GOD loves scumbags
Jerry Sandusky deserves forgiveness… and there is a possibility he could go to heaven.
Just a head’s up, there will be many more inflammatory remarks just like that in this blog. I’m prepared for the onslaught of incredulousness that will come along with it, but the long and short of it is, it’s the truth.
Here’s the thing, if I’m honest, really honest about what I think and feel about Jerry Sandusky, I could not disagree with that statement anymore. He is clearly a scumbag. Anyone who does what he did is a scumbag, and I know that there are more than enough people in my faith or yours or no faith at all who have done as bad or worse. And if it were up to me, I toss them into the sulfur myself. According to my own sense of justice and right vs wrong, this guy is a true piece of human waste.
But if it were up to me, and forgiveness worked by my standards. I would be in the same boat as Jerry Sandusky. Not because I did what he did, but because sin is sin, and in the eyes of a righteous GOD, there is no difference between his sin and my sin. There’s no power ranker in GOD’s kingdom that determines who’s done the worst, and how they should be forgiven or condemned according to their position in that poll. GOD sees us all the same. He made us in His image, and therefore finds up “very good”, His favorite in all of creation. He loves us as His children. And here’s the hardest part, He forgives us every time we ask for it, no questions asked.
Attention, there is about to be another inflammatory remark. Please avert your eyes if you don’t prefer the truth of salvation & love!
There is a very real chance that when I go to heaven, I might see the following people:
- my grandparents
- my wife (when she dies, and she’s still very alive)
- Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
- Blessed John Paul the great
- Adolf Hitler
- Osama bin Laden
- Joseph Stalin
- Jerry Sandusky
How did I come to such a ludicrous conclusion? It came from teens in our parish’s Confirmation program. Right after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, as well as several others who lost their lives, we, as a class, discussed the fate of Jared Loughner, the shooter. As any good teacher would do, I asked them question, “What do you think will happen to Jared?”. The class discussed at long length what he deserved: life in prison, death penalty, one ever said make the execution public. Then one girl said, “He could go to heaven”. Shocked, the whole class turned around, and, as a mob, asked her how she could think that. Her simple response, “If he doesn’t have a chance, then what chance do I have?”. Ah, truth from the mouths of babes. So, of course, my next inclination was to make her support her argument, and I made the rest of the class support theirs. I asked them to find in scripture evidence to back up their claims. Naturally, there’s some good Old Testament fodder for the argument of capital punishment. And even thought they wanted to use it, my lone teen managed to put together the following argument for her point.
- Jesus came to not abolish the law, but perfect it
- by this, we know that the law of the old covenant is perfected in Christ, so what He teaches is the fullness of truth
- While it’s very easy to use “you who is without sin, throw the first stone, she found Matt. 5: 43-45
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”
But the hardest part of this to swallow is three verses later (Matt. 5:48): “So be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
This call is more than just a call to not sin, but a call to love the way GOD loves. GOD doesn’t love with discrimination or prejudice. He loves completely, and He loves everyone, regardless of who they are or what they’ve done. This doesn’t fit our idea of justice. I will openly admit that I don’t think its fair that someone like Jerry Sandusky is given the same opportunity at forgiveness or salvation that you or I get. If GOD’s law worked the way man’s law did, then none of us would be able to come to Him and truly receives grace and forgiveness. Thank GOD His law doesn’t work like ours.
I had an interesting conversation with the rest of the Nameless team the other night about this, and an interesting point was posed; that none of us deserve forgiveness. That’s the truth, we don’t! According to our merits or worth, we don’t deserve one drop of GOD’s grace. Thankfully, we aren’t judged on that merit:
“… the righteousness of GOD through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of GOD. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-24)
“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
One of the most crucial parts of forgiveness is that we are ministers of GOD’s forgiveness. Not in the same sense as a priest, ordained and given authority to give absolution, but we are integral in the dispensation of true, loving forgiveness to those who need it. We serve in that role, and that means going to those who have hurt us and give them that consolation. It’s our call to let those trapped in chains of guilt, shame and sin that they are free, no matter what they have done. And that sucks… A LOT!
But whether we like to admit it or not, we were all or will be guilty too. We are loved, regardless of how dirty our laundry is.
I guess it’s just nice to know that GOD would still love a scumbag… like me.