Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked…will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the… righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:22–25, NIV 1984).
“When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from…do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ” (Matthew 13:26–30, NIV 1984).
“Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:4–7, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Okay, this one’s is likely to land me in hot water. But here goes. Causes, some might call them crusades, come and go. They range from legitimate (or largely so), to the mostly (or completely) illegitimate. Even those that begin as legitimate can sometimes get carried to the extreme resulting in division. Here are a few examples, some clearly bad, some hard to tell, all susceptible to abuse.
McCarthyism – Named after U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin), who led committee hearings in the late 1940s through the 1950s Americans accused of being communists or communist sympathizers. Suspicions subversion or treason were often given credence despite inconclusive, questionable or exaggerated evidence of a person’s real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs. Many people suffered loss of employment, destruction of their careers, and imprisonment.
Salem Witch Trials – A series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. A period of mass hysteria, where more than two hundred people were accused, thirty were found guilty, and nineteen were executed by hanging.
Cancel Culture – A modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles (online or in person). Those ostracized are said to have been “cancelled.” This is usually accomplished via boycotting, shunning and/or restricting access to social media an individual who is deemed to have acted or spoken in a questionable or controversial manner. Cancel culture is viewed negatively by many as censorship and a violation of free speech.
Woke Culture – Becoming aware (I was asleep, but I woke up) of the “truth” behind things “the man” doesn’t want people to know, especially as it relates to classism, racism, sexism, and other social injustices. Considered a form of activism by its proponents. Critics claim it is merely a means for people to call-out those who disagree with them without engaging in meaningful dialogue.
We are all fallen creatures, with skeletons in our closet. Some with more bones in the closet than others. We have a tendency to view the sins of those who sin differently than us as worse than ours. Some of us are penitent, others not so much. But because we are fallen, when we see injustices we often cannot distinguish between the two and “sweep away [cancel] the righteous [penitent] with the wicked [unrepentant].” We “root up the wheat with [the weeds].” So willing to “be the first to throw a stone” without being “woke” to our own shortcomings.
My Advice – We need to be discerning and call out injustice when we see it. But we must remember that we are not the “Judge of all the earth” and will not always make the right call (“do right“).
“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:2–5, NIV 1984).