Monday, June 13, 2016

What Happened to Accountability?

Recently, I responded to an online statement that the rioting at Trump rallies was incited by Trump's statements and he ought to shut up.  Then the riots would stop.  And we'll get into my reply. But take a look at our graphic for today's post.

Today's illustration was shared on Facebook by my friend Pastor Eric Anderson.  Think about what Toynbee said.  All the major civilizations arose via standards.  And they crumbled when those standards were set aside for the "benefits" of a wealthy, powerful society.

We tend to think of that in terms of what we'd describe as moral degeneracy.  But there's much more to it than that.  And it includes Trump's freedom of speech.

Matthew 12:36-37  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

That would seem to suggest that Trump should stop talking in public.  And perhaps that would calm things.  But consider several things.  The first amendment says  we have the freedom to speak our minds.  Yes there are laws preventing a speaker inciting people to riot or other illegal actions.  And none of the authorities have suggested that The Donald incited anyone.  Indeed, the media, who seek for ways to vilify him don't even suggest Trump is at fault.


There's a meme that came out of the problems in Baltimore that applies to this discussion  It makes a comparison of protesting to rioting.  That's it to the right.  The media suggests that the folks having issues outside Trump rallies are protesters.  If we receive the truth of that graphic, the people throwing things have gone well past protesting.  And, unlike other riots, news reports make it clear that "keeping the peace" means arresting only the most blatant and accessible rioters. I would imagine that's on a basis of not interfering with their freedom of speech.

So, the theory seems to be that Trump ought to be silenced, but not the rioters.  Selective freedom of speech?  That's a slippery slope I don't want to think about going down.  Especially since it smacks of forced political correctness.

There's another aspect of that.  The sound from inside each of the auditoriums isn't often piped outside.  Most venues just aren't set up for that.  Which means that the "protestors" came with premeditation to create unrest and disorder.  Interesting thought, isn't it?

But this is a Christian blog, the online discussion was with a fellow Christian, and that's where it gets REALLY interesting.  Some may be asking why.  It's because the real issue, here, is not what Donald Trump said or not.  It's accountability.  Yes, many of the rioters are probably not Christian. Otherwise they would most likely avoid such behavior.

Romans 14:12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 

We use that (and similar verses) to suggest that those going to Hell aren't tossed there by God, but rather, their own decisions took them there.  They rejected God by word, deed, and thought.  Are we then to accept selective accountability?  Or, worse, none?

Psalm 10:4  The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.

That still highlights the choice made in free will, even for the unbeliever.  Yes, Donald Trump will be accountable for every careless word (see our beginning passage), but that doesn't excuse the rioters.

Jeremiah 17:10  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

There's one other issue that comes to mind.

James 3:1  My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

Proverbs 27:23  Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds;

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (AMP)  SO THEN, let us [apostles] be looked upon as ministering servants of Christ and stewards (trustees) of the mysteries (the secret purposes) of God.  Moreover, it is [essentially] required of stewards that a man should be found faithful [proving himself worthy of trust].

We all influence someone, even if it's just ourselves.  Is our influence going to support selective accountability?  The Bible is clear.  There are no degrees of sin.  That's a man made excuse system.  As well, we're no less responsible for our thoughts and actions because we're influenced by someone else.  What we do is still based in our own decision.  We can't take the law in our own hands just because we don't like what someone else says or does.  It may seem like good old fashioned American frontier justice.  But it's not.  Any way we cut it, it's just plain sin.

I said there are no degrees of sin.  That's true.  But there are lots of examples of God getting very angry because people of influence intentionally led others astray.  Go back to those last three passages.  Supporting viewpoints not in the Word is a pretty good example of that.  Such as placing accountability where it doesn't belong.  And removing accountability from those who should be accountable.

Matthew 6:33 (AMP)  But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. 

Make sure your thinking includes the Word and lines up with it.

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Our prayers go out for the people of Orlando.  The survivors of both shootings, friends and families.  For some, it might be easy to point out their sin as probable cause.  And it might be.  But the Pulse club might have been chosen, instead, because it was a large gathering of people.  Either way, let's not forget that Christ died for their souls, too.

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We're no better.  Just the nature of the sin is/was different.  So, don't judge, pray. 

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