The Blame Game
Peter BeckPeter serves as assistant professor of religion at Charleston Southern University where he teaches church history and theology. While serving as senior pastor in Louisville, Ky., he completed his PhD in historic theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His dissertation, The Voice of Faith: Jonathan Edwards's Theology of Prayer, is soon to be published. He, his wife Melanie, and their two kids, Alex (12) and Karis (7), live near Charleston, SC. Peter's goal for his teaching and writing ministries is "love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Tim 1:5).
- 2009 May 12
It happened again. This is the second such incident in the last couple of weeks. Some violent criminal was killed in his brush with the law.
The first attacked a police officer with a knife after holding his mother and sister hostage. The policeman shot him. According to all the Monday morning quarterbacks, the officer should have retreated to the safety of his car and waited for back up. Yeah, after 24 hours of reflection anyone could have come up with the plan from the safety of their own home. Make a decision on the spot and see who’d blame.
The second incident happened over the weekend. This time some deranged soul beat up his girlfriend and stole her car. When the police arrived, they saw the stolen vehicle leaving the neighborhood. The moment the officer activated the blue lights on his cruiser, the criminal bolted the scene. As the policemen watched, the man ran a light and plowed into a stopped vehicle, killing both himself and the innocent driver who never knew what hit her. This time it’s the fault of law enforcement because high speed chases rarely end well. What high speed chase?
Where’s the justice? Where’s the sanity? There is none. Someone has to be at fault. Someone has to be blamed. Blame the parents. Blame the economy. Blame the government. Blame the survivor. Blame the righteous authority. Just blame someone.
As frustrating as it is to read the reports of such events and the mindless diatribes against established authority, we shouldn’t be surprised. This has been the approach of sinful man since the beginning.
Harken back to the Garden of Eden. After the humans had fallen from grace, God called out to them in a new act of grace. Adam responded. When asked about his behavior Adam played the blame game. First, he blamed Eve. She gave him the fruit to eat. When that didn’t work, Adam blamed God. After all, God gave her to Adam. It must be God’s fault.
Jump forward to the end of time and we see the same thing at the judgment. Christ pronounces His righteous verdict. Some will celebrate in the marvel of His grace. But, the Bible teaches us, there will be some who weep in remorse while others snarl at His presumption. They’ll be angry and gnash their teeth. And, somehow, they’ll find a way to blame Jesus.
That’s just the way we fallen humans are. Blame someone. Blame anyone. Just don’t blame me.
Well, my friends, when it comes to blame, it’s all ours. We get what we deserve unless we get what Christ deserves. Damnation is ours because of our actions. Salvation can be ours because of His.
The funny thing is, while we don’t want to take credit for our wicked behavior, we’re all too quick to take credit for His perfect behavior. Sorry but it doesn’t work that way. He does the work. We trust Him and His work. He gets the blame and we get the rewards. Don’t blame God. Thank Him.