An Observation on Justice in the Aftermath of Atrocities

When one really thinks about the things that ordinary, average citizens went along with during the Nazi period of Germany, we begin to realize that we are lucky that we were not German at that point in time. We know we would most likely have fared no more ethically than those accused and convicted. And, yet, even knowing our own guilt, avoided only chance, we understand we must forge ahead and and prosecute these people to the full extent of the law, even to death.

When one really thinks about the things that ordinary, average citizens went along with during the Nazi period of Germany, we begin to realize that we are lucky that we were not German at that point in time. We know we would most likely have fared no more ethically than those accused and convicted. And, yet, even knowing our own guilt, escaped only by chance, we understand we must forge ahead and prosecute these people to the full extent of the law, even to death.

That’s the rub. How can one man convict, imprison and even execute another man knowing that, if in the exact same situation, he is just as guilty as the other.

We know, innately, however that the crime, committed by ourselves or others, must be punished regardless of circumstances. There is no mercy for those who, by frailty of mind, succumbed to terrible acts. We do not recognize the defense that, having swapped places, would we have done what the accused had done? We know we mostly likely would have but we understand that can have no bearing on the judgement delivered.

We judge ourselves in judging others; but escape the punishment delivered to the convicted.

Therefore, consider again the justice of God whose perfection can not abide imperfection as we can not abide atrocity.

Consider again the mercy given to us in Jesus Christ which forgives all atrocities.

And consider again what we know to be right in dealing with human atrocities – in the light of what we think we know to be right understanding our own sin.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to one and all and may the light of the bright and morning star bless and keep you and yours.

Merry Christmas to one and all and may the light of the bright and morning star bless and keep you and yours.

1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet:  “I will send my messenger ahead of you,  who will prepare your way”
3 “a voice of one calling in the desert,  ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,  make straight paths for him.’ ”
4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of  repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and  he ate locusts and wild honey.
7 And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs  of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.
8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Mark 1:1-8

That man is Jesus Christ, God’s Son and yet one with God, who came to earth, was born of a virgin and whose birthday we celebrate this season.

The good news is simple. God has been telling us one thing for all history: Follow me.

16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

The Mire of Miracles

Third Day’s song Carry My Cross has an interesting lyric: I’ve come here with a mission \ And soon I’ll give my life for this world \ I’m praying in the garden \ I’m praying in the garden.

Third Day‘s song Carry My Cross has an interesting lyric:

I’ve come here with a mission
And soon I’ll give my life for this world
I’m praying in the garden
And I’m looking for a miracle

A reference to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night he was arrested. He would be put on trial and condemned to crucifixion. Jesus’s words,

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Jesus was asking God for a miracle. I never considered that verse in such a profound light until the moment I heard that song. Jesus was asking for a miracle, one that would not be granted.

Not even Jesus, God’s own Son, was saved by a miracle although none but Him has ever been worthy of it.

When tragedy strikes, pray with all your heart for a miracle.

When it arrives, praise God.

When it doesn’t arrive, praise God all the more, for a miracle withheld once saved your soul.

Welcome to Selah.ca

And when we know the truth I think we will see that God is given all the glory because He has done something more incredible and more beautiful than we could have ever thought possible.

This is the second post of my blog and I want to highlight the importance of the first.

The first post in this blog is special. It’s a dedication of sorts. None of my own words are in that post and its purpose is to glorify God and to publish again how His Son taught us to live. It sets the tone that will remain the background to all that follows and, ever and anon, the foreground.

I consider myself a conservative, fundamental Christian but the posts to follow will, without doubt, attract resentment, anger, correction, arguments, and all manner of backlash, from those who also think themselves conservative and even from those whom the former would call liberal.

Regardless, know always that I want the truth.

In days past, I put myself in the world’s line of fire saying to myself that if God’s Word is worth believing than God’s Word will prove itself. In many places I accepted the heat of the skepticism about the bible. I went looking for answers and consistently found rational satisfaction in the answers I uncovered and was able to respond with.

I learned a number of things through all of this:

  • I learned God loves all of us
  • I learned I can read my bible and google anything of concern to me or someone else
  • I learned I can find someone else who has had the same question and has published answers or references someone else who has
  • I learned the Bible can stand up for itself and stand up to intense analysis and criticism and does so with grace and compassion
  • I learned we have built up a religion, rules, and rituals, where there is no need for any
  • I learned we have done this because God is beyond full understanding and we have tried to understand him on our own terms and within our own limits
  • I learned God loves all of us even when we put Him on trial
  • I learned God is amazing beyond all words, poems, songs, theories and philosophies
  • I learned that to consider what God has begun with us, His unending, unerring, unrelenting story through us, and His plan to redeem each of us to Himself, us who didn’t deserve at all – I learned that to consider all of this is to know that you have not even begun to know Him.
  • I learned God loves all of us in spite of everything we have done to spurn Him
  • I learned, therefore, to approach Him as a child, discovering all things as new.

So, as God wills for all that may follow, know that if what I say is controversial, outlandish, outrageous or heretical, I want only the truth.

I want the truth.

I want to glorify God.

I want to show you the bible that declares itself without error.

I want the truth.

And when we know the truth I think we will see that God is given all the glory because He has done something more incredible and more beautiful than we could have ever thought possible.