Tag Archives: Guilty

Is it ok to judge people? Is Hell a real place?

UPDATE: I thought I’d better explain what’s in this post at the top. First, I show where Hell is mentioned in the gospels. Second, I talk about whether can Christians should judge non-Christians. Finally, I talk about why judging can actually be the loving thing to do.

Where is Hell in the New Testament?

Here’s a few Bible verses where Jesus talks about Hell.

  1. Matthew 5:22
    But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca, ‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
  2. Matthew 5:29
    If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
  3. Matthew 5:30
    And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
  4. Matthew 10:28
    Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
  5. Matthew 18:9
    And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
  6. Matthew 23:33
    “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
  7. Mark 9:43
    If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
  8. Mark 9:45
    And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
  9. Mark 9:47
    And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
  10. Luke 12:5
    But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
  11. Luke 16:23
    In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side

I don’t mind if people disagree with those verses on historical grounds – maybe because they are not early enough or not multiply attested enough, although I think they are historically reliable. What bothers me is when a person throws verses out because they just don’t like them. I don’t think that having an intuition or a feeling is grounds for throwing out Bible verses.

Who to judge and how to judge

Did you know that it is forbidden to judge non-Christians using Christian moral standards?

1 Cor 5:9-13:

9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—

10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

I think this text explains what judging is. If you “judge” someone, it seems to mean disagreeing with them or it could even mean avoiding them. For example, I often speak against single motherhood and day care in front of people who are single mothers and who use day care – I just disagree with them.

I think that Christians can vote for political candidates who are pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-liberty. But the verse above says that but you can’t force individual non-Christians to act like Christians against their own free will. You can judge other Christians, but be careful how you do that if you actually want them to listen to you. Have a relationship with them first, and then talk about moral issues in the abstract. People get defensive unless you make the discussion about the evidence, not about their personal lives.

And of course you can disagree with people of other religions about which religion is true when tested against history and the external world, but again, it’s best to appeal to logic and evidence. E.g. – the big bang, which falsifies a whole stack of world religions and cults, and is testable scientifically.

Why judging is wonderful and you should do it, too

I wonder if you all remember a while back when I linked to all the chapters of Theodore Dalrymple’s famous book “Life at the Bottom”, which is about the worldview of the British lower class. It’s also about how rich, well-meaning secular leftists hurt the poor by enacting public policies that reward bad behavior and punish good behavior. Dalrymple is a psychiatrist in a hospital, so he sees it all firsthand.

This is from the introduction to the book:

The disastrous pattern of human relationships that exists in the underclass is also becoming common higher up the social scale. With increasing frequency I am consulted by nurses, who for the most part come from and were themselves traditionally members of (at least after Florence Nightingale) the respectable lower middle class, who have illegitimate children by men who first abuse and then abandon them. This abuse and later abandonment is usually all too predictable from the man’s previous history and character; but the nurses who have been treated in this way say they refrained from making a judgment about him because it is wrong to make judgments. But if they do not make a judgment about the man with whom they are going to live and by whom they are going to have a child, about what are they ever going to make a judgment?

“It just didn’t work out,” they say, the “it” in question being the relationship that they conceive of having an existence independent of the two people who form it, and that exerts an influence on their on their lives rather like an astral projection. Life is fate.

I think that young people today prefer moral relativists as mates, because they are afraid of being judged and rejected by people who are too serious about religion and morality, especially the old kind of morality that was focused on chastity, sobriety, worship, charity, etc. The problem is that if a young person chooses someone who doesn’t take religion and morality seriously, then that person can’t rely on their partner to behave morally and to exercise moral leadership in the home.

Here’s another one of my favorite passages from the “Tough Love” chapter, in which he describes how he easily he can detect whether a particular male patient has violent tendencies or not, on sight. But female victims of domestic violence – and even the hospital nurses – cannot or will not recognize the signs that a man is violent.

All the more surprising is it to me, therefore, that the nurses perceive things differently. They do not see a man’s violence in his face, his gestures, his deportment, and his bodily adornments, even though they have the same experience of the patients as I. They hear the same stories, they see the same signs, but they do not make the same judgments. What’s more, they seem never to learn; for experience—like chance, in the famous dictum of Louis Pasteur—favors only the mind prepared. And when I guess at a glance that a man is an inveterate wife beater (I use the term “wife” loosely), they are appalled at the harshness of my judgment, even when it proves right once more.

