Monday, September 04, 2006

Justice versus Vengeance versus Nobility

Oh the horrible constraints of holiness! How is it that even things which are good and correct, can be convuluted by the human heart into harmful actions?

I wonder to myself this morning about finalizing an issue of justice. To do what I have been preparing has the potential of protecting other pastors from being abused in the future, but also would cause the abusive actions of a sick leader (who did me great wrong) to be opened up to a larger audience of his peers, and the leadership over him. Of course, this action would carry a sense of vindication for myself, but I must ask myself - would this action be taken for my personal satisfaction, and sense of vengeance, or is it for the benefit of Christianity, and its need for health?

The answer is not simple, because both purposes would be fulfilled in one action. So the question is one of personal health versus greater church health. Is it nobler to overlook this serious sin in the leadership of the church, and believe that God will do His work of justice, while I keep my heart protected from the desire of getting vengeance; or is it nobler to speak up, understanding that judgment is suppose to begin in the house of God, and that I will need to work on dissecting my own heart from the vengefulness which it sometimes tends toward?

I realize that "letting go and letting God" is the common expression some might apply to this issue, but how many others before have said that same thing, and how many good people after me might be abused in similar or worse manner than we have been. There is no doubt that the church has been negligent to judge an abusive leader, who has lied and harmed others for his own ego. To remain silent is to hinder justice. To speak up is to potentially give in to my darker passions, and risk the recompense of sowing and reaping - those who rejoice in judgment will receive its rewards after all.

Of course, in all this consideration, I must also realize that the church which has been so negligent until now, may simply bury its head, and consider continued negligence to be the safer path. They could choose to ignore the sins in their own camp, and that also leads to another thought - by taking action could I set myself up for negative emotions to be strung out longer than they need to be strung out?

How is it that right things can be made so twisted and difficult by the human heart? I at least comfort myself in the fact that I ask my heart these questions. To act without pondering these deeper issues would only evidence a darker heart, and a complete lack of nobility.

1 comment:

carl said...

yeah, I believe wisdom and discernment is one of the most needed spiritual gifts in the church today and it sounds like God has been helping you discern your own heart and has shown you what to look out for. I also believe that acting on wisdom and discernment is just as important and that negligence of sin is one of the church's biggest weaknesses.
When judgement is coming, the sooner the better. Remember, love covers a multitude of sins even if it's tough love. Still, you know best how God is leading you, sometimes those closest to you too. May God continue to guide you.