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In Our Search for Answers

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAs the FBI leads the investigation into yesterdays Boston Marathon tragedy, many will be tempted to try to pin the blame on one or more individuals responsible for such loss and suffering.

But even when the investigations of Federal, State, and Local agencies are done, we won’t be at the bottom of this or any evil.  What we are watching unfold in public is like what we are suffering in our own private worlds. The evil that brings us to our knees, or that causes us to wave our fist at the skies, is not an isolated incident rooted only in someone’s twisted cause.

From the beginning, a beautiful life has been stalked and shattered by one who wants us to believe that if God withholds anything from us, or if he can’t– or won’t protect us from such suffering, he either doesn’t exist, or doesn’t deserve our trust.

The point is not to simply blame this on the devil but to remember that any evil that we do, or that is done to us, is part of a far bigger story.


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46 Responses to “In Our Search for Answers”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    I thought Mart may have something up this morning concerning the terrorist act in Boston.

    This is the constant danger of living in a free society, evil is also free to spoil all it can for peace loving people.

    I remember how for decades the IRA wreaked havoc in the British Isles, no real winners there either.

    Talking with Bob this morning he reminded me that as a result of the IRA bombings they (England) no longer put trash cans out in the public areas, I did not know that.

    Stupid senseless act of violence that can only bring more anger and violence upon the perpetrators and their *cause*.

    God help us all.

    Steve

  2. BruceC says:

    The enemy also uses these acts to drive people from God as Mart has stated and towards any person or group that claims to have the ability to offer security, peace, or safety. In the mean time while people look for answers we may see more restrictions or regulations placed upon people as a response to this act. Who knows? We live in strange times . When I first turned the TV on; just minutes after it happened, I wasn’t shocked by the event at all. Maybe it’s the “cop” still in me because of all the bad things I have seen. Or maybe because I expect these kind of things to happen in this evil world. I don’t know. But I do know that at these times (and always) we need to seek God in prayer on behalf of the families of the deceased and for the wounded, and for our nation.
    I know from history that many times when people are fearful, distressed, and suffering, they reach out and often to the wrong person or people, or thing to solve their problems. I think of Hitler, of Communism, drugs, materialism, etc., etc. The Word tells humanity to reach out to the only One who has all the answers, comfort, and peace. And it also tells us that in the end of times most will not run to the Truth.
    May God help us to reach as many as possible with His truth.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  3. BruceC says:

    Mart, you said:
    “The point is not to simply blame this on the devil but to remember that any evil that we do, or that is done to us, is part of a far bigger story.”

    How true. When you look at the Holocaust you see how that led to the restoration of the nation of Israel. And when we read the Word we see many examples of God turning the tables on evil and using it for something good.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    Last evening our Bible study group completed the study of the Acts of the Apostles. This great saga bears out and gives evidence of the truth of what you say, Mart. Blindness and deafness and dullness of heart applies to Greek (Acts 17:32) and Hebrew alike (Acts 28:24). We must look to the pervasive darkness that creeps over the understanding of those who are created in God’s image – all peoples everywhere. There, we understand that God continues to shine out the glory He spoke into being on Day One, the first day of creation. Jesus Christ is the Way to life that is God-breathed. (Acts 28:28)

    As we search for answers, we have a resource in the “great cloud of witnesses” who shine out of the pages of the Holy Scriptures. James speaks up at the moment of dismay and says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) He, among so many others, stands ready to encourage and equip us to meet events like the Boston Marathon bombings. (James 5:10, 11)

    This morning a radio announcer chose to quote Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood): “When I hear news of bad things happening, I remember to ‘look for the helpers.’ There are always helpers at such a time.”

    Blessings,
    Maru

  5. swwagner says:

    When something terrible happens, I always go back to the verse that says, “though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”. God is not the author of evil but he can use it for good. Our world is for sure groaning under the load of sin…all I can say is “Come quickly Lord Jesus.”

