“Rejoice Not When Your Enemy Falls”

It’s happened before and you can be sure it will happen again. Someone falling, that is. Ted Haggard and Paul Barnes are merely the latest. It causes the press to do all sorts of “soul” searching. (Frankly, I doubt the press is having any trouble deciding what’s right and wrong. Funny how the antinomians always end up the most legalistic, huh?) It gives newspapers the opportunity to highlight the oppressive nature of Christian churches that deny that God made homosexuals that way.

(Of course God didn’t make you that way, any more than He made all sinners that way. Now, whether someone is “born” homosexual–which I don’t believe–what difference would that make? As if that takes away a person’s responsibility to act correctly and obey the Law. The fact that I’m a sinner doesn’t absolve me from my responsibility to do what I’m supposed to do.)

But what I can’t understand is the desire to gloat over the downfall of these men. What does it prove if someone can’t restrain their sinful behavior? That they’re hypocrites? Who doesn’t say one thing and do the opposite? Who doesn’t wear different masks depending on the situation? Hypocrisy doesn’t disprove a particular truth any more than saying God doesn’t exist disproves His existence. The only thing that these “scandals” prove is that they’re sinners who allowed their sinful nature to take them down. Yeah, well, who’s next? Maybe you’re not the pastor of a mega-mega-church with the ear of the president, but your heart is as black as the next guy’s. So is mine. Your private life makes angels blush, and you know it. “Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and when he stumbles, let not your heart exult. Lest Yahweh see it, be displeased with you, and withdraw his wrath from your enemy” (Proverbs 24:17-18). “For the just man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble to ruin” (Proverbs 24:16). “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

Timotheos

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One thought on ““Rejoice Not When Your Enemy Falls”

  1. This is primarily based on misunderstanding sin. Specifically, misunderstanding and denying temptation.

    When we choose wrong, it is much easier to deny our temptations and argue that we have no choice.

    Yes, we are all sinful. But most people don’t want to admit it.

    Yes, we are all tempted. But one can’t address temptation if they can’t first admit the human weakness of sin.

    And, when others sin, we are hesitant to acknowledge and forgive for the same reasons. To forgive anothers’ sins without punishment (or penance) we illustrate that sinfulness is a human trait inherent in ourselves that we may also require forgiveness.

    But without Christ, we can not truly embrace or understand the consequences of temptation and sin.

    So, Christians will continue to forgive, and will also continue to recieve blame for other’s bad choices.

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