“They’ll get their’s”

gavelI’ve heard this line before, typically in reference to people who have done something mean or unjust.

The fact that we have to say that can be frustrating though. It’s frustrating because we want drive-through justice! We want bad people to be punished immediately, and usually we have a specific form of justice in mind! In other words, we want it to happen quick, and it must also meet our standard of fairness.

For instance, if you could, how would you respond, what would you do to a convicted child molester? Chances are you know now what you would do, or at least you have a pretty good idea. Question: would you wait for a long time to administer justice? Answer: probably not. And there it is… you have just experienced drive-through justice. I want it NOW and I know exactly what I want.

Here’s the problem… most of us are not in the position to administer justice. More often than not we are not able to distribute pain to those who cause it. We are forced, many times, to watch while the bad guys get off the hook with a slap on the hand… or less.

ARRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!

So what do we do? Evil has been done… and the bad guy walks.

That’s where this old axiom becomes our hope, “They’ll get theirs.”

Actually, this proverb has biblical roots. I encountered it recently while reading through Psalms. Let me just put the entire chapter on this screen for you to read:

O LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most?  2 Proud and wicked people viciously oppress the poor. Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.  3 For they brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the LORD.  4 These wicked people are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead.  5 Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them. They pour scorn on all their enemies.  6 They say to themselves, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us! We will be free of trouble forever!”  7 Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats. Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.  8 They lurk in dark alleys, murdering the innocent who pass by. They are always searching for some helpless victim.  9 Like lions they crouch silently, waiting to pounce on the helpless. Like hunters they capture their victims and drag them away in nets.  10 The helpless are overwhelmed and collapse; they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.  11 The wicked say to themselves, “God isn’t watching! He will never notice!”  12 Arise, O LORD! Punish the wicked, O God! Do not forget the helpless!  13 Why do the wicked get away with cursing God? How can they think, “God will never call us to account” ?  14 But you do see the trouble and grief they cause. You take note of it and punish them. The helpless put their trust in you. You are the defender of orphans.  15 Break the arms of these wicked, evil people! Go after them until the last one is destroyed!  16 The LORD is king forever and ever! Let those who worship other gods be swept from the land.  17 LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them.  18 You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them. (Psalm 10:1-18 NLT)

Those last two verses (the ones I have bolded) give me hope.

God is not blind and He cannot be tricked. He sees, and someday He will bring justice to every story. Someday. Someday they will get theirs. Until then we wait. We hope. We let these verses of Scripture be our guide:

  • Don’t delude yourself: God is not to be fooled; whatever someone sows, that is what he will reap. (Galatians 6:7 NJB)
  • Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NLT)

  • “I say, love your enemies!1 Pray for those who persecute you!” (Jesus, Matthew 5:44 NLT)

If you have been on the receiving end of injustice and are reeling with the pain and apparent lack of justice, I pray for you today that God will restore your strength and confidence, and that you will no longer be a victim of another’s foolishness, but that you will be a victor having your confidence based in the strong love of a Father who will have His full vengeance on the wrongdoer soon.

A small rant on racism, Drudge Report, theology

 

 

This was the headline on the Drudge Report this morning. It bothered me quite a bit.

We wouldn’t be asking this question if it were two white men back to back.

These are two brilliant men with two sets of ideas each of which appeal to millions of people.

Both men are articulate, passionate, and smart.

To ask this question is to do to these men what the sports media did to two great coaches who took their teams to the Superbowl (Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith).

When content of character and significance of accomplishment is trumped by the matter of race or sex it is clear that we have not yet achieved God’s view of humanity which happens to be…

All are created in God’s image!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why we turned off our TV

Yesterday the “cable guy” came and disconnected our cable which means we have no TV. Not even local channels. Nothing.

This was not the result of an unpaid bill. It is the result of several months of discussion.

Let me take you back a bit…

A few years ago Sherri and I turned off the TV for several months. A couple of things happened during that time: we got more done, we went to bed earlier, we talked more, and surprisingly we were not any less informed about current events!

Since that time we have had several (many, in all reality) children. TV has taken the place of creativity and imagination. It has become easy for us as parents (OK, me as a dad) to say, “Go watch TV” in an effort to free up time for myself. In other words, it has become, in many instances, a child-occupier… a babysitter.

For the last several months we have been discussing turning it off. Finally we decided to make the call.

I’ll miss Spike TV, Discovery and NatGeo and the news channels too. Sherri will miss Spike TV too (just kidding), but she’ll certainly miss the news channels. The kids will miss the Disney Channel and we’ll all miss laughing at America’s Funniest Home Videos.

