74 thoughts on “Podcast #5: Justice”

  1. Interesting… I may read the minor prophets.

    Went back to the old church last night… it was painful; the preacher went on and on about doing more for Jesus. He used to go “soul-winning” for a couple of hours; now he goes six (why don’t YOU do more?). He gives well above 10% to the church (why don’t YOU do more?). He used to pray for small periods of time; now he can pray for hours (why don’t YOU do more?).

    It was also heavy on emotionalism.

    I should add that I think the preacher was sincere; the Spirit of God had touched his heart about the time he had been wasting on empty pursuits… I was put off by all of the “look at what I do”, with the implied “if you’re not doing as much as me, you’re not as committed to Him as I am”.

    Serious guilt trip stuff. Everyone around me seemed to think it was great. I was angered at the lack of Bible teaching, at the emotional content, and the guilt trip, so perhaps I am getting better (or perhaps worse).

    Thanks for the minor prophets tip!

      1. I know the feeling. I’ve gone to fundy churches of my own accord since leaving, and am usually sorry afterwards.

        1. You gotta stop doing that. There are plenty of great churches out there (and they aren’t fundamentalist.)

  2. The first time I ever thought Baptist theology had a bigger problem than a few one-offs, and wacky characters was sometime after college when I realized God’s justice was in fact not synonomous with (and often an antonym to) God’s wrath. I think that willful mis understanding is very central to being able to read the Scriptures and find an Angry God on the verge of destroying the universe at a moments notice.

    1. I struggle with finding the balance of truth between there being “no condemnation” for those who are in Christ and the idea that we will be “called to give an account.”

      I know that one way or another at the end of time, all of the wrongs here will be righted. How exactly that’s going to work out I don’t completely understand…but I know it’s true and it’s something I have to cling to as I see the craziness that goes on around me every day.

      1. There definitely is justice in punishing the wicked. I can’t think of anywhere outside of the conquest of Israel that Justice is expressed in human agency as wrathful, where as the idea of beginning to right the wrong and living in the Kingdom are expressly human activities on behalf, and for and by God throughout Scripture.

        1. Add Judges to that list as well, but I think the point stands, prob are another few I’m missing.

      2. This is the difference between salvation (which is eternal) and a personal relationship with God. Salvation starts that relationship but as with any relationship we have the ability to temporarily break fellowship from Christ by our decisions and actions. God tells us that we are accountable for how we use our relationship with Christ until we die or are raptured. This is not eternal judgement when we “give an account.” But, our master as the parable of the talents teaches will be coming back and some will be blessed in ways that others may not based on how they brought glory to Christ.
        That sounds like our works somehow bring glory to Christ, but we know that man can do no good in himself. So instead, we must live out our salvation (Rom. 6). Just as we could do nothing to save ourselves. We can do nothing to glorify God and become more like Him in ourselves. In Salvation, we stop trying to work our way and put our faith in His work. We do the same thing in our life as a believer as we pursue to conform ourselves to the Word of God. We put our faith in the work of Christ and that we now have become one with Him and therefore have died to sin and are alive unto righteousness. Or in simple words, we no longer are completely helpless to sins power and are able through God’s grace to do things that are good to God. I hope that helps. It helped me when the Lord taught me that principal.

        1. For the first paragraph, I like to think about the marriage covenant. I can wrong my wife in some way and break fellowship with her until I confess and ask for her forgiveness for wronging her. This does not mean during that time of broken fellowship that we are in some way not married. The covenant is completely valid.

        2. I would really like to see some Scripture to show that we can break fellowship with God and Jesus, because I think that is load of bull used to guilt-trip people into keeping rules for fear of “breaking fellowship” with Jesus. I am willing to be proven wrong though.. anyone? Seriously, not being funny here.

