Skip to content

Taking matters into our own hands

August 22, 2009

Many of you have probably heard of the comments made by John Piper in response to the tornadoes that hit Minneapolis this week.  If not, you can read them here.  This has spurred quite a bit of conversation on many different outlets.  Some agree with Piper, some don’t.  However, there is a theme running through many of the comments that is very troubling:  Christians want to enact justice.  Many are quick to declare the tornadoes the wrath of God sent to punish the ELCA for considering the ordination of homosexual pastors.

Now, we’re all wired to desire justice.  This is way God created us, and it is a very beautiful thing.  But, here’s the thing: God never promises that there will be justice in this world.  God’s justice comes when He makes all things right, on that day when Christ returns, and all must give an account of their lives.  Until then, the world is messed up.  We MUST realize this, and understand that things might just not make sense to us.  People will get cancer, children will die, and tornadoes will strike, but this does not necessarily mean God is pouring out His wrath.

Now, this is not to say God is not active and present in our world, speaking and doing things that we probably don’t even see most of the time (Lord, brighten our spiritual eyes!).  However, we must be careful not to judge acts as the condemnation of the Lord simply because it makes sense to us.  We know homosexuality is a sin, and we know that the leadership of the ELCA will have to answer for their decisions one day.  WE DON’T NEED ANYTHING ELSE. I might be going out on a limb here, but, ultimately, I think this is a pride issue.  The promise of God’s final judgment is not enough for us, so we feel the need to declare it ourselves.  God’s plan for justice isn’t good enough for us.

Our response to the ELCA’s decision should not be one of wrath and condemnation (when’s the last time “God hates you and is punishing you!” caused anyone to have any response other than reactionary anger?), but one of love and wisdom.  They need to be shown just how wrong they are, that is certain – they’re on a very dangerous path, and one that influences many thousands of people around the world.  However, the way to do that is not to declare unfortunate natural disasters as God’s wrath, but to discuss, shepherd, and provide wisdom, all with utmost humility.

Lord, give us the grace and humility to know how to respond to our brothers and sisters in the ELCA.  We are struggling to find the words to say, and need Your divine wisdom to shepherd and act.  Our heart is for YOUR church, and not ourselves.  May Your will be done.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2009 4:38 pm

    What of the Bible’s notion that the old things have begin to pass away and new things have come? The ‘new creation’ which Paul writes of (cf. Gal 6:15; 1 Cor 5:17) seems to refer most naturally to somethong enacted by Christ’s death and resurrection. For the Christian, we live in a world which has seen the inauguration of the righting of all wrongs, but which will consumately be made right at the end.

  2. thebassoflife permalink*
    August 22, 2009 5:02 pm

    Good point, Seth.

    But, that’s exactly it – The “already not yet” – the emphasis here is on the “not yet.” Sure, things have BEGUN to be made right, but it’s not complete yet. God is the ultimate judge, not us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: