Monday, November 23, 2009

Came across this blog recently:

You by now will have read about the plane crash in Montana which took the lives of 14 people. What you may not have read is that among the victims were members of Bud Feldkamp’s family, including two of his daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. Feldkamp, it turns out, is the owner of the nation’s largest privately owned, for-profit abortion chain. His clinics perform more abortions in California even than Planned Parenthood. The plane, in another tragically ironic twist, crashed in a Roman Catholic cemetery which contains a memorial to victims of abortion, the ‘Tomb of the Unborn.’ Pro-lifers had prayed for years in front of his mansion, pleading with him and praying for him to repent and warning him for his children’s sake that, “If you do not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you.

I thought of a situation Luke mentions in which some people came to Jesus with the report of certain Galileans “whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices” (Luke 13:1). Apparently Pilate’s troops had surrounded and slaughtered a group of Jews as they were worshipping in the temple. We don’t know anything about the massacre, but it’s in keeping with what we know of Pilate’s character.

Jesus’ answer was wholly unexpected: “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:2-5).

Jesus’ answer laid bare the hearts of those who reported this event. Apparently, their take on this slaughter was that these “Galileans” were terrible sinners and deserved the punishment they received. Pilate’s cruelty was God’s wrath visited on unrighteousness. “No,” Jesus replied, “Unless you repent you too will perish in your sin.”

All of which reminds me of a severe, law-ridden man who sat across from me at lunch one day and growled, “September 11 is the wrath of God against gays!” I was stunned into silence. I should have said, “Unless you and I repent, we too will perish in our sin.”

Lewis has a magnificent line in Till We Have Faces: “Are not the gods[1] just (‘merely just’ he means)?” “Oh, no. my child. Where would we be if they were?”

Is God just? Of course he is, but he is not merely just. If he were, where could any of us stand? He is also patient, forbearing, limitlessly and unconditionally merciful to us, “not willing that any should perish, but that all (even the worst of us) may come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).


[1] Lewis was a monotheist, but placed this story in the context of an ancient, pagan, pluralistic society.

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