02 May 2011

Preaching a la social media

‎"As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." Ezekiel 33:1
"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice". Prov 24:17
Just a couple of the scripture bombs falling on Facebook today. I have mixed feelings about the Osama/death thing. Relief, thankfulness, concern, crippling humility...

On the one hand I celebrate God's justice, grateful for our troops who do dangerous and difficult things to protect us, and hopeful that those who suffered loss, injury or devastation on 9/11 can close the door a little more on this chapter of pain. But I'm also wondering about the nature of evil, enemies, and sin, I'm concerned for violence to beget more violence, and I'm wrestling with my own sinful thoughts, actions, or predispositions that initially placed me in the category "enemy of God" before I praised His name, and haunt me still as I struggle to walk a life following Him.

The thing is, I think these are great issues to wrestle with and discuss in a public forum. These are fantastic opportunities to share our fears, struggles, hopes. This is a time where we can admit to rejoicing in a little vengeance, while still questioning the mercy that's so unjustly offered to you and me and him. On the contrary, I don't think it's the time to drop a little biblical napalm on spiritual weaklings who haven't yet reached the righteous highground others claim to have found. It ignores valid emotions, belittling their journey with Christ.

Yes, let's confound people with our love for our enemies. But let us also admit to struggling to do so. A one-liner of contextually removed Truth confuses more than it confesses. Let's confess together the human difficulty we have in fully understanding the perfectly divine nature of both justness and mercy that lies in a most holy God. The same God who says "vengeance is mine." The same God who says, "wishing no man to perish."

I just cannot get it. But I do trust it.

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