Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…
As most of American society knows, the upheaval at Penn State has brought to the surface many deep emotions – all of which are justifiable. What isn’t exactly justifiable, however, are the choices some are opting to make based on those emotions.
Many words have been flying around Facebook, Twitter, blogs and overall mass media about the dissent many hold for Joe Paterno…and even supporters of him. Many of these words have disheartened me due to the fact many of them have come from the fingertips of Christians.
As Christians, we’re called to hold fast to a higher standard (His); not a conceited standard.
In engrossing myself this term in school in the Book of Genesis, some amazing insights have been revealed – ones I never even realized before. Such as in Gen 4:8-16 where Cain experiences God’s grace upon Him…despite the fact that he murdered his own brother in cold, premeditated blood.
Though the consequences Cain had to endure we’re rough, God still let Cain live – plus he protected Him! This unto itself is a grace that is absolutely baffling to the logical mind of us humans. It’s something that’s quite difficult for us to even fathom, for sincerely…isn’t giving grace simply “letting people off the hook?”
It’s interesting to note that the Hebrew word for grace, hen, translates out to be “favor”…just as the Greek word for grace, charis, translates out to be the exact same word.
Grace is simply being in God’s favor…to be chosen for a purpose that is His to be fulfilled through the ones He chooses. Therefore, grace, like forgiveness, doesn’t reveal weakness…it reveals a strength unlike any other.
It takes strength to not react to the person who caused harm to you, or someone you know.
It takes strength, in turn, to love those who have harmed you, or someone you know…and turn the other cheek.
God could have taken Cain’s life from him as “payment” for his actions toward his brother, but God took a higher road. He took the very one He created. The very one, as Christians, we truly need to be always seeking to emulate.
Certainly, what Joe Paterno did was wrong. He should have said something right when these incidents occurred. Due to his lie of omission, his punishment is justified…his being fired as head coach of the football team. However, what isn’t justified is the onslaught of judgment calls being made on him, and/or his supporters, by those who embrace Christ.
Christ doesn’t condemn.
Christ doesn’t cast judgment.
Christ doesn’t hate anyone.
He loves. He accepts. He forgives. He extends grace.
So, now let’s discuss.
As Christians, how can we extend the same love, acceptance, forgiveness and grace He calls us to have toward others that do heinous things, or even let them happen without saying anything, without watering down our own passions…or averting the law? Is it even possible to do such?