Friday, June 7, 2024

False mercy. . .

We have some pretty odd ideas about what constitutes mercy.  Many of them are present in the culture and religions that reflect that culture today.  One such idea is that there is no judgment or accountability.  Where is the mercy in that?  That is the worst of all injustices for it means that neither virtue nor evil matter at all.  Every fool knows this is wrong and simply ends up in chaos.  Or some think that if there is a judgment or accountability, mercy would mean that there is no hell or punishment.  That would be the ultimate mercy.  Where is there mercy in that?  In this mercy, again, evil and virtue are the same.  It matters not if the individual acknowledges his sin or not, requests absolution or not.

Mercy does not mean there is no judgment; we need mercy precisely because there is a day of judgment, a moment of accountability in which all that is hidden is revealed along with all that is known.  Mercy does not shrug its shoulders with evil but answers it with something stronger that covers all our sin.  In the same way, mercy does not mean there is no hell; we need mercy precisely because hell does exist and it is real.  Mercy begins with the acknowledgement that there is judgment and there is hell and asks the Almighty for something even bigger than this judgment and its consequence in hell.

There is no mercy in saying there is no test or even that the score does not matter.  Who wants such a pale imitation of mercy?  No one does well if no one is allowed to fail.  We end up with a mercy which gives everyone as many chances as they need, never keeps score, and everyone gets a trophy at the end of it all.  While that might work for T-ball, it does not work in life.  There is no mercy here.  There is not even any God.  Yet this is what passes for mercy among some of the liberals and progressives who can find sin or evil only in those opposed to them and their fanciful ideas of mercy.  This is exactly a gospel without a cross, without sin, and, therefore, with a need for a Savior.

It is no accident that when Jesus appeared to His disciples after the Resurrection, He bestowed upon them the office and the power of the keys.  Mercy is exactly forgiveness and nothing else.  Mercy is not looking aside from our indiscretions or accepting us and leaving just the way we are.  Mercy is the absolution that cost God everything and then He freely bestows it upon us.  This is what God has done -- the unthinkable!  Not minimizing either our sin or our guilt but taking it away with something much more powerful -- the blood of His Son that cleanses us from all our sin.  With this He has also displayed the power of His great love for us -- that the burden and consequence of our wrong was borne upon the shoulders of the innocent Son whom He has sent to be our Savior.

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