StayrAUG posted a thread in GD a few minutes ago.
I wanted to post in it. But SteyrAUG is a nice guy, and I hated to hijack his thread.
So I decided to start another one, here.
I couldn't make the reply I want to, in SteyrAUG's thread, without discussing sin, man's sinful nature, what happens when it is left unchecked, and so on.
I couldn't make it without talking about justice in a Biblical context. I can't make it without talking about repentance, forgiveness, and so on.
I'll just say this: If he (tookie) could have convinced me that he was truly repentant, I would have gave him 'life' instead of death. Why? Because God did the same for me, and has done the same for many of my friends here.
1) He didn't convince anyone with more than 3 brain cells that he was truly repentant.
2) It wasn't my decision to make anyway.
Anyway, that's my reply to SteyrAUG's thread.
Moving on to my 'hijack' thoughts:
I see people pretty regularly who do what we might from now on call the 'tookie syndrome'.
I've seen people near and dear to me do it. I've done it myself, and imagine that most people who read this thread have either done it or know someone who has.
Here's what I' talking about:
Tookie murdered some folks. It was a horrible crime.
Tookie never repented of these crimes.
Instead, Tookie wrote children's books.
That's a great thing to do, per se, IMHO.
The problem is that the 'good' you do is useless until you deal with the 'bad' you do (or have done).
There's a world full of people, social organizations, and so on who do this. Instead of dealing with the bad they do or have done, they divert attention by doing something 'good', but unrelated.
(for those who read all of my posts.....I'm not necessarily referring to who you think I am, so please don't bring that into this thread; this is just an observation of society at large)
I've seen people do something very similar in churches. They never deal with their sin. Instead, they try to make up for it through works.
Tookie's 'good' accomplishments during his prison stay could be compared to 'works-based salvation'.
It's a shame Tookie didn't understand about salvation by Grace, through Faith.
Had he truly repented of the murders, he could have then done some real good in prison.
Unfortunately, he didn't, and now it's too late for him.
If Tookie had genuinely been repentant, he might still be alive. He might even have found Jesus. Might even be running a real prison ministry. He wouldn't have been the first person to hit rock-bottom in prison, look up, and find our Savior.
But, he wasn't repentant.
He was just sorry he got caught.
As Christians, we see this in other people. Like I said earlier, I've seen it in myself before.
People don't want to deal with their sin. That's human nature, I guess. So when people know they have sin to deal with, they set it aside, shut it up in some corner, refuse to deal with it, refuse to ask forgiveness.
I guess it has a lot to do with pride, and not wanting to acknowledge that they are imperfect.
So, anyway, I see lots of people do what Tookie did.
They try to 'work' their way into Heaven.
(Tookie tried to 'work' his way out of a death sentence, not necessarily into Heaven - I know nothig of his religion or lack thereof, though I have my hunches - but the principle is still the same)
How do people do this?
The BTK killer came to mind as one example. I don't know if this really applies to him, but it could, possibly. He was active in his church all the while he was murdering people. Was that his way of 'working' to compensate for his crimes?
I've seen some really rotten people do some really 'good' things. I can't judge their hearts, but often, their lives give us clues. I honestly believe that Tookie was trying to do this. He didn't want to deal with his sin, so he just tried to cover it up by doing something 'good' in some other arena.
Lots of social organizations (see previous disclaimer, please) do this. I know this because I've seen it, numerous times, and I've even been involved in it a bit. Many organizations have some sort of philanthropic requirement of their members, yet at the same time, encourage or celebrate sin or sinfulness in other areas. Many of these organizations are even loosely affiliated with the church.
But forget the organizations. I could write a book on that.
That's not the purpose of this thread. I'd rather stick to individuals, and the condition of the human heart, and our seemingly endless ability, sometimes, to 'make excuses' or try to 'bargain with' God.
So....am I the only one who has tried to 'bargian with' God, or has seen others do this (on an almost wholesale basis in parts of society where people are raised to believe in God, but don't want to deal with their sinfulness and need of a Savior)?
Do you agree that, to a large extent, Tookie's 'good works' in prison were an attempt to 'bargain with' the parole board?
I would not have given him life. God is a nicer guy than I am.
So if God is deciding THEN you can screw things up and be forgiven your sins. But if it is up to me, or people like me, then you better not push it.
I can forgive all manner of failures, but once you start a body count of innocent victims don't bank on my forgiveness.
IMHO, Tookie never tried to redeem himself in anyway, he simply followed
his attorneys advice to do various "works" to save his own butt from the death penalty.
His attorney put him up for a Nobel Peace Prize just to muddy the waters for his
play to stay alive.
I can understand what you are saying about people when it comes to facing ones
own sins, and how they might respond to it, but I truely don't believe it applies to Tookies situation.
He constantly postured himself and tried to play a good game that only concerned his staying alive.
He was the basic of basic humane being. Stay alive at all costs.
King David repented but still had to deal with the consequences (2 Sam 12, 2 Sam 13). David was forgiven but his son still died.
Tookie may or may not have been forgiven but he still had to be executed. Redemption alone doesn't pay the debt to society.
Tookie says "If you kill innocent people and don't want to admit to it or apologize to the victims' families,
ETA seriously, if he had just admitted guilt and apologized to the families, he would likely have been granted clemency, or had his death sentence reduced to life in prison...
Really bad things happen to really bad people, that's one thing the Bible hammers into you.
If one commits murder, he has broken God's law and Our law(U.S.A.). He must pay for the breaking of these laws. First the earthly penalty and then the heavenly penalty. If he is SAVED and REPENTS while awaiting the earthly penalty, then God will forgive him and remove the heavenly penalty, but the eartly debt must be paid.
One of my soldiers(from south-central LA) made the comment today that "Tookie did more for our people than Martin Luther King ever did." I didn't know if I could punish him for such a ridiculous comment, or if so, how badly, so I just stood there and felt less intelligent with each word passing through my brain. I'm now borderline retarded.