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Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

Here are the verses:

20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him,

Maybe this is an over allegorization but I am going to go for it anyway and then let you guys rebuke me. When I used to read this, I had no clue what it was about. I thought to my self big deal! Dude got a little tipsy, okay he got bonafide wasted but “we all sin and fall short of the glory of God” right? I am pretty sure there are many Christians who struggle with alcoholism or has a bit too much to drink or has a celebration at their home and has a bit too much to drink. And just in case you ask, no smoking cigarettes and drinking are not sins regardless of what many of my <clears throat> Baptist brethren tell you.

So after reading this I thought to myself man the punishment for telling your brothers “dudes, daddy got tore up” seemed to be a bit odd to me. Noah literally cursed his son. For saying “daddy got drunk and is naked”?!!! Man that seems cruel and unusual. That is like cutting off your kids arms because he took the cookie out of the cookie jar and he is only 2! But again I knew there was something going on, but I just went in the same ol’ Christian fashion which is “I don’t understand, and it isn’t a big deal”. Whew! Tell Ham and Canaan that!

But after reading something over at Smulo Space, I believe the Holy Spirit gave me an aha moment. So again this will be in usual fashion for me during the last few weeks and that is confession for you so that you don’t make the mistakes I made! Okay here we go. Ted Haggard was one of the most popular evangelical leaders in the U.S. He was James Dobson’s poster boy for evangelicalism! He had one of the biggest churches in the United States of America and was an adviser for President Bush. He stood arm in arm with Focus on the Family, and was well on his way to being on front of many Christian Magazines. He was sort of like Olsteen with a mean streak! For the most part I liked the dude’s ministry. Charismatic yet Conservative, Sort of Fundamental but yet fun! But then out of the sky BAAAAAMMMMMM! He was caught in a scandal! A huge scandal one that involved homosexuality (that he was against vocally) and adultery (didn’t I tell you he was down with FOTF) and it hit national news (listen to me carefully never covet the national spotlight and never ever let it define you, if so they will crush you like the planet Mars hitting a grape!). His stock fell faster than Enron’s, no it was more like Milli Vanilli after the “Blame it on the, blame it on it, blame it on it <record skips>” fiasco!

And guess what the community of grace! Paaaauuusssee! We are a community of grace aren’t we! If anyone is to be the most gracious for the whole world to see, shouldn’t it be us? Like, our foundation is Grace isn’t it (Ephesians 2)?! Wait, wait, “God so loved that He gave”, has anything been more gracious than that? Okay let me try this “you were dead in trespasses and sins BUT God made you alive”, oh, oh, I know, how about this one “while we were yet enemies Christ died”! I have at least 500 more but I will digress for time and space sake! Dude the only reason I am alive, you are alive, you are a Christian, you have eyesight, you can breath, you don’t have Downs, you weren’t born a crack baby, you don’t have AIDS is because of GRACE! Okay I am done with that one.

So what did the church do for Mr. Haggard! We joined in the public scorning with the media is what we did. We became “Rearview Mirror Prophets”! You know the ones who knew everything about everything but didn’t decide to express it until it already happened! Get outta of here! We joined the media in exposing him, oh yeah back the verses, exposing his nakedness!

Let me explain. It wasn’t about Noah’s nakedness, it was about Ham’s wickedness! What was his wickedness? The fact that he saw his father, vulnerable, in a shameful predicament, full of sin, he had fallen! The great Noah who God used to save humanity was now in a cave drunk and naked (after seeing that many people drown I probably would have needed a drink or two also, pregnant women, elderly, little babies, they all drowned, I probably would have tried to find some soil on the boat to plant something)! And instead of covering his father, he runs to expose his sin! To expose his shame, to make a public announcement (don’t forget they are the only ones around) about this old drunk fool! So that is why I believe he was cursed! Not because of what he did but why he did it! He didn’t go ask for help from Shem to cover his father, he wanted to show everyone the folly of his dad! A man God just used as a picture of the redemption of Jesus Christ!

You know what though? Ham does not have the living God indwelling him in the person of the Holy Spirit. The third person in the living Trinity taking up residence in his life! The problem with that is that we do! But just like Ham, we expose the shame, the embarrassment, we make a public announcement of others failures! The problem is I can’t understand for the life of me why! Why do we do that. Why are we so quick to run and tell others about the brother caught in sin, instead of doing what Paul commands the Galatians in chapter 6 of the epistle with the same name:

6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

You see we as believers have an opportunity to be Shems and Japheths in the Christian Community. It is a proven fact that many will fall, many will engage in gross sins, but when that arises what should we do? We should be a place of refuge and safety. We should cover our brothers and sisters short comings! Why? Because this is the nature of Christ. “Blessed is the man, who’s sin is not counted against him”. But not only that we love to have our sins covered. We love for Jesus to not expose us, for Him to give us an opportunity to get it right! It is evident by the fact we don’t confess all of our faults.

I close with this. The Church should look like Shem and Japheht, when the opportunity arose for them to feel good about themselves and laugh at their fathers nakedness, like their brother (who just so happened to be extended grace by allowing to escape the wrath of God) they did not. They were like God who covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness (remember Paul says “be imitators of God”). They were the Old Testament example of a grace and covering sin! Yes many Christians are in the spotlight, many of them are weak and immature. Some of them become Christians after living publicly lewd lifestyles and yes many of them are on TBN and Daystar! But they are our brothers and sisters, when the opportunity arises let us be like Shem and Japheth and let us rebuke all who have the wicked intentions of Ham!

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Here is the command:

Ephesians 4:32

32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

This could probably a 3 page paper. However I am going to try to express what the Holy Spirit showed me today while I was wrestling through a disagreement with my lovely wife.

What exactly does Paul mean when he says “as God in Christ forgave you”? This is a radical statement for any human to make and I think it can’t be accomplished apart from the Holy Spirit dwelling richly in your heart. Let me explain briefly by showing you three things.

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