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Justice - Mercy - Grace - Fairness

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  • Justice - Mercy - Grace - Fairness

    Just tossing some ideas out to get feedback and even testimonies or personal experiences...

    I've often taught (not original to me) that...

    Fairness is so subjective
    • "fair to whom?"
    • (Let's just scrap this one)
    Justice - getting ALL we deserve.
    • When somebody does something to one of our children, we demand JUSTICE!!!!
    Mercy - NOT getting all we deserve.
    • When we do something that gets us in trouble, we want MERCY!!!!
    Grace - Getting what I do NOT deserve
    • Justice, because I'm a sinner, would have me spend an eternity in Hell
    • Mercy, by Christ's substitutionary death, keeps me from Hell
    • Grace, God's Grace, allows me to spend eternity in Heaven with Him
    And then there will be some examples...
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

  • #2
    Two initial thoughts:

    I long ago ceased to expect life to be fair.

    Justice and the Law are not the same thing. I think this is why Jesus chastised the Pharisees for neglecting the weightier matters of the Law and Justice. (Matthew 23:23)
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
      Two initial thoughts:

      I long ago ceased to expect life to be fair.

      Justice and the Law are not the same thing. I think this is why Jesus chastised the Pharisees for neglecting the weightier matters of the Law and Justice. (Matthew 23:23)
      Good thoughts, TM.

      When I taught Junior High way back in my younger days, I would, at the very beginning of class on the first day of school, write my name in big block letters.
      Then, underneath my name, I would write, and TRIPLE UNDERLINE, "I'm Not FAIR".

      Subsequently, when a student would accuse me of not being fair, I'd point to the board.
      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would tell my kids when they were growing up (supposedly) that I treated them all equally unfair.
        When I Survey....

        Comment


        • #5

          Originally posted by Faber View Post
          I would tell my kids when they were growing up (supposedly) that I treated them all equally unfair.


          One of my best examples while teaching a class.....

          Student A: Mr Cow Poke, may I please sharpen my pencil?
          Cow Poke: Absolutely.

          Student B: I'm gonna sharpen mine, too!
          Cow Poke: No, sit down.
          Student B: That's not FAIR, you let HER sharpen HER pencil!

          Cow Poke:
          A) (pointing to chalk board) I already told you I'm not fair!
          2) "She" actually asked politely.
          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            Just tossing some ideas out to get feedback and even testimonies or personal experiences...

            I've often taught (not original to me) that...

            Fairness is so subjective
            • "fair to whom?"
            • (Let's just scrap this one)
            Justice - getting ALL we deserve.
            • When somebody does something to one of our children, we demand JUSTICE!!!!
            Mercy - NOT getting all we deserve.
            • When we do something that gets us in trouble, we want MERCY!!!!
            Grace - Getting what I do NOT deserve
            • Justice, because I'm a sinner, would have me spend an eternity in Hell
            • Mercy, by Christ's substitutionary death, keeps me from Hell
            • Grace, God's Grace, allows me to spend eternity in Heaven with Him
            And then there will be some examples...
            In your list, Justice is the hard one. Your definition for me fits better with the Law. The Law would say I deserve prison for stealing bread. Justice would more say since you stole the bread because you were hungry, go in peace. Justice seems more to be the Law applied with Mercy and Grace.

            I've always struggled with Justice. Maybe I'm making it too complicated. Justice seems to consider the whole situation not just the deed. Biblically speaking, I would say Jesus practiced Justice with the woman taken in adultrey since He spared her the consequences of the Law and gave her accusers something to think about.
            "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

            "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

              In your list, Justice is the hard one. Your definition for me fits better with the Law. The Law would say I deserve prison for stealing bread. Justice would more say since you stole the bread because you were hungry, go in peace. Justice seems more to be the Law applied with Mercy and Grace.

              I've always struggled with Justice. Maybe I'm making it too complicated. Justice seems to consider the whole situation not just the deed. Biblically speaking, I would say Jesus practiced Justice with the woman taken in adultrey since He spared her the consequences of the Law and gave her accusers something to think about.
              It's very much like a case where a teenager comes before a judge for stealing a car. The car was returned undamaged, but there was no doubt he stole it.
              The kid had been abaoned by his family and was living with a friend of bad reputation, with little adult supervision.

