The whole Judge Goldstone vs. the Zionists is worrying. Bar him from his grandson’s bar mitzvah in Johannesburg for daring to suggest that Israel might be culpable. (http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-04-24-goldstone-delighted-to-be-attending-bar-mitzvah)
I can’t help, in my ignorance no doubt, comparing it with the Iranian cleric Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi who was reported in today’s Witness as saying, “Many women who dress inappropriately…cause youth to go astray, taint their chastity, and incite extramarital sex in society, which increases earthquakes.” I love the ‘increases earthquakes’ bit.
Both responses show an absolute unwillingness to look within for the cause of any problems. The problem is out there: Israel can’t possibly be guilty of anything; men can’t possibly be responsible for their lust and irresponsible behaviour; and I am a paragon of virtue when compared with my neighbour, my spouse, Julius Malema (who is he again?).
These are, of course, just glaring examples making today’s headlines. But they simply reflect the natural inclination of all of us to ignore our own sin and blame someone else.
I wonder if this is not another way to understand ‘sin against the Holy Spirit’? As long as I am unwilling and incapable of looking inward, the door remains closed to the work of the Spirit and forgiveness is impossible.
The reality is that I am not to be compared with my neighbour, my spouse, or anyone else. I stand alone. Forgiveness and renewal is only ever possible when (by grace alone) I am able to say, “Mea culpa; do your work in me.”
It’s that bothersome log-in-the-eye again, isn’t it? Finding specs in another’s eye is much more fun than major (eye) surgery, and the feeling of power is hard to resist.