Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Opus 2012-127, Discernment Watch: Vengeance and Justice, Part 1 of 4

One of the issues being debated today is capital punishment.  Does anything deserve the death penalty?  Is it right for anyone to take a human life, even the state after due process?  People of good will come down on both sides of the issue.

I think that part of the basis of disagreement is a misunderstanding of the difference between vengeance and justice.  Both are Biblical concepts but they are totally different.

The Christian view would be that vengeance is not an acceptable motivation for action.  One of the often quoted statements is,
(Romans 12:19 KJV)  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Paul is probably referring back to this passage in the Law.
(Deuteronomy 32:35 KJV)  To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
Vengeance is an action that is reserved for God.  It is as simple as that.  Why?  You could write a book about it involving motive, worthiness, authority but the simple truth is that we are not allowed to seek vengeance.  We cannot be trusted to exert force in this way.

We as individuals are to follow a different path, one that was repeated by Jesus.
(Luke 10:27 KJV)  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
I say repeated.  Many do not seem to realize that Jesus was simply quoting a principle that had been laid down in the Law.
(Leviticus 19:18 KJV)  Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
As individuals we are to give people the benefit of the doubt.  We are not to seek revenge or pay back.  We are to turn the other cheek. 

To be continued....

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.