Love and Justice

Wendell Krossa

Love naturally recoils at brutality.  But it still recognizes and affirms the humanity of the offender; that the offender is a fellow member of the one human family, despite failure to act as human, and we treat that offender as a fellow member.  This was Nolan’s point on Jesus’ “love your enemy” ethic.  We extend the same love (inclusion, forgiveness) to all.  Despite the need to restrain some people for their own good.

Laotzi illustrates this point of love as needing to engage defense, restraint, but still seeking not to alienate the offender/attacker ultimately, but to restore as much as possible, and not humiliate.

It is profoundly important to most human being’s suffering all sorts of horrific things in life.  To know and to affirm to themselves that some horror, such as the death of a child, will have ultimate meaning and will end in ultimate Love; that it will be all right in the end.  This is the desperate cry of the parent when something awful has happened to a child – that their life and death will mean something.  It is the deeper longing of theodicy- that there is some ultimate Goodness, Love, justice as ultimate meaning.

Robert D Brinsmead

If love does not contain in it a love and pursuit of justice, then it is not love but some phoney, mushy counterfeit.  Love has to embody and embrace every noble attribute whether justice, courage, patience, gentleness, peace etc. otherwise how could be said that love of neighbour fulfils all that the law requires.  When the light of love is refracted through human experience, it reveals all the colours of the rainbow.  If one of those colours is missing from the rainbow, then it is not the real thing.

Justice requires mercy, as Daniel says to Nebuchadnezzar, “Break off your sins with justice by showing mercy to the poor.”  Here is a classic case of justice demanding mercy.  They are complementary rather than competing colours in the rainbow of love.  The old classical theologians were wrong in highlighting the competing aspects of justice and mercy, explaining how they could only be brought to “kiss each other” through Christ’s atonement.  But as the old saying puts it, you don’t have to reconcile friends.  It is not true as EGW put it, Justice and mercy stood apart, in opposition to each other…” That is just theological baloney offered to explain the atonement which is a bit of legal fiction.

Justice and mercy are presented in true Hebrew thinking as bed-fellows. That is why David, when praying that God would blot out his transgression, declares, “Then will my tongue sing aloud of your justice.” (Ps.51)  The primary meaning of justice is being faithful to a relationship.  God entered “a covenant of love”(Daniel 9) with Israel, a covenant wherein God pledged to love Israel with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3).  That is why the Exile was not the end of Israel.  God’s justice meant that God would not cast away God’s people.  God will not accept defeat.  “I will not forget you…”  “How can I give you up”.  It is the justice of God therefore (this being true to the oath of everlasting love) that demands that God be merciful to Israel, to remember her sins no more, to bring God’s beloved back from the land of the enemy with the pledge, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”  It is God’s justice that demands God’s mercy and salvation.  That is why the prophets declare that God’s justice is his salvation.  This is why even Paul can say like a true Hebrew, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel for in it the justice of God is revealed…as justice that is not according to law.”  But it is according to God everlasting covenant of love.

Julia Tyack

 Bob made a comment a few weeks back.  “There is nothing but God and eternity, no devil no hell.  Only Hell is for those who don’t know this until they accept it.”  The implication of unconditional love is universalism.  A lot of people cringe at universalism.  Mason, a great scholar said, “Everything will be alright in the end”.  What are we here for?  Two essays Robinson, quote Morgan 82 re Ellen’s his mentor –Ellen’s took on universalism forty years ago.  The charge people made was, “This man’s doctrine lets you sin with confidence. “

This is a gross distortion – Morgan defends universalism giving insights to himself and social implications of his universalism belief.  The other doctrine, God and Satan, insider and outsider, sons of God and Sons of darkness, saved and unsaved, sinner and saint, dammed and accepted, makes sick people and sick religion.  If this doctrine is true it is evident Satan is causing God a lot of trouble.  Certainly he is not the sovereign God.

What all this justifies is cruelty; i.e. prison reform and how you treat others.  John Calvin quoted the book of Joshua as justification for the torture and slaughter of people with a different opinion.  Calvin said about this worst genocide imaginable – obviously these people where doomed, to let them live meant more time in hell.

What a terrible view of the human race?  In Morgan’s own view you look through other views.  These are all children of God and the love of God is going to triumph.  There is not one of these children that doesn’t possess the image of God and the spirit of the better self.

There is no longer a divided world between believers and unbelievers.  Treat all as a believing child of God.  George Fox the founder of the Quakers was a universalist. People may not know they are children of God but they are.  There was a monk in the middle ages with every knock at his door he would hurry to open the door saying, “Is that Christ again?”  Everybody without distinction.

