In response to My Fascination with Hell my friend D referred to Jesus’ disposition towards sin. Now keep in mind that D is not a Christian or religious, unless of course he is keeping it a secret from his friends here in town. In fact I am quite surprised that he expressed his opinion about this so it may be worth our time to draw out what was intimated in his statement.
“Interesting isn’t it that in fact Jesus supposedly is exactly NEVER sick of our sinning. The WHOLE POINT is that he is ALWAYS there to receive us. So who, we may ask, stands to gain by perverting this message….!!!”
In other words who benefits by diminishing our way to forgiveness. Indeed do tell us who stands to gain by perverting this gospel teaching? Anyone if you will? Perhaps D is right in his perspective to see Jesus as some kind of mother hen who longs to ‘gather her chicks under her wings’ rather than as one who ‘came not to bring peace, but to bring a sword’ and ‘to turn a man against his family’.
Indeed there seems to be more perspectives as to what Jesus stood for than there are brand names for tomato sauce. To be a Jesus lover in this day and age can be likened to striking gold, assuming that you have the temperance for dialogue with those who take on different views. Now as for those who get dogmatically stagnated in their position, as in I am right and you are wrong because of my uncle Tom, well… that may be a different matter altogether when it comes to following through with the Christian commission to bring the good news to others. Instead of a warm and caring interaction revealed in the spirit of love, the un-neighbourly relations may break down into one of judgemental bigotry and hostility. So let us receive D in good faith and give him the benefit of the doubt as we take a close look at his proposition.
- a) Jesus is NEVER sick of our sinning.
- b) The WHOLE POINT is that he is ALWAYS there to receive us.
- c) Who stands to gain by perverting this message.
If you are like me then you will appreciate the Aristotelian logic and order in D’s arrangement here. So let’s move on to air out and penetrate each aspect of the argument before we make any conclusions:
a) Jesus is NEVER sick of our sinning.
It is probably safe to say that D is not using the word ‘sick’ as an actual illness that would bring about vomiting. It is likely that he is referring to a mental disposition such as an aversion or exasperation toward the behaviour of others. The biblical character of Jesus reveals a strong propensity for forgiveness in several cases. However should we consider his violent outbreak in the Temple, his lack of concern for animals by being complicit to the wishes of the demons to be transferred into a herd of pigs, his teaching that a potential disciple must hate their family in order to be worthy of him, not to mention the former reference to bringing the sword, in light of all the bloodshed and war committed in his name with the sword! There are also other contingencies that are too great in number to discuss here. For instance when Peter inquired into the number of times one ought to forgive his brother, Jesus suggested 77 times. So what? Are we off the hook at 78? The same number of cards in a Tarot deck!
b) The WHOLE POINT is that he is ALWAYS there to receive us.
“But because you are not My sheep, you refuse to believe. My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” – John 10:27
“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’” – Matt 7:23
“Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” – Matt 25:41
Happy to break your bubble for the sake of raising wisdom above opinion but there are lots of places in the scripture to contradict the notion that Jesus is ALWAYS there for us.
c) Who stands to gain by perverting this message.
This is a good question to ask of any inquiry in general. During the opening there’s nothing more powerful and strategic than pushing the King’s pawn into the centre square and so it follows that your opponent would be wise to mirror your action. So to negate the force of your move at this interval and match your vigour with virtue, allow me to capitulate by stating that to pervert or omit forgiveness from our lives is a great loss.
Just as men of honour enter the court for a hearing, I now open the floor for others to refute, complement or augment as you see fit. So let us put our trust in justice and the prudence by which she has rule and measure over all judicious acts…
Love & light,