              The Judge (juvenile court wavied a jury) found the boy guilty as charged. That was justice.
              Then the judge declared that, since this was the boy's first offense, and the boy seemed truly remorseful, there would be no penalty. That's mercy.
              Then the judge, knowing the boy had been abandoned by his own family, invited the boy to come home and live with him and his wife. That's grace.
              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                It's very much like a case where a teenager comes before a judge for stealing a car. The car was returned undamaged, but there was no doubt he stole it.
                The kid had been abaoned by his family and was living with a friend of bad reputation, with little adult supervision.

                The Judge (juvenile court wavied a jury) found the boy guilty as charged. That was justice.
                Then the judge declared that, since this was the boy's first offense, and the boy seemed truly remorseful, there would be no penalty. That's mercy.
                Then the judge, knowing the boy had been abandoned by his own family, invited the boy to come home and live with him and his wife. That's grace.
                What is the difference between Law and Justice, then? I don't think of Law and Justice as synonyms.
                "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                  What is the difference between Law and Justice, then? I don't think of Law and Justice as synonyms.
                  A discussion worth having, but first....

                  God's Law?
                  Man's law?
                  The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Maybe replace "fairness" with impartiality. I think that is an important trait too.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                      Maybe replace "fairness" with impartiality. I think that is an important trait too.
                      EGGcellent suggestion, as James 2 makes clear, among other references.
                      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                        What is the difference between Law and Justice, then? I don't think of Law and Justice as synonyms.
                        I would agree, because Justice would refer to how the law is carried out.

                        Then there's the whole "the law is the schoolmaster that brings us to Christ" thing.
                        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                          A discussion worth having, but first....
                          God's Law?
                          Man's law?
                          Under God's law we all know we fall short. We don't (or shouldn't anyways) appeal to God's law for our salvation. We appeal to His mercy and the sacrifice of Jesus to make us right with God. Frankly there are days I don't understand exactly how it works that Jesus' death on the cross squares my sin with God but to use a trite phrase, "the Bible says it and that settles it for me." I have no real need to explore God's Law at this time.

                          So under man's law, how does justice fit in? Also for example, when people march for racial justice, what exactly would be justice for them? It seems broader than just a legal solution.
                          "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                          "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                            Under God's law we all know we fall short. We don't (or shouldn't anyways) appeal to God's law for our salvation. We appeal to His mercy and the sacrifice of Jesus to make us right with God. Frankly there are days I don't understand exactly how it works that Jesus' death on the cross squares my sin with God but to use a trite phrase, "the Bible says it and that settles it for me." I have no real need to explore God's Law at this time.
                            I like how you worded that "bumper sticker phrase" --- I usually see it as "God said it, I believe it, that settles it". Truth is, it doesn't matter whether you believe it or not, it's still settled!

                            And I don't worry a whole lot about the Law, because, if I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me, I'll be OK with regards to the Law.

                            So under man's law, how does justice fit in?
                            That's a bigger problem, because man can come up with some pretty dumb - even anti-Christian - laws. That's a whole 'nuther can of worms.

                            Also for example, when people march for racial justice, what exactly would be justice for them? It seems broader than just a legal solution.
                            Often, when people "march for justice", what they really want is vengeance or payback. As for the racial part - I think we can go back to MLK --- who wanted his children to be known "for the content of their character, not for the color of their skin".

                            The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                              Under God's law we all know we fall short. We don't (or shouldn't anyways) appeal to God's law for our salvation. We appeal to His mercy and the sacrifice of Jesus to make us right with God. Frankly there are days I don't understand exactly how it works that Jesus' death on the cross squares my sin with God but to use a trite phrase, "the Bible says it and that settles it for me." I have no real need to explore God's Law at this time.
                              I'm still mulling this over myself. Seems to me it is not so much the sacrifice itself, but the submission to the Father's will that is the decider. Just why either Adam's sin or Christ's righteousness should have a flow-on effect isn't clear. However, Christ's sacrifice doesn't seem to deal directly with sin: insofar as I can see - Christ's death is a triumph over death-caused-by-sin. As per Hebrews 2:14-15



                              I'm told that the Jews (sometime BCE) had this idea that a single righteous act could save as readily as a single wrongful act could condemn.

                              The pieces are there, but the jigsaw isn't coming together to form a complete picture.
                              sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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