        3. Excellent observations Biblicist

          1 John 1:9 is a very appropriate passage dealing with this realtionship/fellowship scenario

        4. This is something that I am attempting to understand from Scripture. No where does it say in 1 John 1 that after we get saved we can remove ourselves from fellowship by sinning (unless I’m missing something in the Greek). Verse 3 the Gospel is proclaimed for the reason of bring people INTO fellowship with God. If one sin can break fellowship with God then what do you define as sin? The president of my fundy college would say that failing to obey the rules of the college (such as going to bed at 11 every night) is sin. I think we could all agree on what is normally considered sin in Christian circles, but where do you draw the line? Is not obeying civil authorities a sin? Then every time my speedometer reaches 51mph in a 50mph zone I have just lost fellowship with God if the argument is followed to it’s logical conclusion. (I realize no sane person would make that claim, but I’ve heard the equivalent many times.)
          IMO I think that fellowship with Jesus is always open to the believer. It can be our choice to not communicate with God, and in a sense, not be in fellowship with Him, but we do not have to win our way back into His favor.. He is always there waiting, but does not need to be appeased by my confession for me to approach Him. When God sees me He sees the righteousness of Christ, not my sin. Phil 3:9, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.
          Sorry for the ramble, this is something I’m trying to come to terms with in my own life.

        5. SDG, I’m with you. I was always taught in fundyland that sin wouldn’t affect relationship, but it could however affect fellowship. Of course that kind of thinking lends itself to the Big, Bad, Eye-in-the-sky God waiting to crush us if we do anything wrong. I have just recently been looking into that myself, I wish I could tell you that I have arrived at a great conclusion to the matter, but I haven’t.

          I try everyday to serve the Lord faithfully and I know how gracious He is to us, so its hard for me to believe that just because I screw up occasionally, there goes my fellowship. The bible tells us he remembers our form, that we are made from the dust.

          Most of my understanding of scriptures comes from the the IFB. My last fundy preacher (20 yrs) use to often say, don’t believe me, study in the bible for yourself, I did exactly that and then had to leave his church.

        6. don’t believe me, study in the bible for yourself, I did exactly that and then had to leave his church.

          Instant Classic Quotable SFL 😎

        7. Didn’t exactly finish off that last thought. My understanding of scriptures has been shaped by the IFB. So often, when confronted with a question, like the above, for instance, I will want to throw out a fundy answer. Many times that answer will actually be right, but sometimes not, so basically I try to see what the scriptures say and rightfully divide the Word of Truth, and hopefully answer with alot more love than folks in fundyland demonstrate.

        8. Ps. 66:18 says “If I regard wickedness in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” Greg, I do think we can take this teaching too far. God is not sitting there waiting for us to mess up, but He does take sin seriously. His Son died on the cross for each of our sins. It is a big deal.

  3. I think going to church and hearing the same thing over and over, said in the same way, becomes a comfort. Does it mean that everybody there that thought it was so great is going to run out and start doing those things too? Some thoughtful person might be so inspired, but I bet most don’t really think about it. It becomes agreeable background noise. Then you move on to the next expected thing-the invitation, etc. It’s like a ritual.

    It’s crazy when you think about it. You hear some terrible thing shouted at you-like everybody’s going to hell or something. You nod, yell Amen!, then think, well time to go eat lunch!

    You beome dulled to it all. OR you are the serious, analytical type who actually tries to live your life like the preacher says, then eventually burn out, start thinking about how fundies really work, etc.-and get out.

    I’ll never forget visiting a charismatic-type church where a bunch of people were up front having these dramatic spiritual experiences-while the teenagers in the back at the soundboard looked bored and talked amongst themselves. It was what they saw Sunday after Sunday-the whole scene was absurd!

    I guess it’s the majority who’s lulled by it all Sunday after Sunday that are the actual enablers. They keep it going, do they not?

    1. The service becomes a “comfort”, “agreeable background noise”, “a ritual.” – Totally agree! The ironic thing is we were always being told about those liberal churches where people didn’t want to be told about sin; they just wanted to hear sermons they liked (the “itching ears” scenario). However, ALL people are prone to demanding preaching they like. I wish the IFB would be more humble about acknowledging this and realize that they TOO tend to gravitate toward preaching they WANT to hear, that lulls their consciences and comforts them into thinking they’re OK. (For example, as long as I have the right Bible version, I’m OK, and it doesn’t matter if I’m mean and harsh and unforgiving.)