  6. poohpity says:

    I guess in my life I try not to search for answers because in some way it most always leads to blame of some kind. I am assured that all kinds of trials, suffering, loss and tragedy are going to happen but how I go through them is what counts. Most often people get angry, blame, grumble, hold grudges and complain, causing hearts to become hard and calloused. Having Christ in our lives we can go through things being resilient, empathic, compassionate and kind to be a help rather than a hindrance to others.

    Developing an attitude towards those who make a choice to bring evil upon others in some ways is no worse than saying something hurtful and breaking someone’s heart. The delivery method may be different but the consequences are the same the destruction of a human soul, heart and mind. At times physical harm can be healed but the heart and mind take much more time to heal and recover.

    May we be a healing balm to those around us rather than feeding into anger, blame and hatred. There are so many hearts filled with destruction let us be the healers just as we were healed by the love showed us even when we were so undeserving.

  7. BruceC says:

    What I look for is justice. If that means blaming those who perpetrated this act then so be it.
    Although man’s justice is far from God’s we are still to employ it as government has been ordained by God for the fear of the evil-doer.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  8. oneg2dblu says:

    We may look for justice Bruce, and I share your feelings, at the same time as we know we walk in grace and mercy ourselves.
    Unfortunately, yesterday was just another “tick of the clock” that evil has been allowed by God to have on this Old Jerusalem or earth as we know it, and it is just one tick closer to its last.
    Light overcame that tick of darkness in a flash as the goodness of humanity picked itself up and ran to help each other.
    Thank God that although there are and will be darker times ahead, His light shall always prevail.
    Today, wounds are healing, hopes are being restored, faith is growing, and darkness knows its days are numbered.
    Praise God! Gary

  9. poohpity says:

    Amen Gary!

  10. poohpity says:

    It seems like we are very quick to ask for justice for others but how quick are we to want it in our own lives when we harm another. I guess it goes back to having degrees of sin. We could start the conversation with the thoughts, “but I never did_______ “(fill in the blank) and Jesus replying, “but you did_______”(fill in the blank). Matt 5:21-22 NLT

    This could be a person who served in the military around this type IED and because of PTSD may have thought they wanted to show all Americans what they put up with everyday over in Afghanistan or Iraq. Never really considering all the harm because they mentally just lost it. This person is very sick and needs help no matter what their background or where they are from.

  11. BruceC says:

    So when the perpetrator is caught then what do you suggest poohpity? Do we release him? Please don’t read into my “call for justice”. Yes I know that I am a vile sinner saved by the grace of God through Christ. And the person(s) who committed this act can be forgiven by the same grace and by the same Lord as I was. But just like the thief on the cross there are the civil authorities that he and these people must answer to. Without it we have chaos. Cops can be Christians too.
    And they have a job to do.
    So please don’t take my call for justice as a call for vengeance, it is not. Vengeance belongs to the Lord and He can choose the means of that vengeance even if it be government justice.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  12. poohpity says:

    We have laws in the country we live in and yes I fully believe we need to have them to run a country and a society. It is for me to obey those authorities but am I to get angry and hateful towards that person and not consider my own actions and thoughts while requesting justice. That to me is a slippery slope maybe falling into hypocrisy.

    I have listened to all the people on the news shows and how much anger they are holding then one person who had to have both legs amputated and rather than be angry at who did this he was grateful to be alive. Which reflects the heart of Christ?

    What do we do in these cases as Christians and not be like the world around us?

    I did not read anything into what you wrote it made me think about the bigger picture. Mart said, “What we are watching unfold in public is like what we are suffering in our own private worlds.” So that implies to me when we demand justice we have to remember exactly what we are really demanding in our own worlds as well.

