RSS

Category Archives: justice

Navigating A Moral Crisis

Tullian Tchividjian is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He recently discovered that a high-ranking staff member in the church was guilty of engaging in marital infidelity.

I personally appreciate the explanation of how he navigated the troubled waters of such a moral crisis on a Sunday morning with his congregation.

Especially insightful is his approach to actionable discipline and restoration. He referred to  it as being a “two-word church” rather than merely a “one-word church”. This brief  excerpt illustrates  the difference.What a balanced, mature, and wise distinction.

His illustration with the prodigal is simply priceless!

rgh

“I preached from Galatians 5:13, and among the things I emphasized and explained to our church was that we are not a one-word community (law or gospel) but a two word community (law then gospel). A law-only community responds to a situation like this by calling for the guy’s head (sadly, many churches are guilty of this). These churches lick their chops at the opportunity to excommunicate. A gospel-only community responds by saying, “We’re no better than he is, so why does he have to lose his job? After all, don’t we believe in grace and forgiveness?” A one word community simply doesn’t possess the biblical wisdom or theological resources to know how to deal with sinners in an honest, loving, and appropriate way.

Explaining that we are a law-gospel community, I showed how pastorally this means we believe God uses his law to crush hard hearts and his gospel to cure broken hearts. The law is God’s first word; the gospel is God’s final word. And when we rush past God’s first word to get to God’s final word and the law has not yet had a chance to do its deep wrecking work, the gospel is not given a chance to do its deep restorative work. Sinners never experience the freedom that comes from crying “Abba” (gospel) until they first cry “Uncle” (law).”

I illustrated this point by reminding our church that the father of the prodigal son did not fall to his knees and wrap his arms around his sons legs as the son was leaving, but as he was returning. He had been waiting, looking to the horizon in hope. When he saw his son coming home, crushed and humbled, he ran to him. But he didn’t stop him from leaving. He didn’t rescue his son from the pigsty. If we really love people and want to see them truly set free, we have to get out of God’s way and let the law do its crushing work so that the gospel can do its curing work.”

http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2012/september-online-only/navigating-moral-crisis.html#.UFHpE07soRI.email

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Accountability, Church Discipline, gospel, infidelity, justice

 

Public Support for Capital Punishment

1916 photograph of an execution by firing squa...
Image via Wikipedia

 If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image.                                        [Genesis 9:6]

“Controversy over the Sept. 21 execution of Troy Davis, has focused renewed attention on the death penalty. Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing a Georgia police officer. A 2010 Pew Research Center survey found that most Americans (62%) express support for the death penalty for persons convicted of murder. An analysis of trends over time shows that public support for capital punishment has experienced significant rises and dips since the late 1960s, but it has never fallen below 50%.”

http://pewforum.org

http://pewforum.org/Death-Penalty/An-Enduring-Majority-Americans-Continue-to-Support-the-Death-Penalty.aspx

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Accountability, Death Penalty, justice

 

Tags: , , , ,

Is It “UnChristian” To Rejoice Over Bin Ladins Death?

Osama bin Laden Killed; A Snapshot in time

Image by Phoenix Lights via Flickr

Many have responded to our post on the death of Bin Ladin. Some gave a hearty  amen, while others graciously but firmly disagreed. 

 I continue to maintain the same position and do so based on the biblical reality of the “presence of the future.” Simply put, what we will perfectly do in the eschatological future, we may now righteously express with degree in our present finite flawedness. Thus, Proverbs 11:10 is appropriate by saying, “when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness!”

However, it may prove more beneficial to hear from those who have actually demonstrated the ministerial  grasp of what it means to be a genuine  “word-smith”.

Michael Horton and John Piper articulate  in-depth positions and both are posted over at Justin Taylors Gospel Coalition site. Here are excerpts from both.

 rgh

 “ Mike Horton offers a helpful two-kingdom perspective, with three applications regarding our response: (1) we can rejoice that even in this present evil age, God’s common grace and common justice are being displayed through secular authorities; (2) we cannot rejoice in the death of the wicked any more than does God (Ezek. 18:23); (3) the mandate to believe and to proclaim the gospel to every person is all the more urgent.”

” John Piper: In response to Osama bin Laden’s death, quite a few tweets and blogs have cited the biblical truth that “God does not delight in the death of the wicked.” That is true. It is also true that God does delight in the death of the wicked. There are things about every death that God approves in themselves and things about every death that God disapproves in themselves.

Piper goes on to explain the biblical way in which God can both approve and disapprove the death of Osama bin Laden, and why this is not double-talk.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2011/05/02/how-should-christians-think-about-the-death-of-osama-bin-laden/

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2011 in eschatology, Eternal Judgment, gospel, hell, justice

 

Tags: , , ,

Bin Laden Dies Twice!

Romans 13:1-4 prescribes the means for God ordained Justice and Vengeance to be carried out  in the present time of earth history.The execution of this biblical reality by U.S. military who serve  as “God’s Ministers of Justice”   is worthy of great celebration today!

There is an even more pure jubilation ahead concerning  Bin Laden’s death and his being in HELL!

Revelation 20:11-14 declares a future time when “HELL” will deliver up its inhabitants who will all be  confronted by further justice and vengeance of a holy God. At which time, he will hurl Bin Laden and all the wicked dead into the eternal lake of fire which is described by St. John  as “The Second Death!”

So rejoice oh righteous ones, Bin Laden not only is dead and in HELL,  he will experience the agonizing pain of dying a second time as he  absorbs the full and complete  wrath of God for eternity! 

Alleluia!

rgh

 
 
%d bloggers like this: