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Only God Can Judge Me>

Only God Can Judge Me>

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Published by Rod
This is a sermon I wrote for a class on the gospel of John and the Christian view of judgment.
This is a sermon I wrote for a class on the gospel of John and the Christian view of judgment.

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Published by: Rod on Jun 13, 2009
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07/10/2010

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 BRITE DIVINITY SCHOOLTEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITYFORT WORTH TEXAS
Only God Can Judge Me?:
A Sermon for Robert Carr Chapel on the usage of the Greek verb
 
 kri
nw
in the Fourth GospelBRITE DIVINITY SCHOOLNETE 70133: Exegesis in the Gospels and Acts: Johannine LiteratureDR. FRANSCISCO LOZADA, Jr.April 29, 2009RODNEY A. THOMAS JR.
 
 Copyright. Rodney A. Thomas Jr., 2009.
 Introduction
 There is no other word that can stimulate the religious and political imaginations of citizens located in the United States than the term judgment. In fact, if you asked the averageperson sitting in the pews what they think the final judgment will look like, a probable answerwould be that when we die, our souls become disembodied as we are transported to anotherworld called heaven with some bearded white man sitting on his throne is waiting for you and I,with a huge television screen replaying all of our good and evil deeds in front of our friends andfamily. This is the image of judgment that we see in our culture today. This image of JudgmentDay is perpetuated by a group of Christians who leave what are called Chick Tracks, or small
 pamphlets designed to scare sinners into the arms of the Savior, such as the one entitled, “It‟sYour Life.”
1
Even in the cartoon, The Simpsons, in the fourth epi
sode of season 7 entitled, “BartSells His Soul,” the land of the dead is portrayed as a place of judgment where the body is
separated from the soul.
2
 
Throughout this episode, human beings depicted as having a “ghostlytwin” apart from their physical bein
gs as the persons and their ghosts are on a boat togetherpaddling upstream to a mysterious location. A final example which gets overlooked that stilldepends of this cultural view of judgment comes from the music industry. The lyrics of lateTupac Shaku
r‟s song, “
Only God Can Judge Me
,”
envision the divine judgment as somethingthat is futuristic, other-worldly, and disembodied. A few of the lyrics go:Cause even Thugs cry, but do the Lord care? Try to remember, but it hurtsI'm walkin through the cemetary talkin to the, dirt I'd rather die like a man, thanlive like a coward There's a ghetto up in Heaven and it's ours, Black Power iswhat we scream as we dream in a paranoid state And our fate, is a lifetime of hateDear Mama, can you save me?
3
 
1
 
“It‟s Your Life.”
http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1101/1101_01.asp
2
 
The Simpsons. “Bart Sells His Soul. 
3
 
Tupac Shakur. “Only God Can Judge Me.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oZiOK977Aw
 
 Copyright. Rodney A. Thomas Jr., 2009.The
last hook in the song concludes with Tupac stating, “
My only fear of death is comin
 back to this [expletive] reincarnated That's for the homey mental We up out.”
For both theChristian community which publishes the Chick tracts as well as popular cultural icons such asTupac and the Simpsons
, God‟s judgment involve
s primarily an outer-body experience, theprominence of death and sin, as well as the mystery of an impersonal, wrathful god who either justifies or condemns individuals one by one. While the God of the Fourth Gospel is revealed toits audience as one who is righteous and just, the Evangelist gives us quite a different picture of 
God‟s judgment
. Contrary to the prevailing social myths concerning judgment, I will show inthis messa
ge that the evangelist of John‟s Gospel, through her/his use of the Greek term
 krinw
,particularly in chapter five, verses twenty-one through twenty-nine, provides us with a relational,vision of judgment with God the Parent and the Son at the center as well as a future, corporate,and corporeal form of judgment grounded in the Son of Man messianic tradition.
 Judging in John
Including the verb
 katakrinw
(which is only found in John 8:10-11 and when parsedliterally means I judge against or condemn,
 kata
+
 krinw
), the Greek term
 krinw
appears aseither a verb or an adjectival participle at least twenty-five times in the Gospel of John. In thediscourse between Jesus the Messiah and Nicodemus in John 3:17-18, Jesus uses
 krinw
threetimes in referring the fate of Jesus-believers and those who do not accept him; both the NewInternational Version and the New Revised Standard Version English translations of the Bibletranslate
 krinw
into the English word condemn. This could be because the editors of thesetranslations may be contrasting the aorist active subjunctive third person singular use
 krinw
(I judge) with the aorist passive subjunctive third person singular use of the verb
swsw
(I save)found in John 3:17. These passages
, however, could be translated, “
For God did not send the

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