  13. s2inkzoo says:

    This reminds me of what Paul said in that our struggle isn’t against men, but against evil (Ephesians 6:12). Even if we lock up one person that does evil, there is always another (but I do support what you are saying on justice Bruce). But the real answer is in changing hearts, not just in governing actions. Although some would say we are basically good and just some are “sick”, God gives us a different perspective, that all of us are really just suppressing that inner “sickness” (Rom 3:10-18). I think Steve was right that this is a part of the by product of a free society, just as it is a result of God giving us the ability to choose.

    stu

  14. SFDBWV says:

    A few weeks ago a young man was arrested for shooting a baby in the face and killing him as the baby’s mother begged him not to.

    When interviewed the mother told the camera she would not forgive the young man and hoped he would die.

    If you look at the news closely there are murders everyday, some *clean* others *dirty*, but still it is the last thing a person can take from another, their life.

    Do people want justice? You bet your life they do.

    To pretend that we don’t feel anger at these acts of violence is insulting to the intelligence of all. To expect justice is a normal reaction to experience.

    Vengeance and justice are two different words with two different meanings. Vengeance belongs to the Lord, but God gave men direction and wisdom in order to exact justice.

    In a world of extremes justice can be too cruel and too lenient; this is why the symbol of justice is a blindfolded woman with scales in her hand; so that justice is served evenly and in balance to the crime.

    It has been said that Satan is the author of confusion. The job of any good defense attorney is to confuse the jury. Christians are equally confused when it comes to dealing out justice to those in society that would hide behind a Christians moral code.

    If you do not have law and order in a society you have chaos and the breakdown of any structure of society.

    The punishment should fit the crime.

    I once knew a man who cursed the perpetrator of a local crime here and thought the man should pay the full penalty of the law that is until he found out the perpetrator was his son.

    Upon learning this he simply had no more to say of the matter.

    Don’t let confusion blur your vision of right and wrong and our responsibility to protect the innocent among us.

    Steve

  15. SFDBWV says:

    This morning in the news is a Philadelphia man who confessed to beating his 3 month old son to death, just reading of the baby’s injuries is enough to make anyone sick.

    What is appropriate justice for this man? To be put in prison given food, housing, comfort, TV and computer access and yes conjugal visits.

    Or execution?

    Before you answer, listen to what God says about capital punishment.

    1. Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:17, 18, 19
    From the beginning God ordained death for Adams one sin.
    2. Numbers 35:16, 17, 18 and Numbers 35:30, 31 and special attention to Numbers 35:33
    Not only are murder’s to be executed, but if you don’t execute for murder your land is polluted.

    Then there is the act of the cross, God demands the death of His Son as payment for the sins of all mankind as a way of restitution and a way for men to be able to come to God cleansed by the blood of His Sacrifice.

    On the Cross the criminal who ask Jesus to remember him when He comes into His Kingdom, acknowledges his guilt and Jesus gives Him absolution, but the criminal still is executed.

    Yes Jesus told the accusers of the adulteress that he without sin cast the first stone. However lets look at the *crime* is death warranted for such an offence? Yes in the Law of Moses, but would justice be served in the stoning of this woman? Not without the stoning of her lover as well, but the story here is that Jesus came to die in her place and give her the opportunity for salvation…as He said to her “go and sin no more.”

    Jesus telling those who are without sin to throw stones is not a condoning of sin and especially not of murder.

    Because we take mercy to extremes the enemy of God will see kindness for weakness and use it against His people.

    Creating a world of confusion and ushering in the Anti-Christ who will give the people what they are hungry for an eye for an eye justice without mercy.

    I am sure to have offended some with this comment, I am sorry for that, but anything else I may say would not be honest.

    Steve

  16. poohpity says:

    There is no hiding behind a Christian moral code for me, it is what makes me see real truth to the real condition of my heart. For anyone to say it is a means to hide is really ignorant of just how far and deep into the human condition God sees and exactly just what He sees while we try to hide the fact that it is even in there.

    I remember the reaction a few topics ago when Mart had to delete all the comments because they were very offensive then tell me how our hearts are any different than the person who did these things. To have that type of hate and anger in our hearts is NO different to God and if we really look inside it is not a pretty sight and then call for justice and I really hope you get it. I hope to never get the justice I deserve.

