Monday, March 26, 2012

The Potential Bloodguilt of George Zimmerman

I remain incredulous concerning the judgmental frenzy which surrounds the case concerning Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. I won’t recount the details of the case here, but must say that if you haven’t heard of the story concerning the death of Trayvon, just “google it” and you’ll find the twisted cornucopia of self-appointed judges, juries, vigilantes and executioners. If the case of Travon Martin and George Zimmerman proves anything, it is this: depraved men will gladly use a tragedy for their own profit and political gain. In writing this I have no intention to take any particular side, save this one:

Proverbs 13:10 (NASB) — 10 Through presumption comes nothing but strife, But with those who receive counsel is wisdom.

We have yet to receive the full counsel of a judicial review on this case, and yet this has not stopped the talking-heads within the media from adjudicating the thoughts, motives, and intentions of George Zimmerman. The reader should note that the biblical standard for dealing with such matters is radically different than that of the world’s. Ultimately, this matter ought to be tried by facts[1] rather than judgmental rumors, innuendoes, and speculation. The law of our land still declares that a man is presumed to be innocent until he is adjudicated as guilty by a court of law – not the media, the president, or any religious leader. The law of the land is that of non-presumption concerning a person’s guilt. Unfortunately, such a standard often falls victim to various desires for vengeance or personal gain. However, it is distinctly Christian to submit to such a standard of non-presumption as that which is given to us by governing authority[2] and, ultimately, biblical authority.[3] But sadly, too many today will seize upon a news item in view of how such an event can be twisted for their own gain via political influence, TV ratings, or book sales. Bizarrely, this case has already been adjudicated by the loudest voices in our land as being another example of racialism here in America. Even religious talking-heads have weighed in on this issue in order to insinuate, or to conclude, that Mr. Zimmerman was driven by racialism. I too have listened to his 911 call and have concluded this: it is, at best, inconclusive. We won’t know about the details of the case until it is given a more thorough examination by those who have the facts of the case and the testimony of witnesses.

I am sorry to say that I am not dramatically surprised by our President’s insinuation that the Martin/Zimmerman case should be examined through the prism of skin color, and thus, racialism; nor am I surprised by Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson’s unmitigated judgmentalism in this case; nor does the media surprise me – rarely do they allow the facts to get in the way of their own political narrative. What is particularly disgusting is to see religious leaders riding the same gravy train of judgmentalism and presumption in this. With their air of moral supremacy and presumed omniscience, one would think that they were the self-appointed fourth-member of the Trinity.

If anything happens to Mr. Zimmerman before his case is ever heard, then his bloodguilt will be upon the hands of all the self-appointed judges, juries, and executioners who decided to bypass the wisdom of ancient Scripture, while taking matters into their own hands:

Deuteronomy 19:15-20: 15 “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.16 “If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing,17 then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days.18 “And the judges shall investigate thoroughly; and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely,19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.20 “And the rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you.”

Romans 13:1 Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

Sadly, the Judeo-Christian ethic which informed much of the thinking of our founding fathers is being replaced with the worst forms of progressivism, political expediency, pragmatism, and racialism; and the evidence of this is being revealed from highest office in the land to the common man in the street. This is no small matter – it is extremely dangerous. If Mr. Zimmerman is lynched by the mob, the President won’t be able to right the wrong with a “Beer Summit” 2.0.

May God have mercy on our nation.

[1] Deuteronomy 19:15–20

[2] Romans 13

[3] Deut. 19:15-20

Friday, March 02, 2012

Chris Drager: A Tearful and Joyful Tribute


Psalm 116:15
Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of His godly ones.

This afternoon I received word that our dear brother in Christ, Chris Drager, passed away from this life into glory. When I received this news I was, frankly speaking, numbed by the report. I need not here repeat the details of Chris’ longtime struggle with cancer, but it is sufficient to say that his passing was not a surprise – yet despite this, I was struck by the news of his passing. My response can be understood in view of David’s own despair over the dwindling number of faithful men in this world:

Psalm 12:1 Help,[1] LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.

In his passing, Chris has gained Christ – but I feel a great loss in his parting. Though I did not know Chris for long (during our six years in Minnesota), I must say that this dear saint is one of the most humble, gentle, passionate, and faithful servants I have ever met. When I had the chance to meet with Chris, along with other men in the ministry, I remember having an in-depth discussion about matters of theology and Christian practice. What I remember distinctly is the humility and grace with which Chris handled these discussions. Moreover, he expressed a great desire to embrace more than theological head-knowledge - he had a pressing desire to know and love Christ more fully through all that he learned. His unassuming manner revealed that precious commodity of humility which, sadly, is becoming quite rare in this loud and brash culture of pop-christianity and celebrity-evangelicalism. Chris was no celebrity-pastor, instead he was a faithful and passionate follower of Christ, husband, father, servant, pastor, and friend; and I can say that even my brief encounters with him revealed all of this rather persuasively. He is dearly loved, dearly missed, and is one of whom the world was not worthy (Hebrews 11:38).

May the Lord raise up more men like him.

Finally, we should remember by contrast, and with much sorrow, that when those who have no hope perish we say that they are dead. But when the saints of God pass from this life, we say, with much joy, that they sleep in Jesus.[2]

Therefore, to our dear brother, Chris Drager: rest well in our Savior.

[1] Too often it is easy to read through the psalms without appreciating the sense of zeal and urgency that is expressed by the psalmist. The beginning of Psalm 12 is yet another example of this. The Hebrew word for “Help” is הוֹשִׁ֣יעָה (Hiphil Imperative > יָשַׁע ). David’s “request” is neither simple nor casual, but is given in the imperatival form; thus, his cry is an urgent one that is given in a great sense of distress. When David says “help” he is really saying “help!!!!!” as an urgent plea.

[2] 1 Corinthians 15:51