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Neither Do I Condemn
HITHERTO FEW of us have had
any idea of the destructive potency of condemnatory words or thoughts.
Even among Truth students who know the power of every spoken word--and
because they know it, so much greater is that power--there is a widespread
tendency to condemn the churches and all orthodox Christians, to criticize
and speak despairingly of students of different schools (as though there
could be only one school of Christ), and even to discuss among themselves
the failings of individuals who, in ways differing from their own, are
earnestly seeking to find the Christ.
Let us stop and see what we
are doing. Why should we condemn the churches? Did not Jesus "continue
to teach in the synagogues"? He did not withdraw from the church and
speak of it contemptuously. Nay, He remained in it, trying to show people
wherein they were making mistakes, trying to lead them up to a higher view
of God as their Father, and to stimulate them to live more truly righteous
lives. If He found hypocrisy in the churches, He did not content Himself
with saying, "I am holier than thou," but He remained with them
and taught them a more excellent way: that the inside of the platter must
be made clean.
Is the servant greater than
his Lord? Shall not we, whom the Father has called into such marvelous
light, rather help those sitting in darkness, even in the churches, than
utter one word of condemnation against them? A loyal son does not condemn
his father and his mother because in their day and generation, with the
limitations of their day, they did not grow up to his present standard.
We do not condemn the tallow candle or the stage coach because we have
grown into a knowledge of electricity and steam power. We only see that
out of the old grew the new, and that the old was necessary to the new.
God, in His eternal purposes,
is carrying every living person on toward a higher knowledge of the Truth,
a more perfect evolvement of Himself through the soul. If some are being
pushed on into the light of Truth and consequent liberty more rapidly than
others, shall they turn and rend those who are walking more slowly but
just as surely toward the perfect light? Nay, nay; but let them, praising
God for the marvelous revelation of Himself within their own souls, lift
up rather than condemn any who are struggling toward the light. Let them
become workers together with God, doers of the law, not judges.
Let no man who has been born
into a knowledge of God ever dare again to speak or even think
disparagingly of or to any who
seemingly are behind him in spiritual growth, lest by so doing he be found
working against God, who is infinite wisdom as well as love.
Jesus said to the disciples,
after they had come into the consciousness of their oneness with the Father
by receiving "the Holy Spirit," "Whose soever sins ye forgive
they are forgiven unto them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."
Oh, with what mighty meaning these words are fraught, in this new light
that God has given us! See how our speaking, aye, our very thinking, of
the sins or mistakes of others tends to fasten those mistakes on them as
Strong, positive thoughts of
condemnation to anyone by any person will strike that one and give him
the physical sensation of having been hit in the pit of the stomach with
a cobblestone. If he does not immediately rouse himself to throw off the
feeling--as he easily can do by looking into his Father's face and saying
over and over until it becomes realIty to him, "Thou, God, approvest
me"--it will destroy for the time being his consciousness of perfect
life, and he will fall into a belief of weakness and bitter discouragement
more quickly than from any other cause.
We read that the eyes of our
God are too pure to behold iniquity. An absolutely pure person sees no
licentiousness in another. A wholly true person sees no falsity in another.
Perfect love responds not to envy, or fear, or jealousy in another. It
"thinketh no evil." Jesus said, "The prince of the world
cometh: and he hath nothing in me"--that is, nothing to respond
to anything in himself. So, unless there is something within us that responds
to sin in others we shall not see it in them. "By thy words thou shalt
be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." the moment
we begin to criticize or condemn another, we prove ourselves guilty of
the same fault to which we are giving cognizance.
All condemnation springs from
looking at personality. Personality (Latin, persona, a mask) is
the outward appearance, not the real self. That anyone utters a word of
condemnation of another is the surest proof that he himself is yet living
largely in the external of his being, the personality; that he has not
yet risen at all beyond the plane of those to whom the pure Nazarene said:
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her:"
Just in proportion as we return to God, as we withdraw from the external
to the within of ourselves, keeping our thoughts centered on Him who is
perfect, shall we lose sight of personality, of divisions and differences,
and become conscious of our oneness with one another and our oneness with
God, Our Father.
We are one always and forever,
whether we realize it or not. Knowing this, do you not see a new meaning
in the words, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment
ye judge, ye shall be judged"?
"God sent not the Son into
the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through
him." Yet when Philip said to Jesus, "Show us the Father,"
Jesus replied, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Then,
if God does not condemn, shall we, dare we, even in the smallest things?
To each of us the Master says, "What is that to thee? follow
Not while we are looking at
the imperfect either in ourselves or in our brother, but while we "beholding
as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image
from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit."
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