  17. phpatato says:

    When I look at the heinous act that occurred in Boston – and those that happen on a daily basis, I get angry and look for justice. Accountability is no longer in today’s vocabulary. Responsibility is another one. But as that thought is another issue…. I get angry because I put myself in the spot where if that was my 8 year old son or if that was my mom or my dad or sister or brother that lost a limb because of this senseless act, How Would I Feel? I will say, yes indeed no second thought, I’d be angry and I’d want justice too. Having empathy for our fellow human being is the word to describe how to do this. However, there are those who walk this earth that are coldhearted and uncaring and fail to walk in another’s shoes.

    I am sure that everyone knows the 5 stages of loss and grief. It is part of the mourning process. Mourning is experienced by people everywhere, around the world, in all walks of life. It comes when we are faced with the death of a special person or animal. In the five stages of normal grief (note the word normal), Anger is one of them.

    Acceptance is another stage. Only when we are able to accept what has happened can we “learn to forgive”. Not many are afforded the ability to do this. It is when we know that God forgave and continues to forgive us when we do “crimes” against Him, can we look upon those that do crimes against us to forgive them.

    This is yet raw. For those whose lives were touched by this, I pray for the anger to subside and not be allowed to simmer inside and grow. For those who are sifting through what happened for the who and whys, I pray God will give them both wisdom and knowledge to help uncover those questions so that they can learn to at least keep pace with the evil that runs amuck.

  18. BruceC says:

    Steve,
    “On the Cross the criminal who ask Jesus to remember him when He comes into His Kingdom, acknowledges his guilt and Jesus gives Him absolution, but the criminal still is executed.”

    Your quoted statement is exactly the point I was trying to make. Thank you for repeating it.

    Some here may not believe this; but I am not angry about this incident. Upset that people are dead and seriously injured because someone else thought they were in the right to do this? Yes. My first reaction was of grief and sorrow. For the victims and their families, for our country, and for this sick world that we are all a part of.
    I was trained to be detached, so to speak. To not let emotions get in the way of doing the job. Emotions will allow control of a situation to slip right out of your fingers. I recall questioning a man who was thought to have sexually molested a seven year old girl. I had to stay in control; and so did the other Deputy. He confessed because we did not “lose it” and was convicted. In another incident several of us assisted child protective services in the removal of several small children and infants from a house and from the custody of their parents. I would not type here the description of the filth those children had to live in because of their parents. And again we could not “lose it”. All these people are offered the forgiveness and grace that God lovingly provides through His Son if they ask Him and confess.
    Likely the hardest thing I had to do was to wake up a family I knew in the middle of the night and tell them that their son and brother was killed in a car accident. I had to remain calm to comfort them.
    So seeking the capture of the guilty and justice done is not always anger; nor can it always be called vengeance. When I worked in the jail for about seven years I witnessed to murderers and rapists and child molesters about Christ and God’s grace. So I wish some would not jump to conclusions about why I say some things. Some might ask me to walk in the shoes of the guilty party….and all I ask is that maybe you walk in mine also.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    As I said earlier I too want justice, I always have sought for justice as long as I can remeber. Let the law bring its justice upon the criminals was my only thinking.
    Vengeance as Steve has said is another issue, and to me is a sin, bringing the full strength of the law against evil is justice, where to bring another evil, or revenge, against evil is vengeance.
    There was a moment a few nights ago after church where a group of us got together for a bite to eat and we were talking about what kind of justice would be brought to bear upon the lady who shot and stabbed repeatedly her boy friend
    claiming no memory of the stabbings. I personally seek justice but and young lady sitting next to me was really concerned about her soul. In that moment I relised my plea for justicec may have also sought a form revenge upon her for her actions, and that thoughts about her soul had never entered my mind.
    I knew my lady friend had the right motive in her heart for this lady, seeking forgiveness instaed of revengeful justice.
    Where I wanted her found guilty and my friend wanted her soul forgiven.
    Wow!
    That was that ever a lessen to my senses, revealed through the eyes of Christ working within someone else. Food for thought was served up well that evening. Gary

