Judgmental? Or Sound Judgment?

 It seems that there is a popular notion gaining some ground.  This trend that is making its way around is to condemn others as being judgmental.  Particularly to condemn Christians who are of the opinion that that Miss Casey Anthony is guilty of murder.  After a friendly discussion with an old friend, I decided to share some thoughts on this idea of judging others.  I want to begin with clarify any Biblical misunderstanding concerning making judgments, then speak to applying it practically, then share why it is not judgmental to believe Miss Anthony is guilty of murder.

 The Bible does speaks against judging others, but only when our judging is self-righteous and hypocritical.  This is the case in the famous passage of Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”  This does not exclude making sound judgments, using discernment, or common sense.  It is simply to admonish us not to be pompous in our judgments.  In fact, there are many passages that command us to make judgments such as with John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (also see 1Cor 11:14; 1Thess 5:21; Phil.3:2; 1Jn 4:1; to name a few).   So we are commanded to judge others with a righteous judgment concerning Gospel issues as well as life issues.  This is the case with the entire book of Proverbs.  We are admonished to make judgments about what is foolish vs. what is wise.   We are told to discern between harlots vs. a women of godliness.  So we are to not be hypercritical but to indeed make discerning choices.  This is one difference between being judgmental and making a sound judgment, primarily the use of discernment. 

 Not only are we commanded to be discerning Biblically, practically we make judgments all the time!  In fact, to say to another, “You are judging me!”  The accuser has himself made a judgment upon another.  Everyone makes sound judgments.  Rather it is in Law, Business, Medicine, Academics, or Entertainment we all exercise discernment in all areas of life.  From raising our kids to managing our relationships we make sound judgments all day long.  In reality, our world would be indecisive statements of uncertainty, with no standard, and no security whatsoever if we did not exercise sound judgment/discernment! 

 It seems that many Christians have adopted an inclusive post-modern mentality.  Many have good intentions but have imposed an attitude that no longer tolerates anyone disagreeing with them without being condemned as judgmental.  I know many comments that I have read concerning the Casey Anthony trial came from well-meaning people who want Christians to demonstrate Gospel love instead using ‘lynch mob’ remarks.  I concede that many have been very hateful with their comments.  I do not join them or approve of their rhetoric.  Make no mistake, folks who use such language will one day give an account for every word at the Day of Judgment (Matthew 12:36).  I hope my comments have set me apart from them. 

 But what if one feels that Miss Anthony is a murder and should have been found guilty?  I believe this.  Am I now in this lynch mob category?  Or am I able to discern facts and make a clear decision/judgment?  I believe that she is guilty of murdering her daughter.  I have arrived at this judgment by discerning the facts.  I did not conclude this because she is white, wears clothes I don’t like, or b/c the AP has painted her in some bad light.  I conclude this based on the creditable evidence against her provided by the prosecution…

 1) Chloroform found in Miss Anthony’s Car (with a container of Chloroform found in on the premises as well) and the search for chloroform on computer.

2) Hairs from her car, similar to that which was found at place of recovery

3) Miss Anthony never calling about her daughter missing, after 31 days

4) Miss Anthony lied about her daughter’s whereabouts to her Mother

5) Miss Anthony lied about her daughter being kidnapped/nanny

6) Miss Anthony lied to investigators who were trying to locate her daughter’s whereabouts, instead of being helpful

7) Miss Anthony lied about fictitious, wealthy boyfriend

8 ) She partied hard and got a tattoo while lying about her daughter missing

9) Rotting flesh smell and shape of child’s body in trunk of Miss Anthony’s car

10) Borrowing duct tape and gas can from parents and returning

11) Location of body, and duct tape found on skull (no accident)

 Based on these facts, I believe that she is guilty.  These are not myths, stories, or hearsay but facts.  And even though I heard the defense’s rebuttal to some of these, I was not convinced.  I was able to make a sound judgment using logic and deductive reasoning, not being swayed by empty rhetoric.  

