There are things that people have been told about God and judging.
And there are things that people have not been told about God and judging.
Lots of things, actually.
In a sense, the justice system of God is three-fold.
Just like America.
Let’s start with God, the Father.
From almost the very beginning, quite soon after creation is accomplished, God, the Father, becomes a judge of his own creation.
He finds guilt. He judges. He sentences.
And his sentence on the inhabitants of Eden is carried out.
After that, pretty much any time you turn around, God is judging.
Somebody. Or something.
The Flood says it all.
We were found guilty. We were judged. We were sentenced.
So there we have the complete picture of God’s role as judge.
Or do we?
Some preachers and teachers like to focus on this strong-armed God who slashes his way through mankind with force and purpose.
But I wonder if any preacherman has ever discussed the existence of the Book of Life.
Which is mentioned in the Bible.
A few times, in fact.
So what is this book?
Well, many things.
But one thing it is is a list of souls.
It is not Santa’s naughty-and-nice list.
It is a list of souls.
In that aspect anyway.
You exist. You have a soul. You’re in the book.
A side note: in the process of transformation from being not in body to being in body if any death occurs that is not mandated by God himself (aka, abortion) the soul can suffer irretrievable damage. And this really messes with God’s process of creation.
So we have a book that lists the names of souls. God’s names for us.
And we also have the whole matter of The Judgment Day. Which is another topic preachermen like to steer clear of, unless to remind us of how judgmental God really is. (See above.)
With God’s judgment being all about anger and punishment.
We somehow filter out how God judged Abraham after he was willing to sacrifice his own son to prove his faith in God.
Or how God not only judged King David, but smoothed out the consequences of his actions so the the lineage to Jesus could remain intact.
And then there’s Saint Paul.
And God’s judgment there.
Are we ever threatened with that from the pulpit?
Not that I can think of.
You, you there. You are a complete waste of time. You are everything a Christian should not be. So, perhaps God will chose you to be his greatest spokesman. You never know.
As I wrote, I can’t remember any finger-shaking about that.
So we’ve got The Flood on one side. And Saint Paul on the other.
With the Book of Life and Judgment Day somewhere in the middle.
With me so far?
As it happens, and not surprisingly, God has already determined Who We Are in terms of the final judgment.
It’s already in the Book.
Slam! goes the cover.
God wipes his hands of all the dust.
And it’s all set.
I know a bit about this book and how this judging works.
I know because for a few years I had to track down 13 types of souls and study them.
They were going to be erased from the Book.
If you cease to exist then there is no future for you with God.
I did manage to track down these types of souls, and I understood their different characteristics.
So there we have it. If you are one of those souls, you’re out.
Otherwise, your judging has been individualized.
And set in stone, so to speak.
So let’s move on to the references of God, the Son, as judge.
It’s referred to in the Bible a few times.
And I suppose we do see Jesus judging like his father.
He finds the Pharisees guilty.
He releases a whole lot of people from their sins and heals them.
No questions asked.
I have to admit, however, that growing up, the image of Jesus as judge always made me laugh.
I wondered if at sentencing, would the choice be between giving the defendant a kitten or a puppy?
Or a plant that takes care of itself but is very beautiful to cheer those who have been brought before him because their souls have sunk to such a desperate level.
And I’ll even admit that, from time to time, that image comes back to me even now.
But, seriously, I have watched what appears to me as Jesus beckoning those that he wants to judge. And I have to wonder if he chooses certain people because he wants to do what he can to help them. Transform them. Restore integrity to their spirituality.
So how does this fit with the absolute judgments lying in wait for us in the Book of Life?
Jesus actually works with people on an individual basis to return them to being reconciled with God, the Father.
That’s one of his jobs, actually. Reconciliation.
And it is going on all around us all the time.
So we might say that Jesus is an editor of the Book of Life.
Which I think is cool.
So then there’s the Holy Ghost.
(I prefer that term. In fact, I’ve always wanted to design a T-shirt, black, with the word “Boo” in white, on the front, up on the shoulder where you put things on T-shirts, and on the back the words, “Greetings from the Holy Ghost.”)
There’s the Holy Ghost.
Who is, I have been shown, responsible for the Book of Life.
Whatever that means.
But it is in the purview of the Holy Ghost to, well, change things.
Not perhaps to edit the Book as Jesus clearly can.
But to move people.
Be the wind at a person’s back to nudge him in the direction of Jesus.
I’ve also witnessed times when something, some force from God, has gotten right in there and turned black to white, and sorrow to joy.
Which makes it much easier on the person’s soul.
If you know what I mean.
And it strikes me that that must alter the way the person responds to God, which, in turn, must have some influence on how this person is judged in the Book of Life.
So it’s a living book, I guess.
A book that while God, the Father, has officially “finished” with it until the Day of Judgment, other aspects of God continue to actively wiggle around in people’s souls.
Would this be considered tweaking, do you think?
Whatever it is, it is.