Recently a New York Yankees’ fan was asked about the latest apology from Alex Rodriguez. He responded, “Everybody deserves a second chance.”
If you are scoring at home, you know that this chance for A-Rod is well beyond his second. He has already played the second chance card.
But the fan’s statement raises an important question. Do people really deserve a second chance? It may be that when you hear my question, you may think of Jesus’ teaching to Peter when Peter wanted to know if he should forgive somebody up to seven times. Jesus’ response indicated that Peter should forgive far more times than just seven.
However, that misses an important element in the question. It has to do with the verb in the fan’s sentence – deserves. To deserve something means that has been earned. By the very nature of a second chance, the answer has to be that we do not deserve that chance. It implies that the first chance was blown.
That being the case, what we deserve is judgment and/or punishment, not a second chance. Asking for second chance is not to ask for what one deserves. It is asking for mercy and grace. Mercy so that we are not continually punished for blowing the first chance. Grace so that a second chance is provided.
So how do we reconcile Jesus’ teaching to Peter with the idea of a second chance? The answer lies in determining which party is involved in the process. If we are the offending party, we deserve judgment. We ask or even plead for mercy and grace. We do so understanding that we do not deserve another chance. We can place no obligation on the person offended to forgive us.
If we are the offended person, then we have some obligation to extend another opportunity. Not because it is deserved, but because in doing so we reflect the character and nature of Christ. We have received mercy and grace and should extend the same to others.
When we properly understand what is deserved as the offender and the nature of forgiveness as the offended, we will have a better handle on this whole idea of second chances.
So much for toleration and inclusiveness…again. Did not the mayor of Atlanta do to the fire chief exactly what he feared the fire chief MIGHT do to his subordinates?
Atlanta Ousts Fire Chief Who Has Antigay Views – NYTimes.com.
Ryan Bell is a former Adventist pastor. He is completing “a year without God.” Except that at year’s end, he will not return to believing in God. He will continue living his life without God or without believing in the existence of God.
The wildly popular Bible app, YouVersion, has released data on what Bible verses have been the most popular in 2014. Popularity was determined by some algorithm factoring bookmarks, highlights and shares. Check the link for a few infographics of their results – Our Year With The Bible Infographic 2014 | YouVersion.
Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville, KY
A few blocks away from the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky sits the building which houses Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Prior to the seminary’s realignment with its heritage, this church and the seminary were closely linked in theology as well as geography. Today that theological link is a gulf.
The other day I saw the following quote as a meme on my Facebook timeline. The quote is from a popular Washington D.C. pastor. At last count this quote was liked by 732 people and shared by 213 people. It is a safe assumption that all of the likes and shares were from those who identify as Christians.
While the quote does contain some elements of truth, it leaves readers with having to choose one statement over another. We could call this a rather-than fallacy or a fallacy of comparison. Here is the quote,
I don’t want to push my children.
I want them to feel the pull of the Holy Spirit.
Quotes and memes. Nothing has done more to expose shallow thinking by Christians in the internet age. Those who supposedly bear the name of Christ think little or not at all when they post and share witticisms on their social media pages.
Those who follow the one who called himself The Truth, unwittingly commend quotes from atheists, pantheists and charlatans because they sound cute. It is time that we commit ourselves to thinking in a thoroughly Christian manner. Currently we are more often guilty of having our ears tickled as our minds become numb to error.
According to the new Dodge commercial, brothers John and Horace Dodge left Ford in 1914 because they believed in more than the assembly line. What more, you ask?
They believed driving was a holy endeavor.
It might be said that since we are to do all for the glory of God that driving would be included in that. I’m not sure that is what Dodge has intended to communicate. It seems clear that they are saying that driving belongs in a special category as opposed to the mundane.