Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

Edit: After I made this post, it came to light that Josh Duggar had not, in fact, changed his heart and gotten free from his sinful past. I am extremely disappointed in him. However, it is still no reason to be anything but sympathetic to his wife, parents, siblings, children, etc. Everything else in this post still stands, however, insofar as it applies to people and Christianity in general.

Original Post: I don’t watch 19 Kids and Counting for various reasons, but as a Christian I’m gonna put my two cents worth out there. A man did something awful when he was 14. Twelve years later, people – mainly non-Christians, but definitely some believers too – are using that as a reason to tear him and his parents down.

First of all, how many perfect fourteen-year-olds do you know? For that matter, how many perfect adults? Sure, he in particular messed up REALLY BAD, but from what I can tell his behaviour was properly dealt with and punished. No parent can entirely prevent their children from sinning, but they CAN treat the aftermath appropriately. Lots and lots of people are really, really stupid when they’re 14. Then they learn from their mistakes and they grow up! It’s life, that’s how it works!

Secondly, anyone who thinks everyone who is a Christian must have always lived a spotless life is dead wrong. I’ve had no less than two pastors who used drugs as a teenager, and turned their life around. People change, especially when they have God in their hearts. If we as believers are portraying the image that we’re absolutely spotless in our own power, then we’re doing a terrible job of sharing the Gospel. No wonder people call us hypocrites! They think our message is “to follow God, you must never have sinned”. And with that, we alienate 100% of the population.

Which brings me to my final point. Forgiveness. It’s at the very core of Christianity. We don’t have to offer lambs and bulls and turtledoves as sacrifices – payments – for our sins anymore, because Jesus’ death has covered all that. We can accept the blood of the new covenant, the promise between God and humankind, and we can be forgiven. If God can forgive Suzy-from-the-suburbs’ gossip and lies, then He can forgive Josh Duggar’s sins too, because His blood is enough for all of humanity’s sins, forever.

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-22)

Thanks for reading!
~Another Jesus Freak

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Justice & Mercy

Posted: March 25, 2015 in Christianity, Non-fiction
Tags: , , ,

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post on this blog. Years. But it’s only been because I haven’t had much to say. For the last few months, I’ve been using my radio show, Joyful Noise, as a public platform for the kinds of things I used to say on here. But, the topic on my mind today has too many words and not enough songs to make a good radio show.

A long time ago in a Facebook discussion, I mentioned why I’m a Christian. There’s two main reasons: I was raised to believe, and I want to believe. It occurred to me last night that I want to follow God because of two things: His justice and His mercy. They’re almost like opposites: justice is giving to each person exactly what they deserve, while mercy is being kind to someone who deserves punishment.

I love God because He is just. He knows a person’s heart, so He knows their intent, and He knows exactly what they did. There’s no he-said-she-said, subjective jury, or benefit of the doubt with God. He can choose exactly the right punishment for every crime. I love that because it means there are eternal repercussions for earthly wrongdoing. Earthly consequences are great and all, but there’s all kinds of people who do terrible things their whole lives, and because it’s technically legal they feel no remorse, and they die rich and happy. But God knows everything you’ve done and everything you will choose do, and He makes sure that in the end every villain will get their comeuppance.

Unfortunately, though, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). Seriously, when was the last time you met a perfect person? Never, that’s when. You’ve done bad things too, and if you tell me you haven’t, you’re lying and there’s a bad thing right there! So does that mean God is going to punish you and there’s no escaping it?

Nope.

God is merciful, because we are His creation and He loves all of us. Mercy means He isn’t going to punish someone who is truly sorry. He forgives you when you ask. This is available to anyone, at any time, since Jesus died on the cross to take our punishment for us. I mean, it’s not going to take away those earthly consequences, because that’s between you and other humans. But, you don’t have to feel guilty in God’s eyes, or afraid of Him. If you say to God, “I’ve done something wrong, I wish I hadn’t, and I’m not going to do it again,” you can accept the forgiveness He offers, and your spiritual record is wiped clean.

Justice for the guilty, mercy for the repentant, and love for all humankind. That’s the God I want to serve, and that’s the God in the Bible.

Thanks for reading,
~Another Jesus Freak

P.S. See also the song Justice And Mercy by Flyleaf.