Monday, September 23, 2019

What really damns. . .

Sadly, no longer do most folks fear the divine judgment at all.  On the one hand most folks are not sure if hell even exists, much less if anyone is really in it.  On the other hand, hell is too good for those who have been judged lacking in the court of moral opinion.

The Jeffery Epstein death (was it murder or suicide?) has provoked again the idea that for some, hell is too good and that the world ought to get a vote on who should be condemned there.  To be damned in the court of public opinion is more significant than to the come under the scrutiny of God's judgment or suffer His eternal condemnation.  It seems that the real judgment that matters is when the world deems these so guilty that they are beyond redemption.

Mass murderers, especially of children, fit such a bill.  So do those who violate the prevailing social mores (from those who misgender to those who adhere to the values of the Kingdom while the world has moved on).  In other words, we reserve to ourselves the ability to grant eternal judgments against those whom we abhor but we refuse to grant to God any accountability for good and evil.

It is a curious situation in which we find ourselves.  On the one hand our culture seems to reject out of hand the idea that there is any divine power or being to hold accountable any and all people, On the other hand, we seem to reserve to ourselves the judgment by which we condemn the objectionable to a fate worse than death.  What is even more curious is that we cannot even agree to what constitutes sin EXCEPT in the case of the most egregious wrongs.  So the standard if judgment is always moving, sometimes to the surprise of those doing the judging even as to those being judged!

We want a hierarchy of guilt as much as want the right and privilege of determining who is guilty!  At the same time, we want to be able to define guilt and to determine how the guilty should suffer.  It should not be lost to us that we are terribly inconsistent in this.  Isn't it really simpler and more straight forward to trust in the Law of God to define what is wrong and what is right and then to assign to God the judgment that discerns not only the guilt or innocence but what is just and what is merciful?  Perhaps we will never learn unless the Lord reveal it to us.


Carl Vehse said...

It's not that people (particularly Christians) want a vote, rather than letting God judge, on which criminals (or sinners) should be condemned to hell, but more that people debate whether a person convicted of a partiular crime should have the opportunity, through capital punishment, to face God's judgment sooner rather than later.

Of course there are those who think there are particular (hotter) levels of hell reserved for some sins or crimes. The Italian poet Dante's Inferno had its 9 Circles of Hell.

Anonymous said...

The serpent in the garden tempted Eve (with Adam standing right there…silent) by lying “You shall be as God; knowing what is good and evil.” It has always been very hard to submit to the truth that God, not man, makes the rules and that the His rules are very good. When people try to define good and evil, it is indeed a moving target.
Thanks for your insight. It is very comforting. The Law rightly condemns us. The Gospel gives us the cure: faith in Jesus Christ planted by the Holy Spirit by the Means of Grace...mainly in church.
God Bless the Preacher.
Timothy Carter,
simple country Deacon.

Cliff said...

One thing I have always said is that I will NEVER, EVER volunteer for jury duty in heaven. No way!

James Kellerman said...

I had the same reaction as you did, Pastor Peters. People were claiming, "Epstein escaped justice!" No, he leaped out of the frying pan into the fire.

Carl Vehse said...

More people likely claimed, "Someone took care of Epstein so he couldn't testify against big name politicians he flew to his pedophile island."