Recently Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) launched a global campaign asking Christians around to world to “Be God’s Mercy” (Pope Francis) and celebrate the love and compassion of Christ by helping Christians in need. If you feel moved, visit this link: http://www.acnuk.org/newsletter_archive.php?action=view&id=472&utm_campaign=Will+You+answer+Pope+Francis?&utm_source=acn&utm_medium=email
In today’s gospel (Matt 7:1-5) Jesus says: ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given.’
Does this mean that we shouldn’t judge the actions of drug dealers, abortionists, gangland criminals, paedophiles, ISIS terrorists, etc? Hardly! To put Jesus’ words in a proper perspective, there are two different types of judgements.
Firstly there is the objective judgement of the behaviour in itself. If we are faithful to Jesus’ teachings on the moral law, the actions of all the above wrong-doers break at least some of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. If we fail to oppose at least in principle these behaviours, we are doing wrong.
On the other hand there is the subjective judgement. This is the relationship between a given individual – including a wrong-doer – and God. No body can pronounce where anybody else stands in relationship with God because we don’t know their state of consciousness and perhaps even a seriously deformed conscience. We let God sort it all out. The Church doesn’t even pronounce on where Hitler and Judas stood before God for this reason. St Paul was referring to this type of judgement when he said “Do not attempt to judge another now; the Lord’s coming will reveal all.” (1 Cor 4:5)
This statement of Jesus does not mean therefore that anything goes, that there is no such thing as right or wrong.