Friday, May 15, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: Judging Others 1

I propose to post a Saying every day and maybe a few thoughts about it. There is an excellent introduction to the Desert Christians at:

Abba Pastor said, "Judge not him who is guilty of fornication, if you are chaste, or you will break the law like him. For He who said "do not commit fornication" said also "Do not judge

This is the 1st Saying listed on the Catholic Information Network website,

The men and women of the 3rd and 4th centuries who left the cities and towns for the wild places did so before many of the doctrinal statements we are now so familiar with were composed. As a result, their concentration was on what Jesus taught.

Something Jesus taught was "Let the one who is without sin, cast the first stone." Or "judge not, lest you open the door to being judged in the same way and for the same reason yourself." OK, the last sentence is my paraphrase. Or "forgive us our trespasses *****as***** we forgive our trespassers." Emphasis mine.

We live in a world of much finger pointing, blaming and failure to take responsibility for one's own actions and issues. I am sure members of this list see examples of this everyday. I daresay that just like me, we are all often guilty of these same things. How not? These are messages drummed into our ears day and night.

The Desert Christians represent a raw interpretation of Jesus' words. They believe that Christians are supposed to do what Jesus says to do without hedging our bets or falling into ways of thinking that Jesus doesn't mean me when he says something.

Where does judging others get us? The obvious result is that we open the door to being judged ourselves. Never a pleasant experience. But more than that, it leads to thinking that we are better than others.

Maybe we even have good reason for thinking this. An example is the character Zack on the TV show "Bones". The staff of the forensics lab at the Jeffersonian, a thinly disguised Smithsonian, are a bunch of geniuses and Zack especially so. He repeatedly made comments about his intellectual gifts. But even so, he is the one who falls into criminal behavior. He thought he was better than most people and paid the price.

There are other Sayings which deal with judging others and I'll post another one tomorrow.


  • At 7:08 AM, Blogger Mary said…

    I believe that judging others is a human element of our nature.
    If we can understand that to judge others actions and not the person is a separate image. It would be wise to pray for ourselves and others in this respect.
    I also believe that to condemn another is wrong. But this is just my opinion.


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