Daar word op die oomblik in die kerk meer gepraat oor self-ontplooiing as oor self-opoffering.-Anon.......As ‘n kerk haar woorde begin devalueer, dan word die kerk ‘n ramp vir die volk. - K Schilder

2/17/2010

DISCIPLINE IS NOT EVIL


Christians are, from time to time confronted with the notion that a loving God will (or should not) permit evil to come into their lives by so-called (as they see it) punishment or discipline. According to them this is not congruent with a good and loving God.

There can be various reasons for this misrepresentation of God's character. It can suit the accuser to adopt such a stance because then he or she can argue against accepting or even acknowledging God. Once you think you have dismissed God in this way, you may reason that it gives you licence to lead any kind of life you want. This kind of misrepresentation is used to justify the lifestyle of the accuser. It may also be that the nature of love is totally misunderstood. The accuser may be of the opinion that love is only equitted with "the good things in life." Love is equal to hedonism and anything that curtails hedonism cannot be love.

Contrary to this the fact is that, according to Scripture, God is not only love, He justice and rithteousness as well. Divine justice and righteousness is of course, something one would do well to avoid. Terefore the misconception that to deny it is to avoid it.

The Bible is clear that one lives eiher under the Old covenant of jusitce or the New covenant of grace.

The Old covenant of justice was a means to re-establish the intended relationship with God. But it was a two-edged sword. If faithfully and perfectly kept, it resulted in numerous blessings. However, it was also a yoke and a curse, for if not adequately kept you suffered dire consequences. Christ is the New covenant of grace and He absolved the Old covenant as a means of re-establishing the intended relationship with God. The New covenant is available to every person, the only requirement being that you must consciously choose to live under it. (You must make a choice in favour of Jesus - was it not Jesus Himself that said: "Those who are not for us, are against us"?)

The fact that Christ absolved the Old covenant as a means of re-establishing the intended relationship with God, does not mean that the Decalogue was also voided. All ten the Commandments are also mentioned in the New Testament.

(For the sake of brevity, because this is on a blog, only verse references are given - first the Old and then the New Testament. Commandments are numbered 1 - 10)

1. Ex. 20:3 - Mat. 4:6; 1 Cor. 8:6

2. Ex. 20:4 - 6 - 1 Joh. 5:21; Acts. 19:29

3. Ex. 20:7 - 1 Tim. 6:1

4. Ex. 20:8 - 11 - Mark. 2:27,28; Heb. 4:4,10

5. Ex. 20:12 - Matt. 19:19

6. Ex 20:13 - Matt. 19:18; Rom 13:9

7. Ex. 20:14 - Matt. 19:18; Rom. 13:9

8. Ex 20:15 - Matt. 19:18; Rom. 13:9
9. Ex 20:16 - Matt. 19:18; Rom. 13:9
10. Ex 20:17 Rom. 7:7

The web pages
http://www.newdaynews.com/openhouse/index.cgi/noframes/read/20057
http://www.biblestudy.org/beginner/basic-differences-between-old-and-new-covenants.html%20and

set out the major differences between the two covenants.
This should adequately indicate that the Decalogue is still in force and that if you choose to live under it, you can expect justice to be done.

If one chooses to live by justice, one should at least inquire as to what Divine justice is and why it is meted out. Firstly, Divine justice (punishment ) is not revenge, but a form of love. The best metaphor to explain it is the loving parent metaphor. Although the child does not understand the necessity of justice (punishment) following a rule transgression, and even hates the punishment and the parent who applies it, the parents act so out of love. The aim of punishment is preventing re-occurance of the same behaviour. According to the Old covenant, the preventative measure can be applied in various degrees, up until permanent prevention, (death). God hates sin and will punish to prevent its re-occurance in a person's life, up until such time as the person decides not to sin anymore.

We all know hou impossible that is and if we choose to live under the covenant of justice, we can expect to be continually punished. Under the Old covenant, good works do count, for that is service to God, but unfortunately, they are not sufficient to evade punishment.

Luckely we can choose to reject the Old covenant in favour of the New. When we accept Christ (the New covenant of grace) as our salvation, God's punishment immediately falls away.

God has already punished Christ for our sins, punishing us will mean dubble punishment and void the sacrefice which Christ has made. The action which is viewed by the non-christian as punishment then becomes a disciplinary action for the christian. The aim of discipline is to build character. God is more interested in our character than our comfort and wishes us to become more Christ-like as we grow in faith.

Setting rules is setting discipline. Punishment is looking back at what you have done, discipline is looking forward to what you can become. Disciplinary action is goading you in the right direction. You cannot become what God wishes you to become if there are no rules - how then will you know how to live?

The principle is an easy one to live by - the more you endeavour to become Christ-like, the less disciplinary action you will have to deal with.

To conclude, yes God does punish and yes God does discipline out of love. What you receive is your choice, so ong as you are happy with it.

3 comments:

Danie Loots said...

Ek dink so baie mense sien Reels en Dissipline as redes om die lewe vir hulle moeiliker te maak. So baie mense sien God die Vader as't ware met 'n rottang in die hand, gereed om ons te foeter sodra ons sondig.

Ek dink God het in die eerste plek vir die Israeliete die Wet gegee omdat hulle dit gevra het. Ek vermoed Hy wou eintlik dat hulle self geweet het wat is reg en verkeerd, na Sy stem geluister het.

