Sunday, April 26, 2020

Unfair God

Sermon for the second Sunday after Easter

God discriminates.

This is quite true: Our Creator is guilty of discrimination. Many people in this day and age put God on trial for discrimination against women, against people who describe themselves as gay, even against animals given all the ritual slaughter of lambs, oxen and other animals in the Old Testament.

God is not an equal opportunities employer: women have all the hard work in bearing children and still cannot become priests. Those who work for an hour get paid as much as those who do a full day's work. Those who break the rules succeed at the expense of those keep the rules.

God is even described as a monster for torturing His own Son to death.

God is unfair.

And that's how it should be.


St Paul explains very clearly just why God should be unfair:

 "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."

God has created each one of us with a sense of fair play. It's something that He shares with us. He is utterly righteous and so we have that. 

The trouble is that we have corrupted our sense of right and wrong. Many of our decisions of what is fair and right are to do with how powerful we are or how powerful someone else is, or how rich we are or how rich someone else is. Sometimes we judge what is fair out of envy rather than looking at real need.

And St Paul wants to get away from all that. He sees his own sense of righteousness as severely lacking in comparison with God. What he gains in the world's eyes, he loses in God's eyes. He wants to get away from the language of rights, entitlement, oppression and privilege, and back to the language of Love which can only come from God Himself.


It is ironic that people try to judge God using their understanding of what is good and righteous. These are like people who refuse to switch on the light and blame the light for the room being dark!

If they think that God is a monster for sacrificing His Son, then they miss the fact that the Son willingly offers Himself up as a purely Good sacrifice in order to destroy Evil as one might destroy a hole in a pure gold bar by filling it in with pure gold.


In order to be righteous, we must always look to God. We have to stop valuing what we have and who we are by our own reckoning and seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Only then will we gain, and what we gain will be of more value than we can imagine. What we gain will be God Himself.

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