Monday, October 31, 2011

31st October

So today we go shopping. Not really much for me though, just a bathroom blind, rather more for my newlywed daughter and her husband. They were blessed with all manner of cash and voucher gifts as wedding presents and so today they went and upgraded their house contents. The biggest item was a new corner settee, so I reckon they’ve done very well out of their special day but they are a lovely couple and deserve it. And it was rather a long expedition so I managed to find my way back to the car, where I listened to the radio whilst wishing I’d thought of bringing my Kindle to pass the time. I’m fairly patient as I’ve spent countless hours in recent years waiting in hospitals for appointments to happen so it doesn’t bother me anymore; it just seems to be part of life so why worry. Anyway if anyone wants a quick recap on the Radio 4 programme exploring regime change and the different merits of removing brutal dictators by summary execution, criminal prosecution or early exile into a life of luxury… I’m your man! But I find it tempting to presume that the legal process, resulting in whatever punishment a court decides is the best option. The suggestion was though that that solution, as do each of them, comes with a high price usual paid for by the lives of the innocent. So summary execution is obviously a criminal act, but it does provide a clear point in time with no going back, completely neutering ongoing violence aimed at reversing the progress towards change; and releasing any new government from the shadow of the past. Similarly with the exile option. Either route probably saves lives; for example in Libya, if Colonel Gaddafi had taken the offer of exile several months ago many thousands more might be alive today. But he’d be sitting in his tent at the side of a pool living in luxury somewhere… and that doesn’t sound right for sure.

Isn’t justice complicated? I feel so privileged to live in a relatively safe and modern democracy. For sure there are real complaints but by and large justice works. I suppose the price we pay in having some criminals escape justice on a technicality is that it is equally hard for any prejudice of those who might wrongly prosecute to decide criminal outcomes. The law has the last say, not the judge, or magistrate or crown prosecution service or any police force. The problem is that the law generally reflects the people of the country, so if we live in a Godless society, which by and large we do, the law over time becomes increasingly Godless. I see little of the ‘fear of God’ in public or private life around me. Many have chosen not just to completely ignore the Lord but actively mock and ridicule those who confess faith. The Bible as the Word of God is disparaged as an irrelevant ancient historical book. Truth is no longer absolute, but seen as the changeable will of the majority. Heretical scientists set themselves up as mini-gods, all knowing with absolute authority, and intriguingly they rant and rave about religion in a manner strikingly similar to the classic fundamentalist ‘hell-fire and damnation’ preacher seeking to cower converts into submission. So the law of our country is changing in ways that ignore timeless truth and wisdom found in scripture. And though the Bible, today, is not intended to be used legalistically it does have many principles that if adopted as a foundation to our legal system, would transform society for the better. For me it is not just a book that reveals God and Godliness, it is a complete handbook of life, showing us how to live in wholeness and harmony with those around us.

Ultimately we will all, without a single exception, stand before the Lord and give an account for the whole of our lives, including every thought, word and deed. And he will judge with perfect justice.

Romans 2:14-16 ‘Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.’ (NLT)


Joan said...

Dear Dave, thank your for you post on my website. My husband died ten years ago and I feel that no-one can know true grief until they have experienced it. I feel confident to say that I am no longer emotionally affected by his passing. Also on the positive side I have learned, more and more, to have true compassion, never to judge anyone and have a much closer relationship with God who knows us well and can truly comfort us, when we pray for help? Everything I do now, I do for the love of God and in the name of Jesus. Yes, I am criticised by some for integrating Christianity into my psychotherapy practice and, of course, vice-verse, however I do nothing secretly and make my faith clear to all from the beginning. I would like to reassure anyone considering following this way of helping suffering people, that it is perfectly possible give a Christian therapy session without referring our personal faith or beliefs at all. In my personal life the subject of Christ and God’s message is always hovering on my lips and is often expressed without any objection from my friends and acquaintances. I love God, I love to read His precious word, especially aloud for recordings to put onto the internet in the certain knowledge that God will be sure to bring them someone, somewhere who will benefit from His words of guidance and love. Prayers for you as you continue in your faith and feel God’s presence in your personal gifts of outreach. God bless you.

David Paine said...