference between the two categories.
In the Biblical perspective, true and final judgement is God’s work, not ours.
Yet we may and must exercise our discernment, an obligation imposed by the lines of division between two categories which fill every part of the Bible.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
There is the most fundamental division, right from the start.
On the one hand, the Creator. On the other hand, what was created.
Because creation has no independent existence, the relationship between the two is asymmetrical.

Beyond the initial distinction between God and the created world, there is a distinction within the created world between what is, and what is not, in line with God’s will.
And again this division is asymmetrical. The two sides of the boundary line do not have equal value. What is right (being God’s will) takes precedence over what is not right, just as the Creator himself takes precedence over his created world..

The fault of Adam and Eve was that they claimed the right to know the boundary line between right and wrong by their own independent judgement. In other words, they parted from God’s judgement, and thus parted from God’s will.

The rest of the Bible is about the long project of bringing us back into harmony with God’s will.
One of the first steps in this journey is the re-discovery of the true boundary between good and evil, the boundary which follows God’s judgement.
That is the intended purpose of the Law. The Law provided by Moses fulfils that purpose imperfectly, but it serves to encourage people and train people to look for the difference between the two.
The fundamental distinction in the Law is between “treating people the right way” and “treating people the wrong way”, and I looked at the social side of the Law in a previous series.

But the difference is also expressed in the ritual distinctions between “holy and unholy”, and between “clean and unclean”. I looked at some of these distinctions in recent threads, including the difference between clean and unclean food-animals, and the difference between clean and unclean states of health. Different seeds were not to be mixed together. I noted how any association with death is regarded as “unholy”.

So “clean or unclean” is one way of describing the difference between “right and not-right”. These ritual distinctions, trivial in themselves, are analogues of the distinction between good and evil.

One effect of this elaborate structure of rules was that they get people’s minds into the habit of looking for distinctions. This, in turn (though it doesn’t always work) gets them trained into looking for the one distinction that really matters- the distinction between good and evil.

The New Testament

The New Testament has given us the injunction “Do not judge” (Matthew ch7 v1),
Modern people try to turn this into a prohibition of discernment, which is why it is important to understand the difference.

“Discernment” is about recognising that there is a distinction between good and bad, between right and wrong, and trying to apply that distinction in human conduct.
When Jesus warns us against “judging”, he means the act of applying that judgement on human individuals, for which we are not qualified.

“Do not judge” is frequently quoted in response to criticism, as though Jesus meant “You must never say that something is wrong”.
But that cannot be right, because “Do not judge” itself is a declaration that something is wrong (viz. the act of judging). So anyone who quotes it in that sense is condemning himself- “I say that it is wrong to say that something is wrong”.
And if the original command had that meaning, it would have been contradicting itself.

The rest of the teaching of Jesus makes it clear that the distinction between right and wrong has not been abolished, and needs to be observed.
Everything that Jesus tells us about what we should or should not do is confirming that there is a difference.
That is why we are obliged to exercise our discernment.

We may not judge, on our own authority, but the New Testament makes it clear that there will be judgement.
One way or another, people are dividing themselves into those belonging, or not belonging, to God.
Jesus gives us the parable of the wheat and the tares (another example of seed-mixing).
The angels of the Son of man will gather in, separately, his elect (Matthew ch24 v31) and the evildoers and causes of sin (Matthew ch13 v41).
Other images relating to the separation include the division between those who sit at the table and those cast into outer darkness (Matthew ch8 vv11-12), and the division between the sheep and the goats (Matthew ch25 vv32-33).
Paul distinguishes between those who will receive “rest” and those who will receive “vengeance” when Christ returns (2 Thessalonians ch1 vv7-8).
In Revelation ch21, there are those who reside in the new Jerusalem and those who are excluded.
There is nothing to suggest that the two categories will ever be merged into one.
In other words, there is no promise of universal salvation.

When philosophy makes categories disappear, that has the effect of abolishing judgement, because it removes the standards by which judgement is carried out, and even removes the possibility of a dangerous “Other” by whom we might be judged.
I sometimes think that might account for the popularity of that kind of approach.
But that is not the Bible.
The Bible brings us face to face with a God who has the right to judge, and a human obligation of discernment in accordance with his will.

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 08:40 PM
Seems to be a common theme amongst non christians as well as many christians, that we should not judge.
We are commanded to forgive though we are also called to judge, just not condemn

Seems simple but lost on this generation.

posted on Aug, 8 2020 @ 12:08 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Discernment is to determine right from wrong.
Judgment in the religious sense is what will god forgive.

Praise and cursing should not come from the same lips.

