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Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.


Of all the things that Jesus is recorded in scripture as having said, this may be the one that provides me with the largest challenge and the deepest grief.   I think that Jesus must repeat this request with ever-increasing regularity when he regards the insanity in which we engage in His name.  We turn grace into a cheap parody of the magnificent gift that God intends for it to be.  We confuse the freedom that God gives us FROM the penalty of sin with a freedom TO sin whenever it suits us.  We talk about ‘loving’ one another and accepting one another, but all too often that means only when we are in agreement with one another.  On the flip side, we consider loving one another to be the same as saying that whatever we do is okay as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and that “anything goes.”  We fail to recognize that loving one another includes BOTH acceptance and accountability.  On the one hand, sin has become a bad word.  On the other hand, we have somehow lost the ability to call a sin a sin and still love the sinner.   We bomb abortion clinics in the name of “protecting life.”   In the name of Christianity we somehow manage to indulge in the most unChrist-like behaviour imaginable.  The Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition are not the only blemishes on the fabric of Christianity.   The politcal polarization and polemic that are rampant in our society have ‘infected’ the institutions of the church and it is not the least bit pretty.  Worse yet, it is not behaviour worthy of the calling to which we have been called.

Call me crazy, but I think that everytime we continue to cheapen God’s grace, batter one another with legalism, ignore sinful behaviour, condemn sinners instead of the sin, and engage in other atrocious behaviour in the name of Christianity we may as well be standing at the foot of the cross and cheering for the crucifixion of Jesus.  I think these actions grieve our Lord far more than any of the sins like adultery, theivery, idolatry, and yes, even murder that we could commit.  These actions – commited in the name of Christianity – dishonor the glory and mercy of our Lord and deny the gracious gift of Jesus.

I have no answers, but only a prayer.  I pray that Jesus continues to ask on our behalf:  “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Preston Foster permalink
    3August2011 12:18


  2. Ronald A Orovitz permalink
    3August2011 13:46

    Your thought is on target and true. What is sad is that in this post modernist culture where realativism and subjectivity rule, and there is no objective authority, what Jesus says from the cross is meaningless to many people. Many have done as they pleased, promoting whatever agenda they want to push, even if it is not in compliance with the “plain sense” of the Word of God (i.e., not re-interpreted by revisionist hermeneutics). For those, they do not see Jesus speaking to them, but to others who do not agree with them, or accept their revisionist ethics inspired by postmodernistic understandings.

  3. Pamela permalink
    4August2011 07:37

    Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy. One thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt: in the midst of all of this, Christ is approaching each one of us and all of us as we toss about in the boat of “church”. No stilling of the water right now, but He is here with us.

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