Monday, May 19, 2008

Christian Bloggers Should Be Vessels of Mercy

Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-Mass.), who was hospitalized over the weekend for a seizure, is and should be in the prayers of faithful Christians who oppose abortion. This isn't because he "deserves" it -- that would suggest he merits prayer by virtue of his righteousness -- but because it is a practical way for the Christian to apply mercy.

That's why seeing this from a Christian blogger this morning was saddening:

Abortion is war. It is war on the unborn. I hope God takes out every last one of them responsible.

I do realize that some people come to the point of salvation and change. And that is great.

[...]

I hope that before Christians pray for this man's healing, that they stop and think about what he will do once back in his office of Senator.

Of course these sentiments aren't what we get from Scripture. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy," Jesus preached (Matthew 5:7). As Christians, we receive mercy from God by believing on His Son Jesus Christ, trusting in Him to save us from our sins by the merit of His atoning work on the cross. Knowing the depths of our sin, we forgive those who wrong us personally, as well as those who harm others by perpetrating and/or excusing evil committed against them.

These people are, truly, our enemies. But Christ calls us to love them:

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic [2] either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36)

Our heavenly Father is merciful and kind to the ungrateful and evil, and our expression of mercy will find itself in doing good to those who persecute us and who abuse the innocent. We are to pray for them, knowing that day after day they are storing up the wrath of God on the day of judgment (Romans 2:5) if they don't repent.

Sen. Ted Kennedy is still alive. God can change his heart, granting him repentance (II Timothy 2:25). He can still be saved and glorify God as an object of God's mercy as opposed to being a vessel of His just wrath.

That should be the prayer of any Christian, who by his/her very recreated-in-Christ nature is a vessel of mercy (Romans 9:21-24).

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1 comments:

Anonymous,  May 22, 2008 at 10:28 AM  

Hey, I agree with you about what the Christian response to Sen. Kennedy's condition ought to be. We should not withhold our prayers for the Senator even though we may "feel" like doing so. At the same time, we ought to be aware that God is executing his divine justice on Mr. Kennedy for his long and distinguished career of deceit, immorality, adultery etc...

That said, it is not the place of the Christian to gloat or boast in Mr. Kennedy's sufferings, but let these represent a warning to all Christians that God will judge all people, if not in this life, in the next to come.
I pray that Mr. Kennedy's eyes be opened to his true condition and that God's gracious Holy Spirit work to affect a change in his heart. May Senator Kennedy regard this illness as the greatest thing that happened to him in his life, that it served to bring him to the Lord.

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