  20. phpatato says:

    My dear brother Bruce

    That you have learned not to get angry at the atrocities you have seen each day you went to work is a witness to your faith!! You are so ahead of me. I get angry first and then grieve and sorrow. You are so right…seeking the capture of the guilty and having justice done is not always done in anger, but I think capture must be done and justice must be served…as Steve has pointed out. Again dare I say accountability to the criminal and responsibility of the state.

    You hold my utmost respect for what you’ve given society.

    Hugs to all

    Pat

  21. poohpity says:

    Bruce is the “some” you were referring to me? I was going beyond the moment, the immediate incident and was directing what I said more at the topic than your call for justice.

    My hunch is that the root of what happened was anger of some sort, in some way. So with that in mind do we feed into that anger or rise above it. Look at lynch mobs they call for justice but the way they go about it is just as bad. After all this time that I have known you I do not think you are the lynch mob type of a person, please give me a little more credit than that.

  22. BruceC says:

    Gary,

    Justice and forgiveness are not always mutually exclusive. You can have both. Justice to satisfy the laws of the land and forgiveness from God for the guilty party. Thief on the cross. And I think there is more to the case about the girl stabbing her boyfriend. I have been around enough lawyers to know that first and foremost they try to get their client acquitted; even if some “tricks” are resorted to. The truth does not always come out in court proceedings because we as humans are not capable of perfect truth all the time. We are flawed and it shows in our mistakes in all parts of society. Time will tell in that case. We need to be careful as I am sure there are experts in the world that could find any human “nuts” and thereby justify their actions. But does that remove guilt?

    pooh,

    Possibly it is the way you worded your post after I put mine up.

    BruceC
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  23. poohpity says:

    Bruce, I thought by now you would have understood most times the first comment I put up is in response to the topic not a comment on the comments of which I may not have even read yet. If I read the comments first they may not have anything to do with the topic then I get confused and lead astray. At this point in my life I need no more confusion than is already going on between my ears. :-)

  24. saled says:

    Mart is right when he says that even when the investigation is done, we won’t be at the bottom of this or any other evil. And I agree when he says that the evil that we do and that is done to us is part of a far bigger story. My family has run many road races with runners who do Boston, and our sympathies are with the athletes. However, this whole topic of justice is so off-kilter.

    We focus on crimes such as these when we think of justice, but where is the outcry for justice for victims of big business? The victims of the housing bubble? The ground-level workers whose labor produces the goods that someone higher up sitting in an office gets rich on? My respects to you, Bruce, the former police officer. But crimes like you spent your time dealing with just seem to me to be a diversion from the BIG crimes of our time.

  25. phpatato says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of George Beverly Shea. His hometown of Winchester Ontario is but a short drive from me. His voice has been a blessing to many over the years. He was involved for a short time with Youth for Christ back in the 40s and it was during that time that Mom was one time privileged with accompanying him on radio. Most will know his name through Billy Graham Crusades. He was 104.

  26. swwagner says:

    Sorry to be off topic but I need some help and input about the topic of Church. Is there an appropriate place to ask about this on this site. Thanks

  27. BruceC says:

    saled,

    I understand what you are saying; but this incident may tie in with others around the world over the years and therefore would be a big crime. Terrorism.
    If we start to categorize greed as a crime things will start to get very murky. Someone at the top is always getting richer than those at the bottom. That is just the nature of capitalism. Intentional exploitation is a different story. We could go on and on about this, those behind much of it, and their agendas.
    What Mart said is that even after the case is solved we will not be at the bottom of this evil or any evil. That IMHO is the black, evil heart that dwells in every human ever born. Our sinful nature.

    Bruce
    soli Deo Gkloria!

