The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Judge not

My brother deacon Scott Dodge posted a little rumination this weekend on judging. 

 I judge it to be something we all need to read and ponder:
It is an indisputable article of Christian faith that you will be judged. Each Sunday and on solemnities we recite the Credo and say: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead…” Judging, one respondent wrote, is a condition of life; we have to judge. He is correct that judging is not the problem because it is an inevitability. So, what is the problem? We must concern ourselves with the criteria by which we judge. We must judge with compassion, with empathy, with sympathy. More importantly, we must judge according to the truth and in accord with all the factors that consitute reality (i.e., the world as it is and not as we wish it to be). It is right and good that we take comfort in scriptural reassurances, like “[a]bove all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). I don’t know about you, but I am kind of counting on that! I have my heavenly defense all planned out: I am going to fall prostrate, as I do before the altar, along with my bishop, fellow deacons, and priests each Good Friday at the beginning of that moving celebration, and throw myself on the mercy of the court.



Another friend, earlier in the week wrote that he was “convinced that if Jesus were to meet Pat Robertson, he would slap him upside the head.” I am convinced of no such thing. I am convinced that if Jesus were to meet Pat Robertson, or Rush Limbaugh, He would look on them both with great compassion. Like me, every hair on their heads are numbered and they are both loved just as I am loved.

Read the rest. It’s good food for thought, especially during these troubled and divisive times.

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posted January 17, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Lately I have been visiting with the ghost of Woodie Guthrie, and we wrote a song that tells everything I know and feel about Mr Limbaugh. You can see this all original work over on youtube at (what the heck, it’s quick, it’s free, it’s fun).
Or you can visit my music site and download a copy for free if you are so inclined at

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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

posted January 17, 2010 at 11:09 pm

This causes me to stop and reflect on a judgment that I levied today. I am so very sorry for it.
Deacon Scott says some really important things here and his post should be widely read. That my FB post had anything to do with it leaves me dumbstruck.

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Edgar R. Schneider

posted January 18, 2010 at 7:36 am

One of Richard Wagner’s early operas is “Tannh√§user”, in which the hero is made an outcast because of a great sin he has committed. He goes to Rome to try and get absolution from the Pope, who denies it, saying that he can no more be forgiven than the dead wood on his staff can sprout new greenery. Crestfallen, he leaves Rome. Later, a miracle occurs: the papal staff grows fresh twigs and leaves. It is interesting to note that Wagner, who wrote the libretto as well as the music, was a self-proclaimed atheist.

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timmy baugh

posted January 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm

show me the Christian shouting “judge not” and i’ll show you a Christian who’s never looked at the original language. judgements are an absolute neccessity, for adjustment, and ammendment, and avoiding scandalous liasons, or potential occasion for sin. now to Judge (condemn), thats God’s prerogative and His alone.
wonderful blogsite Deacon, i appreciate your mission, and thank you for your service in this vocation.

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Deacon Greg Kirk

posted January 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

Dear Scott:
Thank you for this encouragment to realign ourselves with the only One whose task it is to judge. Surrendering ourselves to Christ means to daily strive to give him every part of ourselves and lives, including the human tendancy to judge – he wants every part of us and the more we can surrender, the more we live into his peace. Rev. Pat Robertson’s recent comments are sad, probably indicative of senility. I strongly disagree with them but extend charity to him. You are so right Scott, judge the action but never the individual. Far better to seek to incorporate the mercy and compassion of the living Christ in our lives.
Deacon Greg Kirk

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