      Maybe they don’t realize they’re being “lulled” because it’s loud and noisy and energetic, but if it keeps them from changing into being more Christ-like, it IS keeping them asleep and safe in the status quo.

      1. Extrapolate this out and ask, “Why would God favor my church more than that other church?” If one is honest and objective, the list usually has nothing in it. All churches have issues. We just learn to tolerate them or leave.

    2. Good points, Lynn.

      Being the serious, analytical type (goes with the shyness), I analyzed it and it made me a bit ill. Couldn’t say much when all my former friends were talking about what a “powerful” message it was.

      One friend told me that his prayer life had been getting dull and he wanted a prayer life like the speaker claimed he had.

    1. Yeah, that one came to mind as well. If anybody hasn’t experienced the works of Mr. Cash in his later years, they’ve missed out.

      I say that as someone who cannot stand country music.

      1. I don’t like most “country” music, but Johnny Cash is one of the exceptions. He was so genuine; he had so much integrity.

    2. Much as I love Johnny Cash, I can’t ever think of him without remembering this from an old stack of Christian comic books I had growing up:

  4. You know Darrell I have struggled with the concept of Justice for a while now. I’ve asked the same questions as you over and over.

    I have a friend who knows about serious IFB injustice and abuse in a church that I will not name. There are hundreds of us that came from this church who suffered for years in silence and shame. This woman felt like it was time she spoke up for the voiceless and defenseless and play the vigilante and serve up justice for this “man of God” Can you imagine how it went?
    It ended up escalating the abuse and injustice.
    At some point I have had to realize that only God can bring justice. Even though I wish I could be heard and believed, even though I wish there would be justice for the on-going spiritual abuse, I know only God can bring justice.
    Doesn’t make it easier though.
    I was able to get free… the process of healing is excruciating at times.
    Glad I am not the only one with these questions. Thank you Darrell.

  5. ::tears::tears::tears::

    Thank you Darrell! So well said—once again!

    There is a balance (always) between mercy, truth and justice. And we can only forgive those who seek forgiveness. That’s why we hear the common phrase, “Forgiveness is for *us*, not *them*” I love this definition: Forgiveness is walking into the courtroom, God is the judge, and I hand him my file of junk against the person who wronged me and I say, “Here it is. It’s yours. Now you take care of it, in your way and time.” I love that the most. Because it doesn’t say to “Forgive and forget” and “hush up” about the wrong done. That would just be stupid to do—especially if other vulnerable people are in the line of fire. But it does ultimately leave the issues with God.

    And another thought: You’re right. Anger is appropriate. Especially when dealing with the pharisees. Jesus used anger, sarcasm, humor, and wooing to get people to see the truth enough to follow him—instead of those unjust rulers/leaders. I think that’s exactly where this situation is with the IFB. We are dealing with unjust/unruly/unrighteous and pharisaical leaders—who REFUSE to do right. So sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    And finally: I have said for four years that if ANY of them turned from their gross error and acknowledged what they had done and got it right, I’d be the first to open my doors and invite them in. I cannot do that until they are ready to acknowledge their own toxicity–as we have all had to do in our journeys to freedom–or they will just corrupt us again. But, I’m ready. Arms open wide. Yes–even for the repentant molester—who molested my own children. In that situation, I’d set clear boundaries, continue to seek justice as much as was in me, and I’d not invite him into my home and have a relationship (in that way–you know)—-but my arms would be open wide—-in love.

    Thanks for this this morning!

    1. Jocelyn, I completely agree that we cannot forgive that person until they ask for it, but Christ gives us an example as He is on the cross. He asks God “to forgive them” (i.e. those that were putting Him to death on the cross). I believe there is vertical forgiveness and horizontal forgiveness. Horizontal is person to person and is limited to times when that person asks for forgiveness. Vertical forgiveness is for the other times. We can rest in this forgiveness. We can give that hurt, pain, suffering, memories to God; so we don’t have to exist with it by ourselves. I am not attempting to make this sound as if this is a simple task, but through Christ it is possible. Maybe not today but someday. God understands where you are right now, even when others have no clue. Ps. 103:14 – God “knows our frame.” He understands you and me; because He created us. I hope that is a comfort.

