Today there was one more brutal killing. It was in the name of terror, or perhaps hatred, or maybe racism. It was a conspiracy or perhaps a lone-wolf gunman. It happened here, or over there. For one reason or another, it was reported on by the news, while similar events were overlooked. Welcome to one more day in our brutal, broken, vengeance-soaked world.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2016/07/17/doing-good-while-it%25e2%2580%2599s-still-day
A story which is a companion to this one, found in Luke 13:1-5, and I’m surprise the author didn’t mention it. The punch line is, "Do you think that these folks were worse sinners than anyone else because this disaster happened to them? Verse 3: Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Repentance; an unpopular term in today’s society.
While we need to avoid falling into the trap that plagued Jesus’ disciples by playing the blame game, it is true that sometimes we can reason from cause to effect. A smoker who gets lung cancer, has played Russian Roulette, with his health, and reaped the consequences. But that doesn’t mean we rub his nose in it. The critical issue at that point is his repentance and salvation.
Would you dispense with guidelines? Are you comfortable with the “Golden Rule Gospel,” like some here are? Even that is a guideline. There must be some objectivity, or uncertainty will prevail.
Word is Grace! A gift that demands continuing giving. “Freely ye. Have received freely give”. TZ
As I read the Luke story, I see the point differently. In Jesus’ story there are two different groups of people that could be addressed. The people who were the victims of the tragedy and the people who are judging those who were victims. It seems to me that Jesus is telling the people on the outside of the tragedy looking in that they ought to be concerned about their own lives, not the lives of others. While the Bible gives a universal call to repent, this specific scripture is calling specific people to repentance. Who? The prideful people judging, who were thinking that the victims of tragedy were victims precisely because of their sin. Instead Jesus tells them to look inward. Their own hearts need tending to. Precisely the call I was writing about, from the perspective of the John passage. I’m thankful for Godly boundaries and standards, but I’ve got quite enough work applying them to my own heart. When I start focusing on applying them to others, I’m almost always dodging something God wants to address in my own life.
I can’t disagree with you there. We may not be in the same paragraph, but we’re probably on the same page.