This is not a matter of merely theoretical interest to the nurses, for many of them in their private lives have themselves been the compliant victims of violent men. For example, the lover of one of the senior nurses, an attractive and lively young woman, recently held her at gunpoint and threatened her with death, after having repeatedly blacked her eye during the previous months. I met him once when he came looking for her in the hospital: he was just the kind of ferocious young egotist to whom I would give a wide berth in the broadest daylight.

Why are the nurses so reluctant to come to the most inescapable of conclusions? Their training tells them, quite rightly, that it is their duty to care for everyone without regard for personal merit or deserts; but for them, there is no difference between suspending judgment for certain restricted purposes and making no judgment at all in any circumstances whatsoever. It is as if they were more afraid of passing an adverse verdict on someone than of getting a punch in the face—a likely enough consequence, incidentally, of their failure of discernment. Since it is scarcely possible to recognize a wife beater without inwardly condemning him, it is safer not to recognize him as one in the first place.

This failure of recognition is almost universal among my violently abused women patients, but its function for them is somewhat different from what it is for the nurses. The nurses need to retain a certain positive regard for their patients in order to do their job. But for the abused women, the failure to perceive in advance the violence of their chosen men serves to absolve them of all responsibility for whatever happens thereafter, allowing them to think of themselves as victims alone rather than the victims and accomplices they are. Moreover, it licenses them to obey their impulses and whims, allowing them to suppose that sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things and that prudence in the selection of a male companion is neither possible nor desirable.

Often, their imprudence would be laughable, were it not tragic: many times in my ward I’ve watched liaisons form between an abused female patient and an abusing male patient within half an hour of their striking up an acquaintance. By now, I can often predict the formation of such a liaison—and predict that it will as certainly end in violence as that the sun will rise tomorrow.

At first, of course, my female patients deny that the violence of their men was foreseeable. But when I ask them whether they think I would have recognized it in advance, the great majority—nine out of ten—reply, yes, of course. And when asked how they think I would have done so, they enumerate precisely the factors that would have led me to that conclusion. So their blindness is willful.

Just remember not to judge people for the purpose of hurting them. Judge others for the purpose of helping them to set up boundaries that will protect them from actions that might hurt them or those around them, and impose costs on the whole society to repair the damage. The best thing to do is to discuss moral issues in the abstract.

Related posts

MUST-READ: What does the Bible say about forcing pro-lifers to perform abortions?

Story from the New York Post. (H/T Hot Air – Cassy Fiano)

Excerpt:

A Brooklyn nurse claims she was forced to choose between her religious convictions and her job when Mount Sinai Hospital ordered her to assist in a late-term abortion against her will.

The hospital even exaggerated the patient’s condition and claimed the woman could die if the nurse, a devout Catholic, did not follow orders, the nurse alleges in a lawsuit.

“It felt like a horror film unfolding,” said Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, 35, who claims she has had gruesome nightmares and hasn’t been able to sleep since the May 24 incident.

The married mother of a year-old baby was 30 minutes into her early-morning shift when she realized she had been assigned to an abortion. She begged her supervisor to find a replacement nurse for the procedure. The hospital had a six-hour window to find a fill-in, the suit says.

Bosses told the weeping Cenzon-DeCarlo the patient was 22 weeks into her pregnancy and had preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure that can lead to seizures or death if left untreated.

The supervisor “claimed that the mother could die if [Cenzon-DeCarlo] did not assist in the abortion.”

But the nurse, the niece of a Filipino bishop, contends that the patient’s life was not in danger. She argued that the patient was not even on magnesium therapy, a common treatment for preeclampsia, and did not have problems indicating an emergency.

Her pleas were rejected, and instead she was threatened with career-ending charges of insubordination and patient abandonment, according to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.

Feeling threatened, Cenzon-DeCarlo assisted in the procedure.

She said she later learned that the hospital’s own records deemed the procedure “Category II,” which is not considered immediately life threatening.

WARNING: I am now going to be really mean. Please don’t read the rest of this if you don’t like me being judgmental against atheists.

I was thinking about the kinds of things that atheists think are “moral” and interpreting those things within a Biblical framework. I know that atheists support abortion because they don’t want to be compelled to diminish their own happiness by tending to the needs of their own baby, conceived as a result of their own irresponsible sexual behavior. So when they force a pro-life nurse to perform an abortion, what they are really saying is “I don’t want anyone punishing other people with the unhappy consequences of their own selfish pursuit of happiness, because then no one will judge and punish me when I do the same as they did”.