      1. Jocelyn, you are right. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting; because God forgives us, but He cannot forget anything He is all knowing. Instead, forgiveness is no longer holding that wrongdoing to someones account.
        This leaves room for being wise and taking precautions in order to safe guard yourself against further hurt.

        1. Biblicist – you’re saying some good things but alittle off on some things. First off I’m not sure that human beings this side of eternity can “forget”

          Our God absolutely forgets our sin. His Word tells us as much all over scripture; Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” Hebrews 8:12 “For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sin no more.”

        2. What Greg said. God DOES forget our sin! No offense Biblicist but what I’m reading in your comments is a lot of opinion with a small amount of Bible. 😕

        3. I agree with Biblicist.
          Forgiveness is NOT just blindly given out. He is willing- but you must come to Him.
          Listen to Luke 17:3, “If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”
          He now waits for any and all to repent and call upon the name of Jesus to give them that gift – of forgiveness-God is still answering His sons prayer “Father forgive them”

        4. Greg, you are right, we cannot choose to forget this side of eternity. That is part of the reason why I believe that God cannot “forget” our sins. If He is all-knowing, wouldn’t our actions, including sinful ones, be part of the “all”? Another apparent problem would be the command in Eph.4:32 where we are commanded to forgive “each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (ESV) If we must forgive “just as” God forgave us, but at the same time, we are unable to forget, then God’s command is impossible for us to obey.
          I did a little research; because Hebrew is not something I am fluent in, and I found that the word “remember” in Hebrew has a broader meaning not only to mentally recall but also can refer to the action taken basked on the recalling. For instance, “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided” Gen. 8:1. I am not sure if that helps or not, but that is what how I believe this “apparent” contradiction is no contradiction at all.

        5. Greg, to clear one thing up. I believe those verses in Hebrews are quotes from Isaiah. That is why I wrote about the Hebrew language. That was probably confusing.

        6. Biblicist, God is all-knowing and all powerful. He is so powerful (in my way of thinking) that He can choose to forget. His Word says so, very clearly. Now to explain this to anyone, how God knows everything and yet chooses to “forget” is way beyond my pay-scale, and if you find someone that can, please ask them to explain the Trinity while they are at it.

          Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are highter than the earth, so are my ways higher than your thoughts.”
          This is how I can understand how God can “forget” and yet still be “all-knowing.”

          Now as to Ephesians 4:32 We know from the above that our ways are not His ways, so let’s not even pretend for a moment that we are going to be able to “forgive” just exactly like as in “Christ God forgave you” what I would suggest is that, absolutely we should forgive our brothers and sisters (btw, this is definitely talking about brothers and sisters in Christ, not the world at large)to the best of our human capabilities. I mean to show that this can’t mean “exactly” like Christ did, His forgiveness of mankind’s sin provided a way for everyone to be saved, so, no, we won’t be forgiving “exactly” as Christ did.

          This is probably not written as good as someone who has more ability, but I hope it answers how I understand the scriptures that we are discussing.

        7. Greg, I respect your opinion. I may disagree on some points, but I definitely agree that “His ways are above our ways and his thoughts above our thoughts.” I think you did a great job of explaining your beliefs. The great thing is that we don’t have to completely understand to have saving faith. Thanks for your time. These discussions stretch my biblical knowledge and understanding or lack there of at times. I genuinely appreciate your spirit. 😀

      2. Biblicist, I really wish you’d put your name to your postings. I think that is the brave/courageous thing to do, especially when a person tries to teach another person. To me, it sounded as if you are talking down to me by your “instruction.”

        I’m not trying to sound disagreeable with you, but I think until you walk in another persons moccasins, it’s difficult to know how to talk to a grieving person. To this day I rarely open up to people in a public setting where I’m not sure it is 100% safe. Why? Because the IFB seem to be the FIRST ones in line to tell you how “wrong” you are for thinking one way or another. The arrogance is astounding in that group. I don’t like anonymous forums for this reason. I’m not saying you were intentionally this way in your posting. Actually, it was really not *that* bad.

