Justice and GRACE
Proverbs 21:15 (NIV)
15. When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.
Is it Justice we want?
We hear on TV, stories of a protests; “what do we want?” “JUSTICE!” “when do we want it?” “NOW!”
Is it “justice,” the protesters want?
Wow! What a can of worms this can be. I thought this is a no brainer. It is simple; the protestor and the protested have equal representation under the law. Right? Well not so fast, my assumption was we all agree on the “rule of law” as written and adjudicated in the/our court system.
What if one believes the “rule of law” is based on a religious bias of a judgemental god that is Unjust in proclaiming only one way or one kind of morality.
Wikipedia puts it this way;
Justice, in its broadest context, includes both the attainment of that which is just and the philosophical discussion of that which is just. The concept of justice is based on numerous fields, and many differing viewpoints and perspectives including the concepts of moral correctness based on ethics, rationality, law, religion, equity and fairness. Often, the general discussion of justice is divided into the realm of social justice as found in philosophy, theology and religion, and, procedural justice as found in the study and application of the law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice
It seems most commonly protesters are picketing or marching in protest of a social injustice. And social justice is often influenced by an individual's world view or ones own point of view. Anything that is opposed to that point of view, is “unjust”!
So I am coming from a Biblical point of view.
Some folks feel the biblical god is unjust to allow so much pain or hurt in this world we live in. Like so many others it pains me to see the hurting, violence and hatred in this world, if only there wasn’t envy, lying, cheating or stealing in society. And surely an all powerful God could prevent or remove all of these destructive impulses.
At birth (creation) God loves every soul and He never changes. I have to wonder, would we really want a God that would change His love of human creation just because we went wrong?
Do we want a an unmerciful God that excommunicates us for our faults?
I find some things so heinous that it is a good thing that I am not the judge.
Lets just suppose; I have heard it said that child molester have a hard time in our correctional system. Even robbers and murderers have no tolerance for prisoners convicted and incarcerated for pediphilia or other crimes against children. I have heard of convicted pediphiles being emasculated even murdered by other prisoners.
For me, I have trouble grieving for a murdered child abuser. I don’t like that about myself, I doubt that others would find that a Christ like behavior in me.
To this point would we really want a God that would instantly judge us at any single act of violence especially murder! How about these things that lead to the previous like anger, hatred selfishness, stealing or lying.
In Acts chapter five we can find this very example:
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died.(I) And great fear(J) seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body,(K) and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”(L)
9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord?(M)Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.(N) Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.(O) 11 Great fear(P) seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Instant Justice! Is this what we want?
This is where the Grace of God comes in, “God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16) The sacrifice that gives all of God’s creation second chances, yes there will be a time of final judgement but before that is Grace.
John 1:17 (NIV)
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Yes, we all live in an imperfect world full of imperfect people. We live among fallen humanity, greedy, hurtful people, some whom have never hurt their neighbor. Adulterous men and women living next to gay couples that haven’t lied, stole or murdered. Sadly we live in a world with racists among others that in the name of god are devout in ridding the world of infidels.
If I blame God for all of grief in the world, for every hungry child or for every murder committed because of greed, lust or jealousy, shouldn’t I also give God credit for every good thing in my life. Every sunrise over a snow capped peak, every sunset reflected on a sea and every breath I take.
May be it up to us. Could it be so simple as what was called the “golden rule”? That everyone on the European continent treat their neighbor the way they would want to be treated. That all of us in the America’s treat one another the way we would like to be treated. And every one on the eastern continent should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself?
My wish for everyone is A new year of Grace.
R. C. B. Lewis; 2012-15 All rights reserved