The problem is that atheists don’t want to be thought of as people who are willing to go as far as killing others in order to avoid facing judgment and consequences for their own actions. They have to invent some myth that justifies the abortion, instead. If they could only invent some plausible-sounding myth that would convince other people, and themselves, that their abortion was justified by some greater good. With the right myth, they could continue their pursuit of pleasure unimpeded by consequences and social disapproval. What possible myth could possibly provide moral justification for something as extreme as abortion?

Well, atheists decided to invent several myths to provide rationalization for abortion:

  • Darwinism – animals do it, and we’re just animals, so let’s do it!
  • overpopulation – we’ll all starve by 1970! Oops, I mean 1990! 2050!
  • resource exhaustion – we’ll be out of oil by 1970! Oops, I mean 1990! 2050!
  • global warming – too many people are driving cars so some have to go away!
  • embryonic stem-cell research – it will turn lead into gold, you’ll see!
  • rising crime rates – who cares about what economists say!
  • etc.

So basically they are inventing myths in order to justify abortion as a legitimate means of pursuing happiness in this life. And this made me think of how child sacrifice was used by pagan nations in the Bible. It’s exactly what is predicted in Romans 1:18-32, which is arguably the most useful passage in the Bible for understanding what our existence here is really about. They didn’t want to take responsibility for those demanding, expensive children they conceived during unmarried sex, because those children would reduce their selfish pursuit of pleasure. So they invented a variety of baseless myths in order to make abortion appear “moral” to themselves and to others.

The Bible mentions the habit of inventing “speculations” in order to avoid having to obey the moral law. Atheists feel that they are too “smart” to be restrained by authentic morality, especially one that is constantly under fire in the public schools, the mainstream media and pop culture. So they do destructive things and then are surprised to feel guilty about it. They want to be happy while sinning, and to avoid the natural consequences of sin that serve as warning signs of the judgment to come. If anyone dares to imply that there is any morality higher than selfishness, (say, by wearing a cross in public or by questioning Darwinism), then they use the power of the state to silence them.

That’s atheist “morality”. The Bible’s diagnosis of sin really hasn’t changed in 2000 years. The people who rebel against God have just found more sophisticated myths to justify their selfish pursuit of pleasure. Before, it was Molech. Today, it’s overpopulation causing global warming. And they are not afraid to enforce these myths on religious people using the power of the state. Anything to make everyone celebrate their destructive actions as though they were in fact good. And if they have to kill many people to pursue happiness, well, that’s fine on atheism – there is no “right to life” on atheism. It’s survival of the fittest. Morality is just an illusion created by evolution.

And that is why a pro-life nurse was forced to perform an abortion – because she made people who reject God feel guilty by calling attention to a real standard of objective morality which defies atheistic efforts to rationalize hedonism with speculative myths. She was telling them that we should not take the life of an innocent unborn human being just because it makes us happier to do so. She was opposing their hedonistic purposes, and the speculative myths that they had invented to justify their selfish, irresponsible pursuit of pleasure. Christian morality isn’t a headlong pursuit of selfish pleasure. It’s about self-denial and self-sacrifice – which is not pleasurable.

As I wrote before:

The great moral accomplishment of atheists in the last 100 years has been to murder 100 million people. And this is not counting the millions of deaths caused by abortion, and environmentalist bans on DDT. It also doesn’t count the millions of broken homes caused by the sexual revolution, or the social costs of raising children without fathers who go on to commit crimes.

When the intuitive awareness of God’s moral requirements conflicts with the atheistic desire for selfish happiness, atheists first do the crime, then they search around frantically for some fig-leaf to justify it as “moral”. Any speculation will do, and the “evidence” can be manufactured (at taxpayer expense) to fit the myths. They believe that if they could just get everyone to see that evil is really good, and to celebrate their selfish hedonism, then their feelings of guilt would vanish, and their happiness level would increase. Their attempts to demonize Christianity and Christians is also part of their plan – they want to celebrate their own behavior as moral and deride the behavior of authentic Christians as immoral.

The very concept of morality is illusory on an atheistic worldview.

And lest anyone think that I can’t defend the Christian worldview as true, click here and start engaging.

Democrat terrorist sentenced to two years in prison

Story from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

A protester from Texas has been sentenced to two years in prison for possessing Molotov cocktails during the Republican National Convention last September.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis on Thursday also sentenced Bradley Neal Crowder to three years of supervised release.

The 23-year-old Austin, Texas, man was part of a group from Austin that allegedly planned to disrupt the convention in St. Paul last September. He pleaded guilty in January.

Gateway Pundit asks: “Maybe he’ll [enjoy an] illustrious teaching career when he gets out?”. Indeed.