“The aims of a great empire and the moral health of the people are incompatible.”
“Holding on to a great empire means to contribute to the extinction of our own people.”
“And since the faceless and greedy pack did what it pleased, more often than not in our name, we will not be able to wash ourselves clean as quickly as the others have.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn from “The Russian Question”
As the leadership of a nation goes, so are it’s people judged. Sadly, a majority of the citizens could disagree with the rulers, but they are not differentiated. These, unfortunately, bear responsibility of all actions; the blessings of kindness — the guilt of wrongs done. Presumed on by outsiders, many bear the brunt of a nation disgraced, a name disintegrated.
So, what can we learn? Many things:
- Private reputations often yield unconsciously to group evaluation.
- People judge often by national identity, skin color, religious affiliation, party or club membership, etc.
- The eccentric or rogue factions of a group, often define every individual in that group — whether true or not.
- True evaluation suffers as fears increase — insecurity mothers idolatrous addictions. (all addictions could be idol rooted.)
- Marriages, friendships and all healthy relationships, grow risky under the scourge of lies — propaganda, deceit.
Any positive thoughts?
Yes. True Christians willingly take on the identity of all that that membership entails including the nomenclature of “Christianity.” We own, for instance, a bloody cross, an empty tomb, a merciful Savior, a grace-giving Sovereign, A loving Father.
What of “fire and brimstone” teaching? What of legalism, emotionalism, prosperity falsehoods, free-will versus absolute sovereignty? All these and many other “twists” appear as “Christian” from place to place.
Not a problem. Our Leader bore the sin of the whole world. Our Leader was counted among the sinners.
Our leader, Jesus Christ, unified the entire Human race under one heading: Sinner!
Our Christ sought not to save His reputation, nor His entire life, but died in disgrace — despising the shame.
Friends, we receive mistreatments and sometimes we mistreat. But, we ought not magnify the magnanimous effect of a sinful people to the exclusion of loving them as did our leader, Christ.
Yes. herein lies our advantage. Never disowning our “sinner” identity, we claim the human race as our own “group,” identify with their addictions and needs, and show them Our loving leader-Savior, with a hope to release, help, deliver, or regenerate.
Folks, we are sheep, yes, smelly ones, among wolves who are just as smelly.
“Sinner,” we hail as, “saved by grace.” “Chiefs” of the sinners, claimed Paul the apostle.
But, “sinners called saints” we also readily accept, because of the reputation of our leader’s resurrection. Yes we died to sin as He died in our place — we live unto God as He came forth from death.
Redeemed and set free, we claim a seat with our captain at the Father’s right hand.
In closing, as our reputations digress, as our credibility diminishes, please don’t lose heart.
I met a lady as our group of sinners/saints knocked on a door. Like any other first meeting with introductions, we hoped to minimize her discomfort at our strangeness. She began to talk; a defense mechanism, but also her way of identifying with her perception of us. In mid stream, she began to weep, I don’t know why. She talked of angels, I pointed out some in the Bible. She quit crying. I told her that God loved her. The tear drops flowed again. In her words, “I so needed this today.”
I don’t know what happened, but certainly something did. I think, in our simple identification with her, God, the lover of sinners, visited her open heart with His love and grace. She was so happy. Happy V. Day. Love ya