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Another famous crime in the city of Boston was the “Boston Strangler”. Many believe the wrong man was executed for the crimes, even though he confessed to the murders.

    This is always the sticking point in exacting justice,” proof beyond a *reasonable* doubt.”

    Mart is, and so have the authorities in this act of terrorism, cautioning people not to rush to judgment.

    People have at the very initial outset of the explosions formed an opinion as to who may be at guilty, or better said what group of people may be responsible.

    Yesterday I seen a follow up news story about the murders of a Texas prosecutor his wife and another prosecutor. Right after the story broke of the murders the news gave rise to believe it was the work of a white supremacy group; even naming certain people they thought may have been behind the crimes.

    Yet it turns out to have been a discharged magistrate and his wife who were the murderers. Disgruntled people angry at losing their position and blaming it on the people they murdered…vengeance!

    Indeed we must keep an open mind as to who is responsible for the crimes in Boston’s bombings, but who ever is responsible should be brought to justice and if guilty pay the price of murder with their own lives.

    The problem is twofold, first people have no patience and want immediate action and secondly the press says too much without evidence to support what they say distorting the truth often swaying public opinion and turning the nation into a mob.

    So keep an open mind and hope that *justice* is served not *vengeance*.

    Steve

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Pat when I sat down here at the computer this morning and seen your report of Mr. Shea’s death, I looked for it in the string of internet news and found no mention of it. How very sad.

    I went to Billy Graham’s web site and found the story in the Washington Post.

    Your mom must have been very talented to have been on the radio with Mr. Shea. I hope some of that talent is still with you and your family.

    Thanks for the news item; he was indeed one of the “greatest generation”.

    Steve

  30. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    As the news of the Boston Marathon has been in the national awareness, other violent episodes have entered the picture. Gun, bomb and anhydrous ammonia storage tank events are before us — challenging our hearts and minds to seek answers. Mart, you wrote:

    “From the beginning, a beautiful life has been stalked and shattered by one who wants us to believe that if God withholds anything from us, or if he can’t– or won’t protect us from such suffering, he either doesn’t exist, or doesn’t deserve our trust.”

    Both a beautiful life and suffering come our way in constant measure along the journey of faith. The “one” you mention is restless and always working trying to mix ashes with our daily bread. Joy and celebration of our Risen Lord are our calling at every turn. The life begun by being born into the world is superseded by enduring, eternal life in Christ launched the day we say “Yes, Lord, I am yours and you are mine.”

    Blessings,
    Maru

  31. poohpity says:

    Maru, you know from those words of Mart about questioning God because of difficulties I found trust in Him because of the honesty. No place in scripture were we ever promised to be free from destruction, difficulties, suffering, trials or losses in fact we are told without a doubt they would happen. How we come out on the other side or in the midst of them shows were our faith and trust lies. As Job said, “shall we receive only the pleasant things from God and never anything unpleasant” and with that Job never shook his fist or cursed God. (Job 1:10 NLT)

    Anger when left unchecked can cause many to explode and be filled with destruction. I guess that is why we have the guideline to not let the sun go down while we are angry. Some people walk around being angry or hate people from different cultures, religions, races or ethnic groups mainly because they are different and may not agree with how we see things. Controlling people get angry when someone has a differing opinion or challenge their authority.

    We have an up rise in emotions over the children killed in Connecticut but no up rise over the many, many of hundreds of babies killed by late term abortion. We can make a big deal over the gun laws but what about the scissors used in late term abortions, it is not the implement that counts it is who has it in their hands.

    The way I understand God is that He feels we can overcome evil with good and if He thinks that way then I believe Him. None of us until the day we go home to be with the Lord is free from doing evil or having it done to us. I do not think the degree has importance words can harm just as bad as a bomb.

  32. poohpity says:

    Oooops that was Job 2:10 NLT

  33. poohpity says:

    We do not know if that one act of kindness will turn someone away from doing something horrible. Or one word of kindness will turn a sad heart to peace, comfort or joy.

