Wednesday, 1 September 2010

A dignified silence

Whatever happened to dignity? In the UK news this morning, we are treated to reports of a foul-mouthed public rant by an England cricketer who was dropped from the squad. More seriously there is the contents of the "memoirs" of a former prime minister, apparently regaling us with tails of his problems with alcohol, and his stinging verdicts on his successor's personality weaknesses and dastardly schemes.

Is this really suitable material for the public domain? Even if it is true, why does it need to be said at all? Who benefits? Who is built up and helped? What's the point?

The newspaper commentators see it as score-settling. Trying to set the historical record straight in one's own interests, before someone on the other side settles it in theirs. That sounds like a fairly likely explanation.

But at the root of it, there's unbelief. Unbelief in the doctrine of divine judgment. The only reason why we feel need to "set the record straight" in public, now, with our own point of view, is because we don't believe that God's going to do it infallibly one day - and in doing so render all our judgments void.

But if we do believe in the day of judgment, then a lot of the time if it's just a matter of me versus him/her, we can instead just keep quiet. A dignified public silence. We can do this without worry, because whatever preliminary verdicts of men are given out, they'll all be set aside when the all-knowing, all-wise, all-just one states it the way it really was. He will take care of it then; and for now we can get on with other things.

That's very liberating.

2 comments:

Ned Kelly said...

Just so that you didn't think that we have been ignoring you, have been very busy working on the next book, the companion volume to "Not Guilty, Your Honour" which is in the hands of the publisher, AuthorHouse UK.
I think that a dignified silence is one of the hidden meanings in Matthew 5:39, stated more explicitly in Romans 12:19.
As I make an effort to observe the many commandments and admonitions sprinkled throughout Scripture, it becomes amazingly clear to me that these are not just statements of what we should and should not do so as to not offend God, they are actually words of wisdom on how to lead a contented life. If we preached these as not so much prohibitions, but positive advice leading to a more joyful and peaceful life, maybe people would be more receptive.
May God bless your ministry.

Mike said...

What's interesting David, is why people feel the need for justice at all. Even though it's imperfectly expressed it points to a more perfect expression of justice at the judgement seat of Christ. They unwittingly point to the justice of God.