Judge Not


How will the world judge God
when given the opportunity?

For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5)

You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’?” (John 10:34)

The aim of the testing of Adam was to qualify him to be a co-regent with God. Rich Bledsoe argues that the question of God’s existence is not ontological but ethical at heart. History is Man’s attempt to either eradicate God’s rule, or to make God co-regent with Man.

The account given of the creation and subsequent fall of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis shows the beginning of ethical selfism. Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, and God refers to them as those who have come to know good and evil. What this means is that they now have fallen away from knowing the will of God, and of being able to obey it, and they have now, like God, become the authors of morality. They themselves will be the determiners of what is good and of what is evil. Their own selves become the source, and this is now thrust upon them. From that time forward, the creation of morality will be an onerous, and impossible, human burden.

The modern world is now far more self-consciously “selfist” than the world was five minutes after the fall, and more so than it was in Jesus’ own day. The seed if implication has been developing over time. And just as selfism leads to darkness in regard to the very possibility of self-knowledge or of any knowledge of the world, it also leads to darkness in regard to actions that are good, and actions that are bad. The assumption behind human ethics now is that the world and humanity are self-complete without reference to God, and this always leads to self-looping vicious circles in regard to human actions, because humanity is not self-complete, but pretends that it is. We are saddled with this as a curse, but generally speaking, the human race understands it as its own highest glory.

…the Bible indicates that inquiries into the existence of God are never neutral theoretical musings. They rather always have a particular ethical edge about them. They are interrogations, and have the character of accusation about them. The deepest intention of questioning the existence of God is not ontological; rather, it is ethical. There is something prior to the question of existence, and the existence question is clouded. If I am god, and my determinations are final, then it is simply impossible for the God of the Bible to be God, or for Jesus to be God. The ethical accusation is that God is unjust, and has no right to be God since this is now my office. If he exists, then his sheer existence is blasphemy. If he exists, then he is my enemy. It is necessary either to mute his existence and remake him as less than the almighty God of the Bible, one who is smaller, who is satisfied to, at best, co-exist with me, or it is the case that he simply does not exist. If he does exist as the almighty God of the Bible, then this brings confusion and dissonance. If I cannot dismiss him, then I must accuse him. Dismissal is actually accusation, and in all likelihood there is a veering back and forth between the two. The mindset of fallenness is double-mindedness. In all cases, it is necessary to take things into one’s own hands, and become one’s own god determining good and evil for oneself.

Interestingly, God seems to take a step back and allow us to do just that. He says that he will give us a great privilege. He will allow us to create a law, and then he will judge us by that law. Whatever judgments we bring to those around us will become the same standard of judgment that he will test us by. We have accused God of being an unjust judge. So God allows the privilege, and lets us determine our own standard. Hence, Aristotle will be judged by his own golden mean, Kant by his own categorical imperative, Sartre, who wanted to legislate for the entire world in his every decision, will be judged in the same way. In other words, it is a very dangerous thing to have the very power of determining both good and evil; it is fraught with terrible ironies. Jesus warned us about this in one of the most misused and misunderstood of all biblical texts. “Judge not, that ye might not be judged” (Matt. 7:1). The modern world quotes this often as a biblical justification for complete ethical tolerance, but it means exactly what it ways. You will be judged as you judge, and we have now all had this burden inescapably thrust upon us.

…There is a further step to this quandary. Even beyond being judged by our own standards, God has said that he will even permit us to judge him. As a race, we have declared him “out of court.” We have determined that he is unjust. As we judge God, we too shall be judged, for we have declared that we are gods. “On that day when, according to my Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus” (Rom 2:16). Jesus, who is the very word of God, was handed over to men to be judged. How will the world judge God when given the opportunity? Our judgment of him was self-damning. Here the reality of the divine law connects with the reality/unreality of man’s self-created law. On what basis of self-made law was Jesus crucified? Jesus was condemned because he claimed to be God, and because he claimed to be the true source of the judgment of good and evil. This was called blasphemy, and for this he was put to death. If this same standard is brought against his accusers, what is the result? It can only be death, for each judge tacitly made exactly the same claim. If you claim that God deserves to die because he claims to be God, then you too deserve to die because you make the same claim.

The result is that every god will damn himself and every mouth will be stopped, and all secrets will be judged by Christ Jesus.

Excerpts from Richard Bledsoe, Can Saul Alinsky Be Saved? Jesus Christ in the Obama and post-Obama Era, 26-31.

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