Sunday, November 05, 2006
Shamed and Haggard
I have compassion for a fallen brother. If I were to lift up a stone to smite him, it would best drop on my own head, as I am also just a sinner, saved by Grace. I have faults and have struggled at times while on the path God has given me to walk. I have this in common with every Christian on the planet, though that doesn’t make it right to be wrong.
“14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16
What, Me Holy? This seems impossible, given our once-fallen state. But we don’t remain fallen when we are accepted into God’s family. It’s said that when we are in Christ, no matter how dark our sins were, when God looks at us, he sees Jesus.
“1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4
I am not defending Ted Haggard. Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of him. But I am not condemning him either, as I would be a hypocrite. I certainly condemn the sin, as we all should. But how can I condemn him when I am not his judge? He and his works WILL be judged, just as mine will be when I stand before God on my day of Judgment. But if I were not moved to compassion for a fallen brother, when I have been forgiven for so very much by God, I would be like the King’s servant in the parable, who had been forgiven a fortune owed to the King, but who in turn refused to forgive another servant owing him just a pittance. Ted Haggard has sinned. And asked for forgiveness. What would you say or do if you were in his church?