  34. remarutho says:

    Morning All –

    So true, Deb. This is a world of woe — yet, here we are in the fellowship of Jesus, seeking him daily and moving out to follow his footsteps.

    One encouraging word can give somebody a glimpse of his glory. We don’t know when or how!

    After I saw that rainbow I mentioned the other day, I was handing my boarding pass and picture id to the TSA agent. He asked me how I was doing. I just opened my mouth and said, “Saw a rainbow this morning. That’s a good sign!” Said a little prayer of thanks as I prepared to pass through the screening — just “may your Word do its work today,” or something like it.

    Didn’t do anything. Simply shared that emblem of covenant hope with a stranger — actually a person no “stranger” than I am.

    The Holy Spirit may take that little word very far in ways I will never know about. It seems to me that is the mustard seed principle. The kingdom is growing and spreading at all times. Hallelujah!

    Maru

  35. poohpity says:

    I do not think we ever make excuses for any sin and most times we are tempted to do it for even the evil found in our own hearts. Jesus seemed to say things in a way to the religious leaders by opening their eyes especially to the condition of their own hearts that is what seemed important. The condition of our own hearts is the only thing we can present to Jesus to change not the hearts of others. Does that include making excuses for sin, I do not think so only with the admission of guilt do we find grace.

    I picture in my mind when we demand justice someone pounding their fist on the table and raising their voice or standing outside in protest or even boycotting. Does that prompt folks to anger or righteousness? The government has it’s job and I think we forget what our job really is and how we are to respond which is the total opposite of how the world around us does. I have come to realize that even though people wear those bracelets “WWJD” they really do not care how Jesus would handle things because they feel it is either cowardly or to passive but is it really? It takes more strength and courage to do things the way Jesus did or does and we can only do things His way with His help.

    So I guess each person has to really search inside as to whether they really want to follow His ways or not. If we trust God to enact justice then we can open our hands and place everything in God’s but if we do not trust then we can do things our way. For each person to figure out what that looks like I guess we can look in the Bible and search what that really means.

  36. phpatato says:

    Deb when you said “I do not think we ever make excuses for any sin and most times we are tempted to do it for even the evil found in our own hearts”…who is the WE you are referring to?

    And on that sentence, you could please clarify it? You seem to say in the first part that we do not make excuses for sin and then in the second part you say most times we are tempted to do it. Are you saying we don’t make excuses even after being tempted to?

  37. foreverblessed says:

    What a terrible thing that happened!
    This is a christian blog, for some reason I find it hard to call for justice. Let the government do that!
    I was really touched by what Gary wrote, the woman was worried for the soul of the criminal. I think that that resembles God’s heart!

    At this moment we are watching on tv how they look at suspects of the bombs. I do hope that this will be done carefully, that it will not be a witchhunt.
    In my country the last 20 years one court case after the other appears where the wrong people were convicted as murderers. One of the wrongly accused even confessed he did it, so numb he had become after all the interrogations (looked up the word). Just to get free from being heard, he said he had done it. He thought they would find out he hadn’t done it anyway, but when he had confessed that was used as definite proof he had done it.
    Just to say that we be careful.

  38. saled says:

    Bruce, why not make greed a crime? Pat commented above that accountability and responsibility are no longer in our vocabulary. But in some areas, people are held much more accountable today than in the past.

    Take drunk driving for example. When I was a child, if someone died in a car accident in which a driver was drunk, it was considered just an accident. Today, it is considered to be a crime.

    Another example is wife beating. In the not too distant past, it was considered a family matter. Now, it is a crime.

    So why not add greed to the list? Maybe today we think it is OK for people to grab and keep all they can for themselves. But sometime in the future this irresponsible behavior practiced by many businessmen will be seen for what it is–evil.

