The Quality Of Mercy
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times.? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Last night, I watched a portion of the "Trials of Ted Haggard" special on HBO. When I first saw the promo for the show last week, and found out what it was about, my first reaction was that this was one more preacher that put another nail in Christianity's coffin. You know when something like this happens, and the secular world gets wind of it, they always jump at the chance to ridicule not only those involved, but Christianity as a whole, and that affects us all; I had to change my view.
Although what he did affected his own standing, the spirituality of parishioners, and brought a reproach to the name of Jesus, it was the Church's reaction that caused me to rethink the matter. The aftermath was he was ousted from the church he founded, and out of the State of Colorado as well -- even though he'd written a letter apologizing and asking forgiveness for what he'd done.
It seemed to me that the only one showing Christ-like character in this situation is his wife, and I believe it would be that she suffered much during the ordeal; through it all, she chose to stand by her man. I applaud her spirit.
The church's stand, instead of exiling him, would be to restore him in love, and let God deal with his sin, for he is God's servant. Too many times, the baby is thrown out with the bath water.
When a Church reacts like this, its sin is just as great as the perpetrator's. It also gives ammo to the nay-sayers, and unbelievers to point a finger at Christianity and hurl their salvos.
Everyone has skeletons in their closets; some things God revelas openly, some come to light after the person's death. There are no perfect Christians on Earth, if there was they would be translated and with Jesus right now, but the fact that we're still here says to me that we still have some things to learn, for we're all following the path to perfection. One of those lessons it seems is Mercy. We want God to show us mercy when we sin, we should show mercy to one another, when our brother or sister sins against us.
I believe God allows situations like this to occur, just to see how we would react. Time is growing short, and it's time-out for finger-pointing. Let us go on to perfection, for every one of us has to appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.