Thursday, November 10, 2011

YOU are the man!

After King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and tried to cover it up, the prophet Nathan came to him and told him a story about a rich shepherd who stole a poor shepherd's one sole lamb. David was irate over the actions of the rich shepherd and immediately called for swift and firm justice. And then Nathan revealed to David that he himself was that very man. We can all become so angry and self-righteous over another's sin and be guilty ourselves of the same sin yet fail to see it.

I am appalled at what is unfolding at my alma mater, Penn State, in the very town where I was raised. I am so angry and disgusted by the alleged actions of a past assistant coach. And if Joe Paterno knew what had happened and didn't do enough, I am disappointed in him as well AND I actually believe, as much as I respect the man, that the Board of Trustees was right in firing him.

I am ALSO appalled at the moral and spiritual blindness of many, of those weighing in on the issue. I am not at all appalled that people are irate and disgusted over what has allegedly transpired...I am shocked at the spiritual and moral blindness I sense as people point fingers WITHOUT considering how they are guilty of similar transgressions. What has happened at Penn State ought to humble every single one of us...we are free to voice our anger and disgust, but we MUST look within our own hearts as well.Hear me: I am not in any way throwing a rescue rope to Paterno...I am simply asking all of us to look within our own hearts.

I think about Peter. He stood silently by and watched the Son of God be abused by the Romans. Actually, he was worse than silent. He positively denied he even knew the Man. I think about Adam. He stood silently by and watched the serpent tempt his wife and then positively rebelled against the command of God...and that's why we face the kind of world we face today. Outside of Scripture, I think about a nation, Germany, which had citizens, many of whom were silent and did nothing in the face of one of the greatest atrocities performed upon human beings (I say "one of the greatest atrocities" because what Stalin did in Russia was numerically even worse.)

I think about my own often have I been guilty of the sin of silence...or of doing nothing...or at least of not doing enough. I think about the fact that every day of my life I have been entrusted with the Good News of the Gospel...the ONLY message of hope for a broken world, the ONLY message of LIGHT for people lost in a dark world, the ONLY message of eternal life for all doomed for eternal torment and abuse apart from Christ...And. I. Am. Often. Silent.

Do we have a right to be angry over what has happened to these children? You bet! We better be angry at sin and our hearts better break for those children and their families. Do we have a right to be angry if it is indeed true that Paterno should have done more? You bet we do! But I sure hope we don't express our anger before we express our prayers for the children. And I sure hope we actually DO something about sexual abuse in our world and not just express anger about what has happened at Penn State.

But we better be just as angry and heart-broken and humbled over our own sins of omission and sins of silence and sins of not doing enough in our daily lives.

After all, as Nathan would say: YOU. Are. The. Man...or Woman.

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