Did Augustine Punk Out on Condemnation?

St Augustine (Woodchester)
Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

One of the Psalms says: «Take warning, you judges of the earth» (2,10). Those who judge the earth are kings, governors, princes, judges in the strict sense… Let them be warned because those who judge the earth are dealing with earthly things, but it is this woman’s business to fear him who is in heaven. They judge those equal to them: man judges man; mortals, mortals; sinners, sinners. So if our Lord causes this divine sentence to reverberate in the midst of these judges: «Let him who is without sin cast the first stone» would not those who judge the earth tremble?

To the Pharisees who, to test him, had dragged a woman caught in adultery to him… Jesus said: «Would you stone this woman as the Law prescribes. Very well, then, let whoever among you is without sin cast the first stone». While questioning them he was writing on the ground to «warn the earth», but when he gave them this answer he raised his eyes, «he looked on the earth and it trembled» (Ps 103,32). Embarrassed and trembling the Pharisees went away one by one…

The sinful woman remained alone with the Savior: the sick woman with the doctor, great wretchedness with great mercy. Looking at the woman Jesus said: «Has no one condemned you?» – «No one, Lord»… But she stands  before a judge without sin. «Has no one condemned you?» – «No one, Lord, and if you yourself do not condemn me then I am safe». The Lord responds quietly to this anxiety: «Neither do I condemn you… The voice of their conscience   prevented your accusers from punishing you; compassion compels me to come to your help». Reflect on these truths and «take warning, judges of the earth». – Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Sermon 13

Once again, Augustine proves himself to be a liberal Christian with liberal theology and an emergent personality.

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