Snapshot Christianity *Corrected*

1 08 2008

I may get in trouble for this one but here it goes.  Let me start with a disclaimer.  I believe we can according to the Bible, judge our brothers and sisters in Christ(by their fruit) so I am not in the so called “judge not” crowd.  I also am not condoning any sin of any nature nor the punishment or exposure of such sin. (What I was trying to say here was I don’t condone sin and I am not against the punishment or exposure of this sin.  I will proofread better next time)

Having said that…I am a little weary of us as Christians using what I like to call snapshots of a person’s life to judge their character, motives and yes even in some cases salvation.  For instance, lately we have seen a number of ministers caught up in financial and sexual scandals. We see the headlines and we automatically think of how evil they are and how could anyone follow them and what were they thinking.  We look at a “snapshot” a relatively small portion of their life and instead of watching or knowing the whole story we cast them off.  Then some may ask for forgiveness they may truly come to repentance and what is our initial reaction?  It is usually “they are just sorry they got caught”.  Now once again I am not defending anyone but my question is this:  Is our response to them biblical?

Let me explain what I mean by snapshot.  When you take a picture of someone all you can see is that moment that second.  You can guess what was going on but you can’t really tell.   What can seem innocent may not be and what may seem terrible may be innocent.  We do this with people’s lives seeing them in a situation without really knowing everything that was going on and end up casting them off without knowing their heart.

 

Example:  A very famous preacher commits adultery.  To cover this adultery he has the husband of the woman he slept with killed. This adulterous man and the woman now get together, get married and have children.  What do we say to this man? Does he deserve to die?  Is he unsaved? What about the woman? Does she deserve forgiveness?  Most of us would want this preacher out of the pulpit and in jail never to be heard from again.  His fruit says he does not really know God and probably never did.  But you Bible scholars probably have already figured out that I just switched king with preacher and his name was David (II Samuel 11, 12).  If we just took that snapshot of David’s life we would come to the conclusions I mentioned earlier.  But because we have the benefit of seeing the entire scope of his life we know he was considered “a man after God’s own heart” (I Samuel 13:14) and Israel’s greatest King. 

I mentioned earlier that when one our brothers or sisters do ask for forgiveness we often claim “they are just sorry because they got caught.”  But the same thing happened to David.  It was not until Nathan confronted him with his sin that he repented (II Samuel12:13).  What if Nathan, or God for that matter, had denied David’s reply of repentance because he waited until he was confronted.  Dare I say none of us what be saved now if God had not confronted us with our sin.  I don’t see where we can just brush someone off because they waited for public exposure before they said sorry.  They may be wrong but are we any better for not believing them.  We can judge, the fruit but not the heart.

Finally let me say this, If we are to be complete Christians we are to forgive as well as judge.  Judgment has become too easy and forgiveness too hard for most Christians.  In Matthew 6:14-15 and 18:22 Jesus did not put a standard on what we are to forgive.  In other words he didn’t say “you don’t have to forgive the really bad stuff or the things that really bother you.”  He simply tells us to forgive.  That includes the murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, gossipers, and whatever else really gets on our nerves.  If a brother or sister asks for forgiveness, whether we like or agree with what they did or not, no matter how hideous the crime or disgusting the act, our Christian duty is to forgive.  Don’t look at the snapshot.  You never know what the whole story of their life could turn out to be.  God can take someone on Death Row and grant them Godly sorrow and repentance the day before they are executed.  Just because it seems “convenient” to us does not make it any less real.  If we say we believe and practice the whole Bible let’s not just forgive when it suits us.  Let us be complete Christians and know that God sees the whole movie and not just a snapshot. 

HBOC

CEP3

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5 responses

1 08 2008
HickTownPress

I don’t need a long case history to see filth. In Baltimore there was a preacher who is serving time in jail for sodomizing and abusing teens he was entrusted to counsel.

Looking at the “snapshot” actually helped to show the FULL PICTURE. And the full picture was filthy.

I don’t believe in coddling and covering dirt. God said that that which is done in darkness will be brought to light.

And yes, they are sorry they got caught. Some of these “snapshot” thugs who call themselves preachers are raping their own children and threatening them that if they tell, they will kill them and their mother.

1 08 2008
Carey

Hey Lynn,

Thanks for stopping by. I agree, they deserve their punishment. David suffered for the rest of his life through the rest of his children and never got to build the temple because of his sin. I am not saying they don’t deserve to be punished or that their heart is not dirty. All I am saying is that if God can use a murderous adulterer like David then maybe, just maybe all hope is not lost even in the worst of cases. Unlikely?…Yes. Impossible?….No

3 08 2008
HickTownPress

I don’t put King David in the category with some of these ministers who rape children and commit adultery and I will tell you the reason.

When King David repented, it was from his heart and that was obvious. Had it not been from his heart, God (who does not cloak sin) would have told us. David meant that thing. And God forgave. Likewise, Bathsheba forgave him for murdering her husband and commiting adultery with her.

I would not even mention King David in the same breath of some of the thugs I outline on my blog, believe me.

3 08 2008
Carey

I understand what you are saying. But if we only knew King David at that point in his life before he repented how would we treat him. If all we knew was that he slept with Bathsheba and killed her husband we most likely would not care for his character. We have the benefit of seeing his life for years after that and it is only because of this we know he truly repented. That is the point. If we did not know David’s whole life we would call him a bad person. Because we see his actions after the sin we know better. These men who sin deserve their punishment. But let us look at their lives 10 and 20 years down the road. Most of them will probably not change. But you never know what God can do in someone’s life.

3 10 2008
SMH :( « My Life, His Way

[…] 3 10 2008 It seems that someone tried to put what I wrote about here to the test. Apparently a pastor has pled guilty to killing a man to be with his wife. If that […]

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