25 April 2013

Sometimes, really interesting stuff drops into my in box ~

The other day, I received an email in my inbox with a link to a fascinating discussion... and of course I had to go and read it!

Just what was this discussion all about?

What is it like to be the defense attorney 
of someone you strongly believe
to have committed the crime?

Several lawyers and other legal professionals have responded (at least last time I checked) with answers and motivations that run the entire gamut of possibilities, most of them thoughtful and thought provoking. 

My immediate, initial response was falling back on the on our American right of "innocent until proven guilty" and that guilt must be decided by a judge/jury of peers. Many who entered into this discussion reacted similarly.

Perhaps one of the answers I found most intriguing was an individual who preferred defending the guilty over defending the innocent: he'd rather a guilty man go free as a result of his efforts than an innocent man stand condemned because of his failure to adequately defend him. For that particular defense attorney, the consequences of incarcerating (or worse) an innocent man far outweighed the negatives of allowing a guilty man to go free.

Obviously, one could debate that stance...but that particular statement started my mental wheels spinning. A key premise on which our legal system is philosophically founded, presumed innocence until conclusively determined otherwise, has as its goal the prevention of unjust incarceration and unreasonable restriction of personal liberty. Americans value personal liberty, believing that all men are "endowed ...with certain unalienable Rights... "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness...." 

Since reading that particular discussion, I've been thinking about this alot -

In some ways, this is similar to how God has chosen to deal with guilt in this world, this age. Yes, I do believe there will be an upcoming day of judgement... and no one will be able to duck out. Every man, woman and child who has ever drawn breath will be held accountable. But up until that time, or up until an individual dies, we all walk away guilty (and unaware or unrepentant) from so much - yet God leaves us free (not talking theologically or doctrinally, but rather how it looks and feels, in real life)... 

I think this is one of those stumbling blocks-slash-things that many find offensive about Christianity, and about the Christians that believe this... and although I haven't checked again, I'm sure the lawyer who wrote these thoughts had several respond negatively to his comment. If God really was the all powerful deity we claim Him to be, He wouldn't allow injustice... ever. The truly Almighty would ensure that life is not only just, but it would also be fair - one of those equal-opportunity deals, for everyone. 

It's big talk... but I wonder if we'd really like the completely-all-the-time-1oo% equal opportunity gig? I am very thankful that malaria is no longer endemic to our part of Michigan, where we'll be heading soon... Would it be nice for malaria to be completely eradicated on all parts of the globe with a single word or the snap of divine fingers? I would love that and I know God has that power. Yet how could I reconcile that with other things that God has revealed about Himself... about how there are consequences for sin... about painful realities of living in a fallen and imperfect world that only shares glimpses of the One I worship, rather than reflecting Him clearly... about how all injustice will eventually be righted in a way that does not require God to compromise His very being and essence.

I do sometimes often times get angry with God at the injustice-as-I-perceive-it of it all. I don't understand and perhaps I never will. I know I  can beat that drum of justice and fairness... yet brutal honesty forces me to admit that I'm also usually more than willing to let both or either slide when it feels advantageous to me, or to those I love... or when the alternatives cause too much cognitive, emotional and spiritual dissonance. That, to me, is pretty stiff evidence that I'm disqualified from pronouncing just or unjust, when it come to those matters.

Yeah... all that rumbling around in my head, simply because a bit of spam arrived in my inbox, instead of being filtered out. God challenged Balaam using a talking donkey... guess it shouldn't surprise me in this day and age that He would provoke much needed thought via an email that normally would have been trashed before I ever saw it.

Do you ever think about things like this? 
Please share your thoughts and conclusions!

Today is World Malaria Day... Take a sec and check out what I shared over on our ministry blog.


  1. And what tickles my funny bone? Your hipness to break out the word "slash" in your writing! NICE! :)

    1. well - don't know that i'd call it hip, but i've been thinking it for awhile after reading it a few times and then saw this article from an english prof at u of michigan that validated it's dive into more common usage. might as well go for it, eh???


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