Friday, June 04, 2010
Good evening my four brothers. In the first of these talks that I was asked to give, I laid out the basics of what God calls for in rulers, and the nature of the doctrine that has led you otherwise, since the snare is laid in vain in the sight of any bird. This evening, some how-to. I was being kept awake in pain last week, and I called to mind a really stupid thing I did 33 years ago. I’m no longer quite that dumb, so I wondered why I needed the review. Then I saw that I need to learn better how to distinguish mercy from indulgence. That’s the real reason I screwed up back then. Defining that issue was worth some pain! Is that same confusion making you feel the need to protect the abusers of our kids? I have a lot more to learn on this, but I think I see this far. Indulgence is going easy on somebody unjustly, at someone else’s expense. Mercy is going easy on someone because it’s mean – unjust – to do anything else. If the public is to trust you with our kids, you have to learn how to stop being nice to their abusers at their expense. A related thing. Doing justly and mercifully isn’t something that good people just do. It’s discipleship, training, like learning how to play golf, fix a car, or take out a hot appendix. So Isaiah says, “Cease to do evil, learn to do good, seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” Am I going too far if I add? "Defend the special ed kid, and plead for his hard-pressed parents, instead of hiring fancy lawyers to plead against them." You obey none of this because you haven’t learned how. But Isaiah goes on to say, “Come let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are as scarlet, they’ll be whiter than snow.” Hang out with God and reason with him. Good company cleans up bad morals. If Isaiah’s advice sounds unreasonable to you, my brothers, you’re practical atheists, having a form of godliness, but denying its power, which is his presence and guidance in real life. This problem can be cured. I do want to share a good report. One of you, I hear, accompanied a parent to their IEP meeting and told the district people to quit noodling around and give the kid what he needs, already – and it happened. I’m not sure it’s true, but if it is, that’s a great start, and may this mustard seed grow into bigger things.