April 25, 2018 | Articles by Rev. David Bodanza
Once upon a time, a man stood up in the court of public opinion. He was just one man and there were very many in the court. Most of the court spoke with one voice. The court questioned him, even as he began to stand. A transcript of this unusual hearing is set forth below.
THE COURT: Do you represent yourself?
THE MAN: No, I do not represent myself. I represent Another.
THE COURT: Tell us who you represent then.
THE MAN: I represent the one and true living God.
THE COURT: You say you represent God? God would not need a representative. He would come and stand before us so we could see him ourselves!
THE MAN: You are right in saying that God does not need a representative. He chooses to use humans to represent him before the court, while this court exists. I am only one of his representatives. He has many others though.
THE COURT: God should provide us with adequate notice. You take us by surprise standing up in the midst of our busy lives and disturbing our peace! We have Christmas shopping to do.
THE MAN: God has indeed provided you with adequate notice, even though he is invisible to the human eye. He gives you notice through his creation. Creation evidences a creator, like smoke evidences a fire. Have you not yourselves witnessed the beauty of the sunrise and sunset each day, and the power of a storm? Have you not marveled at the intricacy of the human body, and seen the miracle of a baby coming from the womb of a woman? He has also provided the Scriptures, that is the Bible. This book of books has been miraculously preserved from ancient times. It is the very word of God and is so prevalent that you can even purchase a Bible at Wal-Mart!
THE COURT: Once again, sir, you take us by surprise standing up in the midst of our busy lives and disturbing our peace!
THE MAN: Business as usual may put one to sleep so that he becomes totally ignorant of danger. It is not unkindness for a passenger to startle a sleepy driver awake when the vehicle is headed for a guardrail then over a cliff. I have been awakened and see that you are still asleep. I am only sharing what has been shared with me. I am passing on to you what has been passed to me.
THE COURT: Sir, everyone has an opinion in this court. Opinions are many and we do not really need any more. One opinion is just as good as another. All that matters is that your opinion is sincerely held!
THE MAN: Please, please hear me! That is why I stand! One may be sincere, but be sincerely wrong. I do not bring another opinion to you. I bring you truth!
THE COURT: Truth? How do we know you bring truth?
THE MAN: Listen to my message. Consider my case. It is unwise to criticize the messenger and ignore the message. No one ignores a neighbor who tells a person his house is on fire because he doesn't like the shirt that the neighbor is wearing. He receives the message and investigates.
THE COURT: Why do you care to tell us what you say is true? What's in it for you? You must be getting something out of this! Do you come to ask us for money? Do you want another notch on your belt?
THE MAN: I do not want your money. I do not have such a belt. I only stand to represent Another. My reward is delivering his message to you. I care because he has given me a small measure of the vast love he has for you.
THE COURT: Are you saying that he loves us?
THE MAN: Yes, I am. Indeed, I am. He loves you.
THE COURT: Sir, have you seen the condition of this world? Do you see the violence, and the suffering? How can you say God loves us?
THE MAN: Why do you blame divinity when the blame lies with humanity? Violence and suffering entered this world and marred its original design due to the sin of humanity. Humanity desires to have it their way, not God's way. God's way was not God holding out on humanity! He knew what would result from the selfish choices they made, yet they refused to listen to him.
THE COURT: Are you saying that he still loves us, despite our so-called selfish choices?
THE MAN: I wish to say that God loves you so much that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. His Son will rescue you from the consequences and danger you are in.
THE COURT: Will he give us cash, cars and jobs? That is what we need, and that is what we want. The economy is tough here. Many factories closed, others left for greener pastures. We got problems! We had hoped the government would help us. But we still got problems.
THE MAN: I know you have problems. I have them too. Life in this world means we will all have various problems. There is no escaping that.
THE COURT: When we die, our problems will be over.
THE MAN: Or just beginning.
THE COURT: You are out of order!
THE MAN: No, you are out of order! I mean that respectfully. You ignore your biggest problem. You shut your eyes to its very existence. I bring the message of Another about what your biggest problem is, and what God has done about it.
THE COURT: You don't even know us! How can you know what our biggest problem is?
THE MAN: Because you are human and the biggest problem of humanity is universal. It is this: how a person may be rightly related to God.
THE COURT: Our relationships with humans are hard enough. There are disputes, divorces and grudges ... fights and hard feelings and the ravages of drugs and alcohol. Who can get along for very long?
THE MAN: A person cannot be rightly related with others unless he or she is rightly related to God. Start at the top, and work your way down from there.
THE COURT: How can we be rightly related to God? He is invisible and far away.
THE MAN: This is the message that I stand to deliver. Please hear me. I beg you, please hear me.
THE COURT: Whoa, you are begging to be heard?
THE MAN: Yes, I am.
THE COURT: What is the urgency?
THE MAN: I represent Jesus Christ, like an ambassador, as though God were making his appeal through me. I implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
THE COURT: Be reconciled? I thought God and us were on good terms.
THE MAN: Unless you are devoted to Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you are at odds with God. His wrath is ready to be poured out on you. You are in danger for you are on a road
that leads to certain destruction. Your religion will not make amends for your past sins, nor can your tears atone for your failure to love him supremely. Rescue is only by Christ, who is both able and willing to save even the worst of sinners. Please believe in him to the saving of your souls! I seek to persuade all to believe, although I know my persuasions are ineffectual without the powerful and efficacious grace of the Spirit of God.
THE COURT: You said he loved us?
THE MAN: He loved you so much he offers you Jesus Christ.
THE COURT: We have heard a little bit about Jesus, that he is the reason for the season of Christmas. Almost you persuade us to believe. This court stands in recess until next weekend. We will then pickup where we have left off.
THE MAN: Very well. I will speak as you give me opportunity. I pray that you hear with not only your ears, but with your heart.