Thursday, September 03, 2009

redemptive critique

Right now in my listening of Scripture I'm in Jeremiah, one of my favorite books, but a difficult one, indeed. It is full of judgment over the people's sin. Yet it is redemptive. God's ultimate end for his people, in spite of all the judgment is redemptive, giving them a future and a hope.

I must say that when I hear some Christians, I'm wondering just how redemptive the critique is.

A critique is redemptive when it lovingly and faithfully points out the sins which need to be repented of. This is loud and clear in Scripture. But it is not a critique which tries to find something wrong somewhere, or is prone to think the worst. That critique can be more like the devil's, one of accusation and of being an adversary rather than an advocate for the sinning person.

God in Jesus comes alongside those who are sinning, offers his hand, lifts them up, then tells them, "Go, and sin no more."

I believe we should seek to find the best in people, not the worst. And that we should be faithful in how we live, and what we say as in testimony and teaching. God alone can convict sinners, and bring the dirt out of their lives to save them. We also must be very careful what we say about God's children. They may be in error, and in sin, but they are in God's image, and well could be his children in Jesus, part of our family.

I'm thankful God's critique is redemptive, because if it were not, there would be no hope for any of us. But in Jesus there is always hope for everyone of us. As we seek to live in the grace and truth that is in Jesus our Lord.

What would you like to add to this?


Maalie said...

>lovingly and faithfully points out the sins which need to be repented of

I have always been puzzled by the concept of an alleged almighty and everlasting father who apparently expects us to grovel on our bellies for forgiveness of a sin committed by Adam. A "sin" which god himself preordained in collaboration with a talking snake.

I do not feel the slightest hint of guilt for that, I'm afraid.

Dave J. said...

I've always loved the ECC credo "Where is it written?" It forces us to justify, and narrow, or critique.

Oh that the current healthcare debate would use this rule!

Anonymous said...

yes, there is hope, for each and every person.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I'm not one to go after a person because of their "sins". But to point them to Jesus. God in Jesus helps us see in his light our darkness.

And the important thing is to get a good glimpse at Jesus, so as to get our eyes by and by focused on him. Through his death and resurrection there is hope for us all, and for all creation.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Dave J.,

Me, too!

And I have to agree with you on the health care debate. That something must be done should be not be considered optional.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, nAncY, amen!