Friday, April 24, 2009

Da Judge

Disclaimer: Please have mercy and forgive me if I make an error on something for I have neither educational background nor the knowledge to enlighten you about some of the main themes of this book. I know there is much controversy surrounding this book. If I say something in error, remember that I am no expert and for this reason there are some parts in the book that are important that I will not touch on. Thank you.

I am intentionally skipping over discussion about the trinity and what it all does and doesn’t mean in this book. I’m sorry if you are not okay with me doing that but I know what I believe. It’s a fictional novel and not worth the argument it could produce, so I plan to avoid it all together. Maybe someone from church will want to do a post on it that is more knowledgeable. Anyone? Just let me know if you do!

In chapter 9 Mack goes out to the garden with Sarayu and comments several times on what a mess it all is, but at the same time beautiful. They have a long talk about what it means to decide if something is good or evil. Sarayu lets Mack know the garden mess is him and that it isn’t made right except by the relationship between God and Him. In chapter 10 Mack spends some time walking on the water with Jesus. They have a discussion about free will, relationships and submission and what they mean in the world vs. how God intended it to be originally.

But then we come to chapter 11 which since the first time I read it and thus far through the second time is the chapter that stands out the most to me. I’m not sure who this person is that is helping Mack learn about judging, but it did teach me something. I don’t consider myself to be a judgmental person. But just because I may not judge people on some things doesn’t mean I don’t judge them on other little things. And when it comes down to it does it really make a difference if it’s something big all the time or just lots of little quick snap judgments?

How often do we judge someone because of what they are wearing, how they look, how they might have been rude in the checkout line, how they made an error on a food order, how they were rude on the phone for no reason, how they cut us off in traffic, how come they didn’t volunteer for this at church, how they didn’t offer to help with this, how they did something terrible you hear about on the news? You and I both know that this list could go on and on forever.

We all have things that we make snap judgments about everyday or…. At least I know I do. It’s so easy to fall into judge or gossip about someone but then if we stop and think about reversing that it doesn’t feel so great. This is something that I have learned a lot about in the past couple years as I have grown in my faith. I have learned to recognize it and work on restraining my self from doing it. I once heard a sermon by a former pastor of Swift that I constantly refer back to in dealing with this struggle. He was talking about how easy it is for us when we hear about something on the television in the news to do a snap judgment and say, “They should just send them all to jail… or they just need to kill them all.” Well he said we need to take a look at ourselves and just because we haven’t done what they did and we aren’t on the news it doesn’t make us any better. It is only by the grace of God that we are not those people. (Now please don’t get this wrong, in no way are we saying lets free all the criminals or be on one side or the other of the death penalty… not going there.) The point is snap judgment and how easy it is for us to fall into its trap. If it was something hard to do the devil wouldn’t use it so often.

Mack questions, why this had to happen to Missy and why God didn’t stop it from happening. The person in the cave with Mack says, “He doesn’t stop a lot of things that cause him pain. Your world is severely broken. You demanded your independence, and now you are angry with the one who loved you enough to give it to you. Nothing is as it should be, as Papa desires it to be, and as it will be one day. Right now your world is lost in darkness and chaos, and horrible things happen to those that he is especially fond of.” Mack, just like many others wonders why God doesn’t do something about all the pain and chaos in the world and learns that God did do something about it through what Jesus did on the cross. I hope that coming away from this chapter we can remember that we don’t want to play the role of the Judge and that God wants us all to come to have a relationship with Jesus so that none of His children are lost.

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Keith said...

My problem with this chapter was essentially introducing a 4th person to the Trinity. Sophia (wisdom)is not separate from God/Jesus/HS but part of them. Like you, I did appreciate the judging aspect in that we are judgmental even when we protest otherwise. And we certainly judge God which then does presume a place of authority/wisdom over God.

abookjunkie said...

Good point Keith, It didn't even cross my mind nor did I realize that was what was going on. I wasn't sure who that person was but I didn't realize it was being introduced as a 4th part of the trinity. Thank you for pointing that out.