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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Anything to Justify Error – 16 July 2007
By Mary T. Hoffman

Have you noticed how people from ancient times to the present project their shortcomings on their deities? Pagans created stories about their gods that were projections of their own behavioral lapses.

Today, in order to justify their less than perfect behavior, those who claim to believe in the one true God still (in many cases) want to believe that the Lord shares some of their faults. Thus, they will argue that Jesus ate meat or fish; that He doesn’t care about the torture of factory-farmed animals; and they convince themselves that Jesus would go hunting with them. I see this as perhaps a more sophisticated throwback to the pagan desire to have the deities sharing their less desirable ways.

People will focus on certain Bible stories that justify their less-than-ideal behavior. They conveniently forget that these are narratives of actions and situations which are not necessarily meant to be emulated. There is also the tendency for humans to project their own desire for revenge against evil doers on God (or gods, in the case of pagans). Have you noticed how popular the David and Goliath story is? I wonder if this is so because it seems to glorify war.

Two of Jesus’ teachings from the Bible that aren’t heard very often (probably because they are convicting) are the following:

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12)

And of course, there’s the Apostle Paul’s statement that is not very popular with the purveyors of cheap grace (forgiveness without repentance): “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling….” (Philippians 2:12).

Instead of trying to justify behavior that they know – deep down inside – is wrong, why don’t people simply try to be peacemakers as Jesus teaches? “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons [children] of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Go on to: Guilt-Free? – 17 July 2007
Return to: A Peaceable Kingdom For Today – 15 July 2007
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