 Furthermore, it is not as if there is not available information to make a sound judgment.  It was all presented and televised for the public to hear, read, and have an opinion!  I watched the trial and kept up with most, if not all the arguments (which were not always good from the prosecution).  And many have seen the evidence provided and agree.  Many people feel that she is guilty because of the credible evidence provided by credible prosecutors.  In addition, there are a significant number of credible attorneys, judges, and journalists who all agree that she should have been found guilty.  Not to mention the countless educated, experienced, God-fearing Christians who all believe that she should have been found guilty based on this same evidence.  They have concluded this judgment not because they are judgmental, but because they were able to discern the facts.

 Many may think I am wrong or have poor judgment (no pun intend) in having such opinions.  I know that only God and Miss Anthony truly know.  But I hope that I have convinced you that it is not a matter of being judgmental.  Now, although I believe that Miss Anthony is guilty murder, I also believe that without Christ we are no better.  Scripture tell us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), that means “everyone!”   The Bible clearly states that there is only one Way to the Father and that is through Christ Jesus (John 14:6).  This means all persons – good, bad, and ugly – must repent and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.  This means Miss Anthony as well as Yogi Taylor!  Furthermore, Heaven is filled with murders!  By contrast, Hell is filled with sweet, loving, well-meaning Church-goers as well.  If you believe, as I do, that Miss Anthony is guilty of murder, then you should be moved to pray for her.  Pray not with a heart of hate but with one of compassion.

 Thank you for allowing me to share.

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Let us not forget

Old Glory

 

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.” -Samuel Adams 

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Kurt Gebhards on Family and Media

Family-Watching-Television, bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five practical questions parents should consider when it comes to media, by Kurt Gebhards.

  1. Honestly assess you media consumption.  List the TV shows you watch regularly.  Do you need to make some changes?  Are you exposing yourself to corrupting influences?
  2. Understand your responsibility to redeem the time and use it TVwisely for God’s glory.  Are you spending too much time watching television, surfing the Web, or participating in other media-driven activities (such as video games)?
  3. Consider what you want to make of your life in light of Christ’s call for faithfulness to Him (Matt. 25:23).  Are you abusing your freedom in Christ for your own leisure and pleasure (Gal. 5:23).  Or are you exerting yourself in service to the Lord?
  4. Compare your media intake with your intake of God’s Word.  Are you more devoted to your own entertainment and amusement than you are to God’s precious Word?  What plan of action will you take to address this?
  5. Honestly assess the example you offer to your kids.  Do you need to make any changes or improvements?  Will you sit down with your family, admit your failure in this area, and set up a new plan of action?  Remember that your responsibility as a parent is to provide spiritual leadership and guidance for your children in the home.

 

Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong (Harvest House Publishers, 2009, Eugene OR) p.61

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If ever I thought I had a bad day…

So far so good...

So far so good...

 

What just happened? Notice the guy in the back of the boat.

What just happened? Notice the guy in the back of the boat.

 

This is someone's really bad day!!!

This is someone's really bad day!!!

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1 John 3:11

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Hannah Update… News fit for a King!

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News fit for a King

Hannah’s doctor, Dr. Celeste Hollands, came to tell us that our little girl is “Cancer Free!”  The MIBG test (where they inject her with a dye that acts as a tracer for clusters of cancer cells) has come back negative.  There were no spots that showed on the test except around the incision.  The doctors said irritation in the surgical area could make it light up, consequently it was even less than what they estimated! Dr. Hollands said that with the bone scan and the bone marrow biopsy and the MIBG test all coming back negative, she is certain that the surgery is all the treatment needed.

