Saturday, January 12, 2008



The text that commands, "Judge not, lest you be judged," is Matthew 7:1.

To "judge" is not simply to form an opinion. Having intelligence virtually guarantees that we will form, or hold, opinions about many things, and about many people and their behaviors. And it is okay for people of intelligence to form, and hold, opinions. For example, I feel that torture is wrong and evil. That is an opinion, but I believe that it is also in harmony with Love.

An enlightened person can also hold and express even negative opinions about people. In Matthew chapter 23, Jesus himself expresses several negative opinions about the religious leaders of his day. This is so even though they were "respectable" members of the community. Because of this, followers of Jesus also feel free to express opinions about others, including even religious leaders. There are several religious leaders who are greedy, trying only to grab as much money as possible. Other religious leaders do their work for power over others. Leaders who work for ego, greed, or personal power are supposed to be exposed by the people of Love. For this was the example set by Jesus and other enlightened people.

What, if this is true, does it mean to prohibit "judgment"? To "judge"
is, in the absolute or final sense, to evaluate the total value or total being of a person. If, for example, someone said, "She's going to hell forever," that would be judgment, for it would be an evaluation or appraisal of a Soul, not just an opinion about behavior.

If we express a negative opinion regarding the Soul, or eternal destiny, of any person, that is judgment, and that is forbidden by the Christ.
Meanwhile, let us keep in mind the valid principle that having no opinion about anything does not make you "enlightened." It makes you only mindless. An enlightened being is never neutral about everything. She does not hesitate to point out and expose behavior that is harmful, hypocritical, or evil.

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