Friday, January 04, 2008

Practical Morality: Curse not the Rich


Ecclesiastes 10:20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

All of Scripture is variously profitable instruction in righteousness, but Ecclesiastes 10:20 is emminantly practical, particularly in the Internet age. As demonstrated in my previous post (and quite humorously illustrated in Michael's comment, see "Nebo" to the right), secrecy is often an illusion, or - at best - ephemeral. If you say something bad about those in power, you can reasonably expect they will find out.

You may think what you say will remain a secret, but information secrecy is often easily, even accidentally compromised, even when everyone involved is serious about guarding the secret.

The verse above provides the solution: don't think evil thoughts to begin with. Don't think things that you will be ashamed to see in print as a Newspaper headline. That way you will not type them in an email or blog comment that gets republished, or write them in your journal that gets read by the target of your hate. That way you will not whisper an evil word that gets repeated by the mockingbird, or carries on the wind, or is overheard by a child playing hide and seek.

The solution to hateful, evil thoughts is not to hide them well, but not to create them.

I don't write this to condemn the Federal Visionists for their mistakes. That was last post. Nor am I writing to anyone else specifically (you'll have to take my word on that). I myself am convicted by the words of Ecclesiastes 10:20, just as anyone should be. There have been times I have had thoughts that were not fit to print, and the same is true of everyone but Christ.

That's why Christ's righteousness is so necessary. That's why I was so eager to appropriate it by faith, to have His righteousness to my account. His thoughts were all fit to print. Even his angry thoughts were without sin.

"Christ is angry with the moneychangers!" reads the headline.

"They should be ashamed," is the appropriate reaction.

But

"Turretinfan is angry with ________," may have a different reaction - it may be Turretinfan that needs to be ashamed. Maybe someone has sinned against God, but am I zealous for His honor or my own? Is Turretinfan angry because God has been dishonored, or because Turretinfan has been embarassed?

Recall Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: There is a time for anger, but that is not instant justification for thinking ill of another man. Turretinfan cannot sieze Ephesians 4:26 to justify every temper tantrum.

Turretinfan is just a pseudonym. You be Turretinfan ... put your name in place of my nom de plume. We must consider our thoughts, and repent when we recognize that they do not measure up to the standard of divine perfection set forth in the moral law.

But we ought not despair. If we have faith in Christ, God imputes our sin to Jesus, and His rigteousness to us. There is a double imputation. We are considered righteous, just as he was considered guilty. And in it all, God is glorified.

Praise His Glorious Name!

-Turretinfan

(and, of course, this verse is the source for our "a little birdie told me" euphemism)

2 comments:

Ev said...

Nice post for the New Year, thanks

Turretinfan said...

I'm glad you liked it!