We can’t say in one breath Jesus loves you. And in the next say you are going to hell for not believing.

posted on Aug, 8 2020 @ 07:25 AM
a reply to: Isurrender73
Another way of putting it is that personalised judgement is out of bounds, generalised judgement isnt. We may not say "I know you are going to hell", but we may say "some people will be left in outer darkness" because Jesus said it himself.
We may not say "You are evil because of what you are doing", but we may say "I have reason to belive that God objects to the kind of thing you are doing". The latter scenario is what commonly brings on the knee-jerk quotation of "Do not judge".

edit on 8-8-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 8 2020 @ 10:54 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Matthew 7: 1 Actually has a context that makes since.

1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

It makes sense that if people examine themselves first then they might not be so negatively critical toward others. It actually doesn't need any commentary.

There are people who very loudly condemn certain activities, thus casting shade on the people who do these things. Upon occasion it is exposed that the loud people engage in the same activities. That's called a scandal. And yes, they get the judgement of their colleagues and the people thrown right back at them.

My opinion piece:
Whether the people approve or disapprove of the activities is irrelevant, they have every right to throw that judgement back at the loud mouths.
edit on 8-8-2020 by pthena because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 9 2020 @ 01:49 AM
a reply to: pthena
You disregard the factor of whether God really does object to the practice in question. If he does, then the followers of the Biblical God have an obligation to say so. In the nineteenth century, for example, many church people convinced themselves, on sound Biblical authority, that God objects to human slavery and spoke accordingly.

The catch is, apart from the flaw that you mention, that many things get criticised on human authority rather than God's authority. The critic himself, or more likely a general consensus which the critic is accepting, is using God's name on very weak grounds. Without going into controversial issues, there is no real reason to suppose, for example, that God objects to people going to the theatre, or drinking alcohol as such (as distinct from getting drunk and violent), or eating meat, all of which have come under condemnation at different times.

The moral is that criticism needs to be done cautiously, involving a reasonable degree of certainty about being right.

posted on Aug, 9 2020 @ 08:40 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

The moral is that criticism needs to be done cautiously, involving a reasonable degree of certainty about being right.

Yes. The very definition of discernment.

posted on Aug, 10 2020 @ 03:05 PM
Try defining Judgments as God has in his word and not your opinion. First place to start is where God first uses it. here is the first use of judgments notice it is God who has laid out the meaning you will find them from Exodus 21-24 You will notice I quoted only one of God's judgement on the issue of Hebrew Servants to get to understanding of God's judgments. There are many many more but just this one is enough to establish a truth

. Ex 21:1 ¶ Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.
2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.
5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
From this we see God judgements is his statements on how they are to do things, it is God's instructions not an opinion. So Judgments are far different than judging someones actions or judging the word of God. While those are you or my personal Judgements they are not God's Judgments. This is very important for God's meaning of his words are far more important than our own.

Notice I said all this without attacking your character or besmirching lies from a familiar spirit.

I pass no judgment on you personally only on the words that are in Error to God's word.
edit on 8/10/2020 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 10 2020 @ 03:16 PM

originally posted by: ChesterJohn
Notice I said all this without attacking your character or besmirching lies a familiar spirit.

You have not yet withdrawn your previous attacks on my character, which you knew to be false at the moment you made them.

Until that happens, my position is unchanged.

Actually, that second one had better be spelt out again, because it is the point that you need to learn;

You may think you are serving the God of truth; but so long as you are consciously and deliberately promoting untruths about other people, you have entered the service of the Father of lies. This discredits anything you try to say in God's name.

edit on 10-8-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2020 @ 10:58 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I don't care about what you say, never have never will I judge by the words of God and nothing else.

You are wrong and he is correct. Your whole take on the book of Revelation is Amillennial or postmillennial ( I believe a combination of both) and are in error to the inspired words of God, because a majority of the verses in Revelation did not take place in 70ad. i.e. When in 70 ad after the Romans destroyed it was Jerusalem called a holy city as found in Rev 11? Never is the answer. You can fall back on the teaching of men and claim they called it that. But not even the Jews called it a holy city after 70Ad and still don't.

You said I had given up on serving the Lord. I did not. So it is obvious you did not get that from the Holy Ghost/Spirit. So it came from a lying spirit, which may be a familiar spirit on your part because you seem to listen to it meaning it is a spirit familiar to you. At least all my claims of your teaching and its affects were according to God's word and not from me, a false spirit or anything else.

edit on 8/12/2020 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2020 @ 11:11 AM
a reply to: ChesterJohn

You may think you are serving the God of truth; but so long as you are consciously and deliberately promoting untruths about other people, you have entered the service of the Father of lies. This discredits anything you try to say in God's name.

edit on 12-8-2020 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 13 2020 @ 09:23 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

But you promote untruths about me, the bible and other people so the pot is calling the kettle black.

posted on Aug, 13 2020 @ 11:08 AM

posted on Aug, 19 2020 @ 06:51 PM

Ps 68:20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death

new topics

top topics


log in