        And I chose to put myself out there, because I hate hiding the truth of who I am and right where I’m at in my personal journey.

        Today, Darrell said some things that really tugged at my heart. Maybe I’m right the way I view things…maybe I’m not. Maybe you’re right the way you view things..maybe you’re not.

        But one thing I know for sure: You are not a close friend of mine, you have not walked my journey and so I feel as though you do not have enough of a relationship with me to “instruct” me on anything. I know you may have meant well. But this is the very thing that needs to stop in the IFB. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight it.

        The IFB needs to learn how to JUST FEEL WITH people, in their hurt. Not preach at/teach them. And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you are IFB, since I don’t know who you are (Although the new thing in the IFB is to say you are a “Biblicist,” which makes me have questions—but that’s beside the point). What I AM saying is whether or not you are IFB, you obviously carry baggage there—because you wouldn’t have responded so quickly or “instructively” if you didn’t. That is a very “IFB thing” to do.

        So, I’m asking you just to reevaluate your response to people who choose to be transparent. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t mean harm. But to be honest, when I read your words, I just thought, “Oh, here we go again. Two points and a poem why I’m wrong and someone else is right.” Sigh. I know that may be exaggerated in my mind, because of all the times others have been much more “in my face.” But it still solicited that response from me.

        And your approach doesn’t do much to help the hurting/struggling soul. You just crush their spirit one more time. I just don’t see Jesus doing that to the hurting–ever.

        Not trying to make a mountain out of something little…but it just wasn’t little to me…so please consider this.

        To those of you who just poured out your thanks to me for my transparency and showed such sweet compassion…I really appreciate it. I needed that today—I really did—as I continue this journey and working through all this pain from the past.

        1. Wait….he agrees with you and then tries to offer further help and you are angry at him?

          Please don’t.

          Also, when you said

          “And your approach doesn’t do much to help the hurting/struggling soul. You just crush their spirit one more time. I just don’t see Jesus doing that to the hurting–ever. ”

          I thought of Jesus and the woman at the well in John 4. She could have run away and said he was being judgemental of her and “crushing her spirit” when he pointed out the sin in her life, but she didn’t. She received His instruction.

          There must come a point when answeres are giving and not just feeling with those who feel.
          How do they treat people who become addicted to therapy? You dont keep sending them to therapy.

          Sorry, but your post really cried out to me as someone who is hurt and therefore possibly dangerously over sensitive to instruction.

          My heart goes out to you.

        2. Jocelyn,

          You said the same things I was thinking, only you were a lot nicer. God bless you and your family!

        3. @Jocelyn, after reading what you wrote, I thought of this quote I just found on a blog: “Out of the hundreds of sermons and chapels I attended, my desire, my heart, my feelings came with me but were most often pummelled or corrected to death by the time I left. Verses were sliced and diced from the Bible to condemn our anger, our jealousy, our doubt, our fear, our desires, and even our joy (be careful WHY you feel happy), our pride, our grief (God has a purpose for everything that happens to you, so feel sad for awhile but you better get thankful again soon). We were TOLD what we SHOULD want. “You call yourself a Christian? Then, you should want to read your Bible every day. You should want to pray a lot. You should want to ‘evangelize’ and give away all your earthly goods to the needy. You should want to tell everyone about God. You should want this, you should want that, and if you don’t then something is really WRONG with your faith, with your belief, with YOU.” I spent years agonizing over whether my feelings on the inside qualified me to be a Christian (even a PERSON) and filled a dozen journals with my doubts and anguish.” I just thought this was very insightful.

          Thank you for your transparency and your willingness to follow Christ in obedience even to the point of forgiving those who have wronged you.

        4. Theo, you’re right. Why did I bother dialoguing here. Don’t worry Theo, I’ll never step foot in your throne room again and ruin your perfectly shiny group.

          You are obviously more godly than I. You are so holy. And pure. And righteous. I’m so sorry that I’m not up to your spiritual standing.

          “Dear Lord, I wish I were as spiritual as Theo. I’m not. I’m not sure how to handle the emotions I feel as he calls out my error. As he has said, he is the righteous one here and I have no right to say that I was feeling put down. That is ungodly of me to express such emotion and opinion of the situation. Please continue to bless this man, Theo, who is obviously more holy than any man I’ve ever talked to in my life. Help me Lord to be as holy as he claims to be.”