Nogtans, glo ek al Sy wette en reels het 'n spesifike doel (gehad). So dink ek baie keer word die woord "Sonde" misbruik om ander te veroordeel, om myself beter te laat voel omdat ek nie daardie "sonde" doen nie.

Vir my is dit taamlik prakties. Elke aksie het konsekwensies (saai en maai beginsel). As ek Blomme saai, gaan ek Blomme maai, as ek dorings saai, gaan ek dorings maai. Dit maak nie saak of ek 'n Christen, Heiden of Ateis is nie. Dit is soos die Wet van gravitasie.

As ek die padreels oortree, gaan ek `of in 'n ongeluk kom `of 'n boete moet betaal. Dit is onregverdig van my om kwaad te wees vir die "speedcop" as hy my vervolg. Dit was EK wat gekies het om die reel te oortree. Hoekom is padreels daar? Om orde te handhaaf, gaan kyk maar net hoe gaan dinge in Lagos, Nigerie om weer padreels te waardeer.

So ook met ander reels en wette. Dit het `of direk `of indirek 'n slegte uitwerking om myself as ek hulle oortree. As ek vir die Here vra dat ek veilig moet ry vanaand, doen hy dit dalk deur vir my te se om by die padreels te hou. Ek kan kies of ek onder daardie beskerming van Hom wil uitbeweeg.

Is rook bv. sonde? Dit is nie vir my om te oordeel nie. Ek weet net dit is sleg vir die persoon wat rook en ook die ander om hom/haar. Selfde met ongesond eet, te veel drank en ander krukke. Dit is sleg vir jou. Weereens, as ek bid vir 'n lang lewe, is een van die eerste goed wat God dalk doen is om my eetgewoontes aan te werk.

God is nie kwaad oor my sondes nie, daarom het Jesus gesterf aan die kruis. Maar Hy wil my baie graag daarvan verlos, want dit sal lei tot 'n beter lewe vir myself, Sy kind vir wie Hy omgee.

Is dit sonde om te werk op Sondag? Dink enigeiemand dit is goed vir jou persoonlike lewe as jy 7 dae 'n week werk? Plus, dink enige ernstige Christen dat hy nader aan God gaan beweeg as hy nie ten minste 'n Sondag rustig vat en 'n paar ure saam met ander Christene spandeer nie? As hy nie ten minste 1 dag in die week by sy gesin en by God uitkom nie?

Daarom is die wette van die Ou Testament nog net so goed bedoel vir ons vandag soos voorheen. En natuurlik eerder die Gees van die wet as die letter van die wet. Ateiste is tog so lief daarvoor om self die Wet te interpreteer en ons dan te probeer beskuldig.

Is die sonde om jou kinders nie te dissiplineer nie? Wat is die resultaat daarvan as jy dit nie doen nie? Wat is die vrugte wat jy (en hulle) gaan pluk indien jy dit nie doen nie? Is dit God wat ons straf? Of is dit sommer net ons eie dom keuses?

Daarom glo ek is outoriteit, gesag, dissipline, reels en wette daar om ons samelewing te reel, om ons mense te beskerm.

Soos Yf, tereg opmerk. God is Liefde. Hy het ons so lief, hy het vir ons 'n handleiding gegee om 'n goeie lewe, lekker lewe te help lewe.

Danie Loots said...

Daar is natuurlik ook 'n baie dieper sy aan Sonde. Elke keer dat ek sondig, voel ek verder van God af, heel waarskynlik omdat ek self skuldig voel.

Hoe minder ek sondig, hoe nader beweeg ek dus aan God. Hoe minder is my kop vol ander geraas, hoe beter hoor ek Sy stem, hoe beter ervaar ek Sy liefde.

Ek dink een trap nader aan God word besryf in 'n geestelike mentor van my:"Omdat ek maar kan sondig, wil ek minder sondig".

As mens eers by hierdie punt uitkom, raak die debat oor wat is sonde en wat is nie, irrelevant.

Die uiteindelik beste pad waarop 'n mens kan wees, om die Liefde van die Vader tasbaar te smaak en dat DIT jou motivering raak om jou eie van jou eie slawerny van die sonde bevry te word. Om elke dag vir Hom te vra om jou te snoei soos Joh. 15 beskryf.

My fokus verander dan na wat ek kan doen om meer soos Jesus te word. Ander se sonde raak dan vir my 'n inspirasie om nog meer van myne uit te sorteer dat ek meer soos Jesus kan word. Dat ek met Jesus se liefde ander gaan inspireer om ook vryheid te soek.

God geinspireerde dissipline is seker een van die goed wat die duiwel die meeste haat. Hy wil ons kan aankla en ons verder van die Vader af verdryf.

Ek glo dus, net soos Yf, dat Dissipline is nie boos (Evil) nie, maar 'n Goddelike opdrag.

Henrietta said...

Thanks Yf, for fixing our attention to this important matter!

My two favourite sites on discipline are Deuteronomy 8 and Hebrews 12. I could give verses, but to get to the gist of the matter, one should actually read the chapters.


Sjoe, Danie soveel om oor te dink in so 'n kort stukkie! Veral daardie een: "Omdat ek mar kan sondig wil ek minder sondig!!!" - dit klink of dit nie so kan wees nie, né?