Letter: Reader responds to letter on judgement
I, again, was interested to read Dick Dierenbach’s recent letter (April 11) expounding the virtues of judging the behavior or beliefs of ones neighbors. The author of a sign at a church building in Seymour was referred to as “perpetrator,” i.e., one who commits or carries out a crime.
The sign allegedly said, “Those who judge have no time to love.” Among God’s commandments, there is none which commands us to “judge” our neighbors.
When He was asked which of the commandments was the greatest, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as your self. The whole law and prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Mr. Dierenbach surely appreciates this scripture citation, because it is near impossible to “misinterpret.” From my point of view, there seems to be very little, if any, love expressed for anyone in Mr. D’s venomous accusatory ranting.
Romans 2, to me, equates self righteous “judgement” or criticism, with hypocrisy. The one implies the other. In Matthew 8, Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman, caught in adultery, before Jesus and tested Him, saying that the law specifies stoning to death for such a sin.
Jesus called for any man among them who was without sin to cast the first stone. The accusers left the scene. When He asked the woman where the accusers were, had no one condemned her? She replied, “No one sir.” Jesus said, “Nor do I...go and sin no more.”
Please remember that the Pharisees and Scribes were the religious police of the time. They were ultimately judgemental and legalistic like some of us. I think the message to be taken from this incident is like the moat in my brother’s eye vs. the beam in my own eye.
Perhaps I should master the ability to take care of my own affairs before I presume to take care of others’. Perhaps the desire to take away a neighbor’s 1st Amendment rights and call him a derogatory name would qualify as a beam in the eye of the one who presumes to judge and thinks it is his obligation to do so.
This incident, I think, is also a good fulfillment of the reference to Galatians.
Ultimately, my take on Mr. Dierenbach is that I am truly thankful that no matter what he proclaims, he and other pharisaic folks have absolutely nothing to do with the fate of my eternal soul nor those of my neighbors. That is solely up to my Heavenly Father who has boundless love and mercy.
Is Mr. Dierenbach qualified to cast the first stone? You be the “judge.”
Dr. Frank H. Alden