          LOL! Gotta’ love those pharisees.

        5. Thanks Kim for validating my feelings on that. I really don’t think they understand what condescension looks like. It’s amazing. It’s all over there group. Nearly everyone is like that. Sigh. Why did I even bother? This is why I never talk in groups where I know they will poke their head in. I can’t take the emotions of it. It makes me angry and I don’t want to live like that. So I just stay away from them.

        6. And to my fellow “pastors wife”;) That’s exactly it. It’s the whole round about way of confronting your response or opinion. It makes me think ever saying anything sincere to them is 100% pointless. Their entire goal is to teach you something, call you out on something, or to sound more “put together” then you could ever be. As if they have a corner on the truth or on how you should handle your own private situation. I put myself out there on here today and then, WHAP–instruction and condescension. I’m not in any competition with anyone. I’m ready and willing to admit that I have errors in my life–I think that was the point of my original posts. I know who I am and what I struggle with in my life. And for someone to tell me how to think or believe or feel, who doesn’t have a clue what I’ve been through just strikes me like a big, fat put-down/pharisee.

          And then there’s good old Theo who tops it off. I’m definitely done for the night. Grace to all of you who have the strength and stamina to contend with these rude, vicious and unkind people who poke their head on here. I’m glad I tried it once. Won’t do it again. Kudos to all you though.

        7. Oh, and to those who may read this who may think my response to Biblicist was over the top, please look at the timing of my TWO posts, right on top of each other. That has been lost in translation I’m sure…since there are so many posts in-between. But I took his post on “forgiveness” and “response” as a response to BOTH my posts that were at one time back and back and written minutes apart. Biblicists would have read both those posts, then just responded to the top one.

          With that said, I think you can see for yourselves why I would have taken his post as more of “instruction” and “correction”—then agreement and compassion.

        8. I am sorry that you feel that way. I in no way am trying to tell you what to do. That is not my place nor my intention. I actually don’t know what else to say; except, I am not judging you. I was attempting to encourage you. I obviously failed miserably and for that I apologize. I will no longer post to you. May God bless.

      3. The modle Biblicist put forth is the model behind forgiveness that is taught by the NANC Movement. It is somewhat indirectly biblical in that it is logically derived from the Bible. Nevertheless, it is a good way of looking at it.

        There is a formal forgiveness that is designed to restore a relationship – that a person must ask for and be formally granted in order to serve its purpose. Then there is as you put it, the ‘horizontal’ forgiveness: always having a spirit of forgiveness, love and humility before God and therefore toward your fellow man.

        However, not only is forgiving not forgetting, it is not ignoring. There are many in fundamentalism that continue to religiously, emotionally, and at times physically abuse people. This must not be overlooked in the name of forgiveness.

        It was mentioned that anger is not wrong. That is so true. Hatred is wrong, but anger is a natural emotion – a God-given response to help us deal with things. It is a necessary step of the detox process. Look at the Minor Prophets and the Psamls – see how many times godly men were honest enough with God about their anger or frustration, even with Him. It was a great comfort to me when I realized I could be totally honest with God, and not have to put on a fake smile in prayer.

        All that said, I think Jocelyn is showing a very Christ-like attitude in her willingness to set things right. I know you meant well, Biblicist, but there is a wisdom in not telling hurting people what else they should/could be doing.

        Theo – yes, Jocelyn is hurting, but that doesn’t mean she needs a sermon. God gave us feelings so we could empathize with those who are hurting. Just as we should not make decisions with our emotions, we should not try to comfort the hurting with our intellect.

  6. I think people confuse justice with retribution. Biblical justice does not refer to punishing offenders (although that is sometimes involved); instead, it means setting things right, especially where the powerless (the widow, the orphan, the poor, the foreigner) are concerned.

    1. I’m not sure what you mean here. Can you explain more? Are you just contrasting biblical justice with earthly justice? Because I think it IS biblical to prosecute abusers—to the full extent of the law—so they pay a consequence and others are warned, to ensure their personal safety. I’m guessing you’re just making a contrast though—am I right?

