Forgiveness Without Justice—Not!

Paul Derengowski, ThM

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of understanding who we are, in our natural state, and how we stand before God as guilty reprobates and perverts.

“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory God,” wrote the Apostle Paul (Rom. 3:23).

That all of the hand-wringing, lately, by those on both the left and right of the political spectrum, amounted to nothing more than hypocritical self-condemnation.

That until there is repentance, society will never get a grip on all the perversion that surrounds it, much less deal justly with it, when it occurs.

Of course, with God’s biblical prescription for sin comes all the mockers; the very ones engaged in their own brand of perversion, who believe that what God has to say on the subject is of mythical or delusional proportions.

Take, for instance, Ms. Victoria Lopez, who wrote in response to my previous commentary:

Her assumption, as well as six others who agreed with her, is that if we apply God’s method for dealing with sin to everyone, then that somehow will allow injustice to reign, criminals to walk free, and the victims to grovel in shame and despair.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Forgiveness does not entail the exclusion of justice.

Even in the case of Jesus Christ dying for the sins of humanity, justice was served when Jesus took all the perversion upon himself to atone them before God. It cost Jesus his life.

When sin is committed, someone bears the brunt of it sometime or somewhere. There is always a payday, someday. It is not as if the act never occurred at all.

The model for carrying out civic justice on earth was through human government and rulers who are appointed by God to deal with civil problems.

Jesus said, “Then render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt. 22:21).

Paul wrote, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God…For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. And [if] you are wishing to not fear authority, do [what is] good and and you will have praise from the same; for it [governmental authority] is a minister of God to you [for] the good. But if you do [what is] evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger [that brings] wrath upon the one who practices evil” (Rom. 13:1-4).

Peter wrote, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Pet. 2:13-15).

Governmental authorities and law enforcement officials are God’s means of dealing with the criminal element in society.

Should a man or woman sexually assault someone, it is those appointed by God who are supposed to exact the penalty for the crime committed.

It is not that forgiveness should be forgotten. It is that even though there is forgiveness, there is justice that needs to be meted out as well.

Again, someone will bear the brunt for sin, every time in God’s creation. Otherwise, both forgiveness and justice are made a mockery and before long total anarchy becomes the standard.

In fact, when government and law enforcement officials fail in their civic responsibilities to recognize the parts they play in God’s economy of dealing with evil, the rest of the human race suffers for their travesty of justice.

Therefore, if the penalty for sexual assault carries with it 10 years in prison, then the sexual pervert needs to spend 10 years in prison; no compromises for alleged “good behavior,” or whether anyone, including the victim of the crime, forgives the pervert for his crime.

As I have noted before, sin is never truly committed in private, as it always effects everyone, eventually, in one capacity or another.

Just because sexual assault might have been committed in an office, a dorm room, or someone’s house, between two persons, does not mean that that sin will not reverberate in its effects to the rest of the world.

It is why we have juries, which, although its members may not have been the direct recipients of the crime committed, must deal with the lurid details of the aftermath.

By following God’s model, forgiveness is not only rendered, but justice is served.

Moreover, society, although it will always deal with its fallen condition, is assured that when a crime/sin committed, it will be dealt with in a manner that is right for everyone.

Conversely, the more society mocks—like Ms. Lopez et al did above—God’s model for handling criminality and sin, the more it will continue to crumble into chaos and disorder, which is why we now have a growing number of activist judges who are more interested in being the law, than upholding it.

In that case, justice is not served, criminality trumps lawful behavior, and we demonstrate just what kind of reprobates we are without God’s direction.

About the Author

President, Christian Apologetics Project PhD Candidate, Northwest University (2018) MA Apologetics w/ Honors, BIOLA University (2005) ThM, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2003) MDiv, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2000) BA Pastoral Ministry & Bible, Baptist Bible College (1992)

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