Tag Archives: Justice

How Do I Know If You Trust Jesus?

The other day in my last blog post I talked about people at the George Floyd protests carrying No Justice No Peace signs (as those found here) and I mentioned how ridiculous I find that slogan. I also mentioned these people don’t know peace and that peace dependent upon justice is worthless peace. But I left it at that because my previous post was a comparison of the circumstance of George Floyd and those of Jesus Christ and why I found it both ironic and sad that people would jump to champion the cause of George Floyd, but not so many jump to champion the cause of Jesus Christ.

Today I’d like to expound on those comments a little because I don’t want to just make a blanket statement without others understanding that I actually have thought about it, prayed about, studied it, and drawn some conclusions about it that I believe are in line with the Holy Scriptures. That and I really do think it is something for all of us (especially me) to consider.

But the way I’d like to explain those comments is by answering a question that anyone might ask of me. So I’d like to propose that a question one might ask of me is how do I know if you (or the person asking the question) really and truly trusts Jesus Christ? I could have titled today’s post “Do You Have Trust Issues?” but perhaps if I explain it from my perspective it will ring a little truer.

So lets start out with the answer before I get to the logic and explanation. The answer is simple. By observing your level of PEACE with life. However, allow me to explain that by trust I don’t mean the way you trust your bank to keep your money safe. I mean a faith that is unwavering and unshaken. A faith that cannot be moved. The trust I am talking about takes all of your heart, and all of your mind, and all of your soul, and all your strength (Mark 12:30). The trust I am talking about takes place on God’s terms and not on man’s (or our) terms. And likewise, when I say peace I am not talking about the human definition of mutual harmony between countries, friends, and neighbors. The peace I am talking about is inexplicable. We are told it passes all of our understanding. It is literally incomprehensible peace. And it is peace that comes from God (John 16:33). Your level of TRUST in God (the person of Jesus Christ) is directly proportional to the level of PEACE you experience within your life.

So how do I know this? Well first of all allow me to debunk the myth that peace is somehow tied to justice. If I am to assume that those who brandish this slogan mean that we cannot have peace without justice, then clearly they are wrong. Justice is indicative of a moral or righteous code of conduct. And there are injustices all over the world each and every day. How about the injustice of abortion? Something that bothers me greatly. But my peace is not dependent upon it. By point of reference, those that brandish the slogan are usually talking about what they would define as justice not what would necessarily be just within the eyes of God. If by their slogan they mean we cannot have peace without first having their brand of justice, then I submit to you it is a lost cause and we will never have peace. As long as justice is arbitrary and defined by the whims of man then peace will be elusive. We are told that vengeance belongs to the Lord (Romans 12:19) and that we are not to be given over to wrath. So clearly my peace isn’t (or shouldn’t be) tied to whatever justice I find or experience here on earth.

On the other hand if if those that brandish this slogan mean that they will not allow peace without justice, then once again I would submit to you there will be no peace here on earth. How can there be when we’ve tied it to some warped sense of justice? I am almost positive that those that brandish the slogan would have a problem when I tell them that I find those that call for the destruction of Israel, unjust. I am sure they would have a real problem with my views on abortion and how I find that practice unjust. I’m sure they would have a problem when I point out the unjustness of a cake decorator in Colorado (story here) being taken to court for not making an LBGTQ cake because it is contrary to his faith while at the same time they are calling for the tearing down of crosses (an example here) all over America. So whose justice are we talking about before we make peace not war? Certainly not what I (and hundreds of thousands of others) find to be just. Are we to go without peace for the sake of others? Or have these fools mistakenly tied peace to justice because it furthers their world view? (Just to be clear, I’m going with the latter).

So peace is not dependent upon justice, but what is it dependent upon? I would submit to you that peace is dependent upon trust. So how do I know this? Well I believe it is born out in Holy Scripture. Take Psalm 18:2 for example. What is your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your very salvation, if not your peace? Is He not your place of refuge? Where all your needs are met? Where you find tranquility and where you are safe from all terrors? Is He not your PEACE?

And how do you obtain that PEACE? Through TRUST of course. You observe this almost everywhere in life. Missionaries exhibit this behavior every day of their lives. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Missionary friends in seemingly impossible circumstances. And yet totally at peace. They look at you and say “God WILL provide.” And they know this because they trust Him.

I don’t lose my peace because God is my VENGEANCE, God is my FORTRESS, God is my SALVATION, God is my ROCK, God is my EVERYTHING and I TRUST Him. And when my trust wanes, and worry creeps into my life, and it seems like terror is closing in, I cry out to Him to help me in my unbelief (Mark 9:24).

So how do I know if you trust Jesus? I look at the level of peace you exhibit in your life. The more peace, the more trust. And the more trust, the more peace there will be. Try it yourself and see if I’m right.

Whose Justice Is It Anyway?