      1. I think his point is that while penalty is just, kindness is also just, restoration is just, mercy is just, and I for one, have never heard anything but wrath taught as defining God’s Justice in IFB.

        1. I would disagree on that definition of justice. Justice is not kindness or wrathful. Justice is not merciful or for restoration. Justice is simply implementing a fair penalty on a crime (i.e. an eye for an eye). If Justice was combined with kindness that is grace (getting forgiveness when we deserve a penalty) and would no longer be justice. For instance, if someone killed another individual and the murder was forgiven and let go that would be gracious but not just. I hope that makes sense.

        2. Yeah, uh, no. Justice makes right what is wrong, penal consequences punishes wrongs that are “unfixable”, and are a very poor substitute for justice when the wrong cannot be righted. Also are a disincentive for unjust behavioyr, but do not truly address the injustices.

        3. Whoa, why all the “down” on Biblicist?! It doesn’t seem like his/her intention is to preach and condemn, and thumbs up to him, he doesn’t use sarcasm when people disagree 😛

          I looked up the definition to justice:
          It can mean rightfulness and lawfulness, but also means,
          “the administering of deserved punishment or reward” and
          “the maintenance or administration of what is just by law.”
          Justice is getting what you deserve.

        4. Yeah, I don’t mind Biblicists posts, but I also don’t accept that solely penalty/judgement are the definition of Justice.

  7. And I’m also going to be super honest here: I have to tell you that it was REALLY HARD for me to put in writing that I would open my arms to the man who abused my children. Even as I wrote that just now, I fought back the anger of what he did to them. I’m a work in progress. And I also have to admit publicly that sometimes I secretly hope he will never “repent” so I don’t have to open my arms to him ever again. Because everything inside of me wants him to feel every ounce of pain he has caused my kids.

    How would I really handle things if that day came? I cannot really say—because it would be brand new to me and I’m so human. As arrogant as he is in his ways, I don’t think I’ll have to ever go there…and I have to admit that that may make things easier for me.

    That’s the *real* side of this. The real, 100% transparent side. The ugly part of abuse. It doesn’t just “magically go away” the minute an abuser feigns this repentance.

    1. It is messy and complicated and difficult and uncomfortable. That might be why typical IFB churches try to ignore abuse or sweep it under the rug. It doesn’t fit with the perfect image they’re always trying to present: church as show-window or museum instead of church as clinic or hospital. It’s easier to pretend life is a Hallmark movie where conflicts are neatly resolved and everyone smiles sweetly as triumphant music builds. Real life is much harder. BUT we do have His Spirit to help us – so glad for that!

    2. Thank you for your honesty, Jocelyn. You are not alone. I could have written your posts. Forgiveness… retribution… justice… being told to turn the other cheek… seek humility…submit to authority (meaning church leadership)… I’m not sure I have progressed as far as you have. Tears and hugs

    3. Thank you all for your kindness and compassion. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been going through a lot lately with this internal wrestling and what Darrell shared today really did help me along a little more—even if just a needed reminder. That was my point from the beginning. Peace and love!

  8. I was going to write a long comment about how great this podcast was and how relevant it is, but really, everything I could say was already summed up by EmilyKing’s comment: well put.

  9. Well done. I always have to remind myself that God loves, even when we don’t or don’t want to. That judgement and justice is best left to a God that knows everything, instead of just what I know (or think I know).

  10. Thanks for the encouragement Greg, I was born into an IFB home and then went through 4 years of fundy college. The rule based sanctification thought process has been engrained in me for 20+ years and it’s hard to get de-programmed in just a few months since leaving that movement.
    The fundy’s favorite attribute of God is His holiness as defined by them. This creates, as you said, the eye-in-the-sky mentality that God is just waiting for us to step out of line so He can punish us until we do penance.

  11. This podcast was probably one of the best ever posts on SFL and one thing that I struggle the most with…

    Others have spoken here and filled in some blanks…

    One bible passage that has helped me in this area is Matthew 6

    14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

    15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Comments are closed.