Through the recent years there have been cases where an individual who, in an effort to commit a crime, became injured on someone else’s property. That individual who was injured, encouraged by greed (and greedy people), turns around and attempts to sue the owner of the property for injuries caused. Some of those cases were thrown out as absurd (because they are), and others went to trial and a few even won if favor of the criminal. Justice served? I think not.
That’s the mentality of society in our day, where the criminal is actually the victim. A victim of his circumstance, his environment, or a victim of other people. However, in God’s eyes sinners are criminals, criminals in rebellion and who disobey His holy laws. Even His elect fall ‘victim’ to such criminal activity when they lust, lie, cheat, steal, covet, etc., such behavior that must be repented of and mortified as convicted by the working of the Holy Spirit. But many, being encouraged by others, shift blame and point out the sinful activity of others (past or present), and make themselves out to be a victim by it. It’s human instinct to shift blame as seen by our first parents; Eve who blamed the Serpent and Adam who blamed both Eve and God.
In my last post I attempted to demonstrate how all things happen for a reason according to the design and purposes of God’s will. Several people didn’t like it because many disagree that God wills evil in any sort of way, and others thought it led to a fatalist conclusion. But I say God is Sovereign and all that happens is according to His good intentions, however that doesn’t absolve man from responsibility. Eve chose to believe the lies of the Serpent, Adam chose to blatantly disobey God. Though they attempted to shift the blame, their choices had consequence, and because of their role in God’s design, the world and mankind was plunged into sin.
We (the Church) are surrounded by selfish and entitled people who believe themselves to be more like the victim than the criminal. According to their worldview they are basically good, and any bad that has happened to them is because of somebody else. They also believe that because they’re basically good, they’re entitled to whatever good comes in this life and the next. While Adam and Eve’s sin pertains to us as our birthright, no one else’s sin has any bearing on our eternal state. Granted one’s sin can affect us temporally, either directly or indirectly, our responsibility as Christ’s followers is in how we respond to one’s sin against us. If we choose to sin in kind or place blame, we might use their sin as an excuse for our sin, and those ‘who weep with us’ may give us a pass. This behavior is reprehensible.
Secular culture has always influenced the Church and right now we’re seeing its vile affects in our day. Members have been encouraged to see slights where there are none and to play the victim. So now the body of Christ is saying with the world “Look at me, and what they’ve done!” The level of self-centeredness within the Church is at an all time high. No longer are these the meek and mild members of society who put others before themselves and by affect of that behavior point to Christ. They join the voices of society who finds oppression in everything. They claim to be ‘oppressed’ because of their sexuality, ‘oppressed’ because of their gender, ‘oppressed’ because of their skin color, and everything in between (intersectionality). They have deemed anyone associated with such ‘oppression’ as the cause of many evils. They say with the unbeliever, it is because of these people that they’re not “living their best life now.”
This is not to say that we ought to immediately dismiss those who suffer (real victims), or say to the believer that they should simply forgive because they too are sinners. While Christ is most certainly magnified when one who is grieving can forgive another, much like the ways in which God has demonstrated in us, we cannot turn a blind eye to those who suffer. But at the same time we must show grace and compassion for the one who victimizes as well, because we are just like them! What I mean to say is that there is often an imbalance when we all rally for the victim, and demonize the criminal. We remind the victim of their hope in Christ, while attempting to bring repentance and/or faith in Christ for the criminal.
To the credit of those in favor of the SJ movement, there are ‘injustices’ and ‘crimes’ committed against us by our fellow believers (and we them) as it is part of our nature even as redeemed sinners. What separates us from the pagan unbeliever is the conviction to repent of our sin, to not respond in kind, and to forgive our brothers. To ‘play the victim’ and find faults where there are none is to fall into egocentric adulation, it’s to put yourself before others, and it often leads to more sin. How we respond to sin is important and if we are improperly pointing out the sins of individuals, especially those who have never sinned against us, in a response to our hurt we fall into sin. As noble as the SJ movement may seem, in their attempt to reform society and the church by playing off our tendency to turn inward and blame others, it’s only leading sinners into more sin.