Q: My small groups was watching the Heartfulness DVD series with Thomas Keating and Betty Sue Flowers, in particular, the section on sin. At the end, we were discussing the idea that neither God nor Jesus judge (both say they don’t judge, according to Father Keating). We were wondering if Father Keating was referencing particular parts of scripture? If so, do you know which specific sections he was getting this idea of non-judgment from? Or perhaps he was getting it from his own pray experience and discernment?
A: There are a number of Scripture quotes that shed light on your question.I spoke to Thomas about this and he shared the following Scripture passages with me.
John 5:22 “Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to His Son.‚Äù
John 12:47-49, “And if anyone hears my word and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him, the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day….”
The best quote comes from John 8:15; it comes shortly after the marvelous story of Jesus, the crowd, and the women caught in adultery (where was the man?), ‚ÄúYou judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone.” See John 8: 2-15 for the full story/reference.
The Gospel and the Epistle of John sets a whole different tone in regard to judgment as compared to the other New Testament writers. It causes one to have another insight into the whole question.
You are also right when you commented, “Or perhaps he (Fr. Thomas) was getting it from his own pray experience and discernment?” Many blessings to you and your prayer group – it is a marvelous journey.