 

I asked her about the lymph node testing positive and about the fatty tissue on the back that she had previously missed.  She explained that with only one node testing positive (the one that was adjacent to the tumor) there is no threat especially now that the tumor has been removed.  The tissue near the back, she says, is something we need to keep an eye on but not treat.  We further learned that the gene makeup of the tumor was “non-aggressive” and more than likely would not spread, which was later confirmed by the MIBG test.  After affirming that there are only small spots to watch, she then tells us that pic_0470these tissues are prone to dissipate on their own without the presence of the tumor, especially due to the non-aggressive gene.  She understood our being cautious to hear this good news, and our questions.  She explained that since they have further information they can make a much better judgment!  She commented that after talking to the oncologist, the radiologists, and other doctors, they all were pretty amazed at how well things turned out.  She went on to say that Hannah’s visit here was really “a best case scenario of events.”  Of course we know that it is because of God’s good and sovereign grace, wielded through the prayers of His saints.

 

Where do we go from here?

It looks like the next step is to go home.  We are discharged as of tomorrow!  We have one more treatment for Hannah’s salmonella poisoning (which is doing great) then we are out of here.  We will follow up with a visit to Dr. pic_05101Hollands office in two weeks, then have a CT scan and urinalysis in one month.  After this, we come once a month for six months, then once a quarter, then every six months and eventually once a year for quite some time!  We went from life-threatening, to routine check-ups in almost a week.  Nonetheless, we are nothing but grateful & relieved!  However, there is an aspect to all of this that has left us wondering what is normal?  Truth be told, we will never look at my children the same again.  This has brought a completely new resolve to our family, and I thank God for it!

 

How do we say thank you?

Though we understand that all of this could change overnight, we are looking at this as a finished chapter of our lives.  This is the point when words seem to fail me.  I can’t really express how grateful we are.  Saying thank you just doesn’t

From the Children of Saraland BC

From the Children of Saraland BC

seem to convey the emotions found in our hearts.  We’ve had visits, phone calls, and e-mails from all over the world from people sharing with us how they and their churches are praying for us.  We had family members stop everything and stay with us to help.  Many churches, especially in the Mobile area, have prayed for us and helped us get the word out to pray for Hannah.  Another encouraging thing was our friends Thad Key, Kyle Claunch, and Jonathan Hill taking initiative along with Saraland Baptist Church to start the Hannah Taylor Fund!  Our hearts melted at such a thoughtful step.  Some have asked for our mailing address, its 155B Davitt St. Mobile AL 36604, for those who asked.  In addition to all the support, there was an outpouring of godly bloggers who helped by asking for prayer. 

 

If I missed others please forgive me.  We have been very blessed to have so many help us along the way.  Even here at Children’s and Women’s Hospital pic_0516the staff have been very kind.  We have had some great doctors who have been in constant communication with us.  They have taken the time to make sure we understand everything as it unfolds.  We were truly blessed with excellent care from Hannah’s nurses as well.  Here is a picture of some who cared for her. 

 

Heartache, pain, trust, joy!

In the end, it has been a hard and trying time for us.  We have been very encouraged by the LORD!  Through this He sent you all to us, and by Him we have kept a steady foot amidst life’s horrors and fought hard not to lose heart!

“LORD, I thank you for Your Holiness!  And I thank you for not delivering our little Hannah over to the disease of cancer!  I don’t know what Your many thousands of purposes were in all of this, but I thank you that You are first in everything.  We thank you for Your supremacy, love, compassion, sovereignty, mercy, and grace.  Thank you for caring for us so deeply.  We bless You who causes all things, by Your Decrees, because of Your Nature, and for Your Glory! Amen!”

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Things I love about my little girl…

Things I love about my little girl… in no particular order!

  • Her beautiful eyes
  • Her little wobbly walk
  • The way she takes her pacifier and turns it upside down no matter how many times you give pic_0437it to her right side up
  • Her laughing at tummy toots
  • The way she says, “Hey Dada”
  • The way she hugs me tight for a long time
  • The way she gives me moose kisses
  • The way her little toes curl up when she gets excited.
  • The way she sleeps with her bottom in the air
  • The way she squeezes her dolls tight and laughs
  • How tough she is
  • Her trust in me
  • How God uses her to teach us and bless us
  • How she brings joy to our family
  • The way she keeps me up at night praying for her
  • The fact that she is only 14 months old, but we can’t even imagine life without her

Psalm 127:3-5a

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD.
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them

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