Confusing spiritual mercy with a lack of physical justice

It seems as though many people in the religious world do not know the difference between spiritual mercy triumphing over spiritual justice and spiritual mercy that ignores physical justice – even to the extent that child molesters are given a pass from deserved prison time simply because they wear a collar around their neck!

“…Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP. Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry.” (Pope quietly trims sanctions for sex abusers seeking mercy)

“Penalties” including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry? The reality of such a “penalty” is nothing but a prime example of what it means to confuse mercy with a lack of physical justice. It would do an injustice to the phrase “slap on the wrist” if someone were to use it in connection to the “penalties” listed above.

Spiritual mercy is God’s business, and such a mercy can be found by meeting his requirements regardless of the sin that has been committed.

Physical justice is the responsibility of those who are in authority upon the Earth. Without physical justice there is no law; only anarchy. And when such justice is blatantly ignored by those in authority, the victim is forced to suffer an injustice twice…once at the hands of the criminal, and again at the hands of the “authority” who perverts the very definition of the word justice with their less than paltry judgment.

The justice being ignored by the Vatican’s pope is not something that has been incurred by a speeder, a jay-walker, someone stealing so they can eat, or even two consenting adulterers. The crime was the institutionalized sexual assault of children! And a lack of cuffs around the wrist due to a collar around the neck perverts the concept of mercy triumphing over judgment by denying physical judgment a chance to even take place.

““Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18:6-7)

#authority, #justice, #mercy

1-10-2017 Answer To Cruelty

“Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:12-13 NKJV). Whether this is discussing physical or spiritual weaknesses, a Christian’s attitude should be to help and not hinder.  Meanness toward the weak showed a lack of respect for God: “’You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:14 NKJV). “’Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’” (Deuteronomy 27:18 NKJV). “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NKJV). “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#cursed, #meanness, #mercy, #weakness

5-1-2015 Don't Be Cruel

In the Old Testament, God exposed “bullying” when He said, “You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:14 NKJV). Cursing a “deaf” person who cannot hear the curse and respond is nothing but cruel. Putting a “stumbling block” in front of a “blind” person when they cannot avoid it is despicable. No examples of what bullying is about could be simpler to understand. God called His people back to this when He commanded: “Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother” (Zechariah 7:9 NKJV). If you were in their place, how would you like someone to do you that way? Jesus summed up this teaching when He said, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#blind, #compassion, #deaf, #mercy, #stumbling-block

(#210) The Proverbs of Solomon 31:8-9-Listen to Your Mama About Words

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 31:8-9: “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

Step up and speak up for those who are less fortunate, specifically those who have: no voice, no parent, no justice, or no necessities of life. It is emphatic and an action of mercy to help the helpless. All leaders of government should admit that: “Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne” (Proverbs 20:28). God has always required this of His people: “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:15); “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17); “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

The “speechless” are those who have no voice or ability to defend themselves. They are easily victimized by all who would misrepresent their case;

Those “appointed to die” are people without possessions or permanence. According to the Hebrew expression, these may be strangers just passing through or orphans who cannot support themselves. God is mindful of such and required this of Israelites (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). Solomon wisely ruled: “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). Never was this clearer than when Israelites were taken from their Promised Land because: “The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger” (Ezekiel 22:29);

“Judge righteously” should be the outcry of all of God’s people. All judges and legal personnel should hear this command. Jesus has said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24), for “in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5);

“Plead the cause of the poor and needy,” for they cannot afford their own defense. The “poor and needy” are NOT those who demand their “right” to have the same possessions as those who have worked for what they have! The essentials of food and clothing are NOT in the same category as video games, big screen TV’s, cable, Internet, cars, or brand-name clothes!

No nation or people will stand when citizens have little or no recourse for their grievances!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #government, #judge-righteously, #judges, #mercy, #poor-and-needy, #proverbs, #truth, #wisdom

(#189) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:3-Beware of the Merciless Poor

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 28:3: “A poor man who oppresses the poor Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.”

“A driving rain” can wash away planted seeds, top soil, and even the crops, themselves. “A poor man who oppresses” is merciless and unforgiving to those like himself. Power or authority in the hands of one who hasn’t earned it is a weapon of mass destruction!

Jesus Christ, who was “greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42), best described this wisdom in Matthew 18:23-35: “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:23-35). People have a tendency to not show pity to those who have sinned like they have, though their sin may have been worse! A “poor man” is harder and more impatient with other “poor” people because they are like he was. James warns us of this attitude: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:12-13).

Anyone who knows what it is like to have sins forgiven (Mark 16:15-16) should know how to forgive others: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). We who have admitted our own sins before God should have compassion on others.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #forgiveness, #merciless, #mercy, #poor, #proverbs

God is greater than you to forgive

The scripture for today, April 16, is Hebrews 4:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Anyone who has lived very long has committed some sin they hope no one ever finds out about. Some people have committed many such sins. Sometimes because of that one “big” sin or the constant repetition of a particular “big” sin, people punish themselves by putting words in God’s mouth. They say, “God could never forgive me for that.” Perhaps you can never forgive yourself, but God is greater than you.

Jesus told Peter we must forgive our brothers 70 times 7. If kept literally, that would mean we’d have to forgive the same sin 490 times. It is figurative for forgiving all the time. 1st Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of the Bible, says, “Love … keeps no record of wrongs.” Let us not only forgive others, but let us help people who cannot forgive themselves.

God is a God of mercy.

Mum Katheryn [Haddad]

#forgiveness, #mercy, #sin

Mercy for Mercy’s sake

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.” (Psalm 51:1)

Caught in the middle of his own sinful net, snare and pit, David made an emotion filled plea to God for mercy.

And upon what basis does he ask for such mercy? His past achievements? He had them! The number of hours that had been spent in prayer? He spent them! The former animal sacrifices that had been made? He offered them!

But none of these would avail or else the pleading would have never happened.

So what was the basis of David’s request? It was God’s loving-kindness and his multiplied tender mercies.

Mercy for mercy’s sake is a powerful proposition! Yet people still refuse it. And mercy forsaken is a sad condition! Yet people are amused by it. How quickly Luke 6:25 becomes personified when the principle of Psalm 51:1 is disregarded.

For one, anyone, who may be caught in the middle of sin’s net, snare and pit there is hope – a hope that comes from mercy for mercy’s sake.

And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”” (Luke 18:38-39)

#forgiveness-of-sin, #mercy, #mercy-of-god