What I won’t miss are behaviors modeled for my kids that I do not approve of (e.g. disrespect for authority, demeaning of women as objects of sexual gratification, etc.). I won’t miss trying to keep my eyes open so I can catch the next segment of a show that I won’t remember the content of one week from now. I won’t miss the cable bill (BTW, we’re putting that money towards our kill-debt plan).

We may turn it on again someday but for now we expect to gain a few things:

  • Quality and quantity family time!
  • More money now that we no longer have a cable bill!
  • Knowledge that matters because we are encouraging reading before bed time!
  • A healthier mental/thought life!
  • More completed projects around the house!
  • Creative and improved parenting skills! Since there’s no TV anymore I/we will have to engage more regularly!
  • Imaginative and resourceful children! Since there’s no TV “The Ladies” are going to have to create, play, think and develop the habit of resourcefulness! Fortunately their backyard and rooms are stocked up with resources to help them do just that.
  • More sex!

What will we do with our televisions?

  • Keep them to watch movies on Friday Night “Movie Night”!
  • Keep them so I can beat the kids on Wii!
Will we ever watch TV?
  • Sure. In fact I am going to a buddy’s house this weekend to watch a pay-per-view fight!
  • The girls will be allowed to watch movies from time to time.
  • We may, someday in the future, turn it on again.
So here we go… a journey with no TV. How long will it last? We don’t know, but we’re excited to get underway and see the evolution of our family!

Westboro Baptist Church and Christians

Sometime ago our family had lunch with a genuine biker dude. He was covered in tattoos, fully clad in leather, hairy and kind of dirty… but he was a GREAT guy! We really enjoyed his company, and our girls just loved him!

During our conversation I asked him about motorcycle gangs. He said, “Bikers talk about the ‘One Percenters.’” Most bikers aren’t gangsters waiting to run you off the road and slice your throat.”

According to my friend, only a handful (e.g. 1%) are really that bad. The fact that you ride a loud motorcycle, sport some tats and don’t shave does not  mean you are a thug. In other words, most bikers are not thugs.

In case you haven’t heard, there is a group of people at a “church” called Westboro Baptist Church. These people are thugs. They stand outside of the funerals of fallen American heroes and shout shameful slogans. They make harmful and unhelpful comments about homosexuals and any other number of people with whom they disagree.

Today the Supreme Court ruled that they have the right to do these things (a ruling with which I agree… but that has to do with free speech, the constitution, etc. and is a conversation for another time). The ruling guarantees that these thugs and bullies will continue to carry out these mindless protests.

As a follower of Jesus and a pastor, I want to go on record and say that this church and these people are “One Percenters.” They are fringe and do not represent the Church nor her leader, Jesus. They do not represent me and neither do they represent any Christian that I know.

They are thugs and misrepresent Jesus, the church, and Christians around the world and throughout the ages.

Westboro Baptist Church is to Christians and the church in general what Hells Angels and other violent biker gangs are to good men and women who ride bikes… loud, minority and false representatives of the majority.

Tweets, Facebook and change

Today has been interesting.

I’ve been sick and can barely talk and yet I’ve dialogued throughout the day with Katie from Minnesota.

Katie is a young lady who is pro-choice and articulate.

We have gone back and forth all day questioning, clarifying, and pressing to make our respective points.

How?

Twitter!

Twitter and Facebook are changing the world! From the current revolutions in the Middle East (referred to as “The Facebook Revolution”), to the way we get news, to the way we communicate and to many other ways too… these “social networks” are creating a new world.

If you want to jump in on the conversation be my friend on facebook and follow me on Twitter and let’s change the world… or at least Tweet together.

“The Man Series” (Sexuality and resources)

Yesterday we kicked off a three week teaching series called, “The Man Series.”

We are looking to the Bible to help us define “Man.”

The essence of manhood, we learned yesterday is, “Responsibility.”

After making the case for this premise theologically, we went back to the first chapter of Genesis with this question, “What is a man?”

Did you know that the first thing God said to humanity had to do with sexuality? Yep! Genesis 1:28, “God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply.” In case you didn’t know, to be fruitful and multiply requires sex.

Because this is the first thing that God said to people, and because you cannot talk about men without talking about sex, we started there.

The two big points yesterday were:

  • Men, you are responsible for guarding the integrity of your sexuality.
  • Men, if you are married, you are responsible for fulfilling your wife’s sexuality.

We are working on putting all of our sermons online soon so you’ll be able to hear the full sermon from yesterday.

As a supplement to the sermon, we have posted a blog over on the Church180 website with multiple resources. Perhaps you may find them helpful too. Click here to check it out.