I know a lot of Old Testament Christians.  You know what I am referring to when I say an Old Testament Christian, right?  An Old Testament Christian is one who doesn’t know how to rightly balance The Law and Grace.  The two concepts have never been rightly defined and rightly applied within their own lives.  An Old Testament Christian is one who declares “Kill them all and let God sort them out!” at the most extreme, and those that cry “Good!  I hope they suffer!” at the least extreme.  And to what end?  Do they think their own perceived injuries will be vindicated by the death or suffering of the unrighteous?  Of course they won’t.  If they are looking for justice here on Earth, they are looking in the wrong place.

A lot of these Old Testament Christians will point out that God is a Just and Holy God and that he cannot stand the wicked to be in his presence.  They are quick to point to passages like Psalm 58:9-11 but then do not believe that Romans 3:9-11 somehow refers to them.  And if there are none righteous (and the passage says “no, not one“) then who is there to rejoice at the vengeance of the wicked?

And it is not just Christians that fall into the trap of proclaiming their justice to be the definitive balance between right and wrong.  Here in Baltimore, Maryland this week there were protests over the Freddie Gray incident similar to others held around the United States of America the last several months.  A common rallying theme heard at such protests is “What do we want?  Justice!  When do we want it?  Now!” and all the while the vast, vast majority of those that pick up that cry have never received injury from those they seek vengeance from, nor will they ever receive injury within their lifetimes.  And yet they still demand justice.

Everyone wants Justice.  The problem is, everyone wants their justice (or justice as they perceive it).  When it comes to justice for you or for me or for anyone else, only they are able to judge rightly.  Only they have the right sensibilities to correctly apply justice and to extract the exact amount of payment necessary for the crime.  We all stand around and judge one another seeking justice for those perceived injuries we feel we have received in our lives.

I have had the sheer joy and pleasure of hearing Dr. Ravi Zacharias speak on several occasions.  One of the most profound things I have ever heard him proclaim (and there have been many) is “If there is no God it makes a mockery of justice“.  And it is true.  Where is the justice for those that died in the Nepal Earthquake?  Where is the justice for those wrongfully persecuted and imprisoned?  Where is the justice for those that are born into impoverished and violent conditions?  Any Atheist who holds to a model of justice in this world is a fool.  Their own model should tell them that the chaos within the system will never allow it to be achieved.  And if it were, Whose Justice Would It Be Anyways?  Yours?  Mine?  Or theirs?  I can certainly assure you it will never be “Ours”.

Allow me to illustrate the point this way.  Here in the United States we have an idiom (a saying) that goes “You can’t fight City Hall“.  It is a way of saying that you are going to receive an injustice whether you want it or not and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  I had an Atheist (self acknowledged) boss once tell me (in almost the exact same breath) that (a) I couldn’t fight city hall.  And (b) that he was the fairest boss in the entire company.  And he didn’t even realize the irony of what he was saying when he said it.  The fact is, he was saying that any justice other than his did not matter and since he was the most just (fair) it didn’t matter that you couldn’t fight it because it was totally righteous to begin with.  Because that is exactly what those two sentences put together mean.  He also didn’t realize that just the mere statement of his own self acknowledgement of being the “most fair“, makes him not fair.

No, there is no Justice here in this life.  Oh, there are pockets of Justice here and there.  There are times when things seem right and just.  But there are far more times when we want to cry out for justice and it seems fleeting or escapes us.

What then should our response be here in this life?  My Old Testament friends would point out that we should be like God (at least that is what they mean to say).  But I would point out that we are to be like Jesus Christ.  One might argue that Jesus Christ IS God, and you will get no argument from me on that point.  But Jesus Christ is the expression of God in the form of man (see Philippians 2:7-9) and is the example on how we are to be.  There are some traits of God we will never possess, nor should we, for he alone is God.  But we are to be like Jesus Christ.

And what was Jesus Christ like?  Well consider the time when he was in the Temple teaching (pretty much minding his own business) found in John 8:2-11.  When a woman caught in the very act of adultery (stop and think of the sheer embarrassment of that for a moment) was brought before Jesus Christ, what was his response?  It is found in verse 11, where he says “Neither do I condemn thee:“.  If the God of Heaven and Earth stands before a woman caught in the very act of adultery (which is a violation of the law) and says to her that he does not condemn her, then who are we to seek our irrelevant justice here on Earth?  Please note the last part of Jesus’ sentence to the woman, “go, and sin no more“.  He said “sin no more“.  Jesus Christ recognized that she had sinned.  He realized that she was in the wrong.  And yet there was no condemnation.

That is Grace.  That is God’s Grace.  And that is Grace as only God can deliver it.

Perhaps the world would be a slightly better place if we were to all step back and consider our injustices, and before we seek justice or vengeance ask ourselves the question: Whose Justice Is It Anyway?