  39. poohpity says:

    LOL, Pat, I can understand your confusion I really did not write that right. I do not think it is alright to make excuses for any sin although many are tempted especially in their own lives to do just that. Blame is a very easy solution to avoid taking personal responsibility which is more common than not. When people start defending themselves with “you” statements rather than “I” statements usually they are about to blame the other person for their behavior rather than accepting their part in the situation.

  40. phpatato says:

    I now understand Deb. lol And I agree! It can be called passing the buck.

    Saled You gave good examples of how the law is stepping up by holding people accountable when a crime is committed. I wasn’t thinking along that line of thought. I was thinking more along the line of what is being done, for example, in young people in school. Parents are making every excuse for Johnny not having his homework done, blaming teachers for Jr’s poor academic performance, telling the neighbour that my little angel wouldn’t do that…..Society will be facing a generation of children who have not learned accountability for their actions. They have learned instead what the benefits are to having a good excuse. At the same time, parents are not being responsible when they turn a blind eye to what their actions are actually doing to the child but as parents, who holds them accountable?

    I can’t say what happens in each state or country, but I would suggest it’s the same the world over….greed won’t ever become a crime because government is full of corrupt greedy people and making it a crime would be signing their own jail sentence. Besides, making greed a crime would fill the jails to so over capacity that they will have riots because their tv and weight rooms and tennis courts were taken from them to add more beds. (this last part was tongue in cheek)

    Hugs

    Pat

  41. foreverblessed says:

    Pat, the greed thing bothers you, and rightly so. The love of money is the root of all evil, says the bible. But the corruption is not half as bad as it is in many third world countries, I would not say, we are better in the western world, but we could be far more worse. Not everybody is cheating, many are good citizens.
    I am just talking away.
    Mart puts this incident in a far wider scope:
    The point is not to simply blame this on the devil but to remember that any evil that we do, or that is done to us, is part of a far bigger story:
    “The point is not to simply blame this on the devil but to remember that any evil that we do, or that is done to us, is part of a far bigger story.”
    I am sort of guessing where he is hinting at: Is it because we lost contact with our heavenly Father at the fall of mankind? When we lost the contact with the Spirit through our spirit. And we felt lost?
    All of us were lost, and thanks to the saving Grace of God through Jesus we can be part of His Kingdom now! We already are part of His eternal life: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Eph 1:3
    These things are still true, whatever happens around us or in our homes or in our bodies, or whatever thought might spring up in our minds, we are His and in His power we can live:
    “and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” v19-20.

  42. oneg2dblu says:

    It is really hard to sort out any accountability and personal responsibility when the bible clearly states: “All a mans ways seem right to him, but in the end lead to death.”
    Man can not account for himself properly unless he has been properly trained.
    “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it.”
    We, our governments, our educational systems, are today raising a generation of children who can not even mention Christ.
    Where will their accountability lie, or come from then?
    These bombers where only doing what they were convinced in their minds, though clearly deceived, what seemed right to them.
    I wonder what Muslim doctrine they thought they were following, and who taught them such things?
    Just a thought…
    I did not see much good fruit displayed in their actions
    and how else can we tell which tree they came from other than what they confess to follow, and what they then actually do. Gary

  43. saled says:

    Pat, I work with school children, and I see evidence of the lack of accountability that you write of. In my state, and most of the country, it is the teachers who are being held accountable for the children’s progress. Is this a good thing? I’m not sure. How can we tell if a student doesn’t learn because they don’t care or because they have a poor teacher? Just on a side note, I live very close to the Canadian border in Maine, and we are under the general impression that Canadian schools do a better job than we do. Any guesses as to why?

    Truck drivers are another group who are being held much more accountable than they used to be. They keep a log and are required to rest after a certain number of hours driving. Break this law, be involved in an accident, and you will be looked at as no better than the drunk driver. Guess we have all heard about tired truckers. But what about tired doctors?

    I am not really advocating that we prosecute greed. The point that I wanted to make is that we cry out for justice in attention grabbing cases like the Boston bombings and overlook the everyday injustices done to the less wealthy segment of our population by those who have power.

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