What kind of father would allow this?

World's worst dad?All of us have known church/ministry leaders, either personally or on the national/international scene, who have inflicted great harm on God’s people – perhaps through  their own moral failure, through spiritual manipulation, harsh legalism or a number of other ways. A video I was sent recently reminded me of how wide spread this is and as I thought about it a picture came to mind.

Among a group of young children a few of the bigger ones were wielding knives. The bigger ones were recklessly swinging their knives slashing and hurting those around them.  These were God’s kids being hurt and doing the hurting.  I thought, “Lord, you seem to be a pretty bad Father.”

I would be a horrid father if I allowed my kids to slash and hurt one another like God  permits His kids to do. I have a responsibility to restrain my children, to keep them from hurting others. But God does not do that. He allows “the big ones” to abuse, manipulate and repeatedly inflict injury leaving a path of hurt people strewn in their wake.  “Why do you do that Lord? Even our wicked society restrains those who would hurt others – and your law commands government to do so. But you don’t within your own family.”

I can’t say, “I heard from God” but I think I have at least part of His mind on the matter and there are a several reasons.

  1. Where would we have Him draw the line? All of us have hurt others at one time or another. I know I certainly have and often it has been quite unintentionally – a careless action, a thoughtless comment, a necessary but unpleasant decision I had to make as a leader. If God restrained all who were going to hurt someone I am afraid we would all be banished to our rooms until the end of time.
  2. Hurts provide us an opportunity to demonstrate the character of Christ. If I have never been offended how can I, like Jesus, bless those who hurt me, pray for those that despitefully use me?
  3. And here we start getting a little heavy theologically – In this life, each man must be allowed to “fill up his cup of iniquity”. Rewards in eternity are based upon what we do in this life. Yes, Scripture is clear there are degrees of rewards in heaven and even degrees of punishment in hell. God is not going to reward or punish based upon what we would have done or could have done. It is our actual actions here that determine what our existence there will be like. So, eternal justice demands that man be free here to sow seeds of righteousness or wickedness to reap his harvest in life eternal.
  4. And here is the best part – The reason God can allow evil to run rampant but commands society to restrain evil is because He has the ability to heal every hurt, restore every broken heart, make all things right in the end. If you have been abused by one of God’s kids take heart (Also take a number and get in line. Anybody who has been in the church any length of time has experienced a similar injustice and many are suffering under it now).

Be encouraged, God is a good father but divine justice must permit great injustice during this time.But He is the healer of broken hearts. He is the restorer of what has been consumed by injustice. He provides you an opportunity to follow in His own footsteps of lavishing love and forgiveness on the undeserving. God can, and indeed must, allow injustice to triumph now so complete justice can be carried out in eternity.

Revelation 21:4-5
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

 2 Peter 3:13
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

4 thoughts on “What kind of father would allow this?

  1. Hola hermano Rick, me bendice saber de usted y desde que le conocimos su vida y ministerio nos bendijo.
    Mi comentario a cerca de su articulo aquí publicado ¿Qué clase de padre sería permitir esto? es muy bueno. Sin embargo hay palabras que no se entienden con claridad por que la gramática del español que se usa (me parece) no siendo muy clara la idea que desea transmitir. Espero enviarle mis correcciones y las frases que creo deben ir exactamente, con respeto y admiración.

    Diego y Claudia
    Iglesia Cristiana
    Ministerios Renuevo
    Quetzaltenango, Gua.

    • Bendiciones hermano, Diego.
      A mi es un bendicion recibir su commentario.
      Claro, me envia sus ideas por medio de este o, es mejor, si quiero me contactar directemente por correo electronico.
      Espero a hablar contigo, hermano.

  2. We do not invoke with reverent severity the Church Law in these matters of injury and unrepentant sin with in the Body. Paul spoke of this saying even if the person be your closest friend is take them before the entire congregation and rebuke them that the sin doesnt stain the Testimony of the Believers there anylonger. I paraphrased and expounded, but we neglect yhis when Church staff and even the Pastors err in Sin and continue in it.

    Famously, Paul confronted Peter over siding with Jewish Circumcision and fellowship with Jewish Christians while shunning Gentile Christians.

    Paul spoke to the Corinthian’s to excommunicate a pair living in sexual sin, handing them over to Satan in the hope they repent. Paul spoke of two confronting the Sinner/Sinners and if unrepentant, to inevitability irreversible, excommunicate them.

    The REASON for Excommunication is about the integrity of the Testimony of the Body as a whole!

    The Husband and Wife who were judged to death by God’s Holy Spirit when lying about their tithe from Land Sell to Peter, were yes in Sin in other ways, but they were placing stain/blemish upon the Testimony of that first Body of Believers, and God showed Himself Holy!

    We must act quickly and unwaverinly as Holy as Christ is Holy and expose the sin to these abusers privately, if nothing, gather 2 more witnesses, if still no change, gather Elders to Judge and seperate the Sin from among the Body, and the Sinner with it if they shall not turn from that very sin.

    This is Severe, but Scripture says God is both Gentle and Severe. We should also be Gentle, but Severe with all Sin in our own hearts, confessing them to God and to others, and stand prepared to follow the good example the apostle Paul shared with us as God Inspired to deal with unrepentant Stains upon our Bodies!

    • Hey, Jimmy:
      I agree with you totally (as does Scripture). A problem is many of the “bullies” in the body of Christ don’t actually “sin” – at least not in ways you can easily identify and deal with. Often hurts are inflicted by spiritual manipulation, legalism that masquerades as holiness, personal kingdom building, etc. And often the only difference between the real and the damaging is the heart attitude – which we are not capable of judging – and I think many time even the perpetrator is not aware of his heart.

      For example, a pastor who is passionate about reaching his own community could be doing it out of genuine desire to see people come to the Lord. OR he could be using that terminology to build his own legacy, a big church. And, from what I have observed, it is usually not a clear cut one or the other. One day his primary passion is really to see the lost saved but then a little of “I look good pastoring a big church” creeps in and back and forth the pendulum swings. In the effort to “reach the lost” the saints can be overlooked, used as cogs in an evangelism machine, etc, etc.

      And here is the real kicker, if we want to use church discipline as a tool to deal with cases such as this we could label the sin as pride but aren’t I being the most prideful of all to claim I know another man’s heart – when Scripture says I can’t even know my own heart. And, as mentioned earlier, it is usually not a case of the person being purely “evil”. All of our hearts seem to have mixed motives. I know mine does.

      Even when I choose to do the right thing, “voices” in my head say, “Did you do this for pure motives or because …” I never really know for sure. I want to think my motives were pure but … I also like it when doing right produces a few accolades, a few pat on the backs. So did I do the right thing from a pure heart or was I secretly hoping someone would notice – or at least I knew God would notice and maybe I would get a few heavenly brownie points.

      Sounds like that is a topic for another post but the point is, when it is sin it is easy to deal with as you mention. Not pleasant but at least easier to deal with than the things that often inflict injury of God’s people at the hand of their leadership.

      Thanks for writing. I appreciate your thoughtful input. (Hmmm, did I say that simply to encourage you or did I have ulterior motive? I wish I knew.) 🙂

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