Christians look at their beliefs and Biblical stuff through the eyes of the enlightenment.  There is some pretty violent stuff advocated in what Israel ought to do under the authority of Yahweh himself.  There is some pretty unacceptable stuff in the NT by today’s enlightenment. Paul said some crazy things like women covering their heads in church because the “Sons of God” (some spirit beings) could look at the daughters of men.

and acknowledge “poor me”.  When the listener buys our embellished event they become our co-dependant perpetuator of “my-truth” and poison spreads toxicity.  This event is not a witness of truth but a slave to a victim.

Against this is the “witness”.  Humanity has deep in its psyche the need for “a-witness”.  When we hold no revenge justice then an event doesn’t get stuck.  It doesn’t get forever perpetuated and played over and over to pollute the future.  The objective-witness acknowledges the truth of an event.  In such verification there is a gift enabling you to move on, to continue  your story (life).  In such witnessing an otherwise destructive time bomb is detonated.

Revenge has many more subtle faces, Caroline says, such as its nature to “nurse past wounds”, to produce illness, to produce chronicity, to rob of life energetic out-giving, to hiding away, fear of everything, victimhood, viruses producing world panic theology and the paying forward past wounds to anyone around.

We need every step of our lives to seek to know if a virus of this type is infecting our energetic nature.

Julia Tyack

Julia comments on some aspects of “Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing” by Caroline Myss

Young people need to know who they are and the wonder and opportunity of life.  It is hard to imagine but Caroline Myss says the greatness behind our eyes in our energetic body is as vast as the universe.  What is behind our eyes simply reflects all we comprehend, even the entire universe (something to take or leave).  On the negative self-stories in our heads, Caroline says they are toxic, destructive and life depleting.  We need to be kind to ourselves and appreciate who we are in our personhood.

Caroline goes on to say that today the inner-self (modern self-perception) uses the language of “Special”.  Everyone thinks they have to be “special”.  There is a generation who are self-specialist.  If they are sick there is some “special cause”, they are different to others and if they are told they are no different, then no claim to fame through victimhood.  She says, “you are not “special”, you are one with humanity, suffer the same fate, sicknesses, accidents and emotional ups and downs of humanity.   There is not some sky god giving you special guidance, sending good or bad events into your life as special happenings.  Caroline says this mentality often promotes the idea that this or that event, is sent for a special learning which God must tell them all about.  The “special” mentality looks for “special” guidance and constantly buys into outcomes.  It is demanding to know what will be the outcomes for every little thing experienced.  Whereas the authentic self needs not to know outcomes.  It does not buy into outcomes.

We must stop that thinking; stop that destructive self-talk.  We are not “special” but we have personhood.  Personhood means we are individual, unique persons, a one off model.  The common things in humanity will have unique expression through us, enabling a unique contribution to humanity – but get that idea of “Special” out of our heads.

Caroline says the great distorter of truth into” my-truth” is in the way we relate to justice.  The distortion comes when we divorce justice from its roots in unconditional acknowledgement of the oneness of humanity.  Justice as an “inner-self” concept that revenge is an OK thing to impose on others.  The subtle or unacknowledged flow-on is that everyone but me must pay for their actions or sins.  It is in our revenge mentality, head stories saying, “I want to see him punished, he needs to pay dearly for his actions etc”.  In divorcing justice from the unconditional acceptance of the oneness of humanity, a person’s own life is hell on earth.  This view of justice destroys the person who allows the distortion of justice.  The offender may be punished or you may pay back somebody to get revenge, but the only person to pay in the end, is the revenger.

Caroline then takes her audience through “other’s-perspective” verses “my-perspective”.  There would be people who would deem each of us deserving of punishment for some offence whether true or perceived.  This is simply the nature of living in this world.  When revenge is demanded for our actions, we would rise up and say, “that is unjust, we didn’t mean harm.”  In a strange way revenge mentality robs the whole of that individual’s life.  It is like a lich, sucking the life blood out of a society with such an attitude to Justice.  Life demands that we relate unconditionally first to our-selves and then to others.  There will be the need to manage society and contain and reform those who would destroy, but the health of us all depends on the energy from which this is done.  Revenge mentality holds past hurts or events in a way that constantly embellishes them in our head story. This embellishment pops out to tell anyone who will listen and acknowledge “poor me”.  When the listener buys our embellished event they become our co-dependent perpetrator of “my-truth” and poison spreads toxicity.  This event is not a witness of truth but a slave to a victim.  Against this is the “witness”.  Humanity has the need for a “witness” deep in its psyche.  When we hold no revenge justice then an event doesn’t get stuck.  It doesn’t get forever perpetuated and played over and over to pollute the future.  The objective-witness acknowledges the truth of an event.  In such verification there is a gift enabling you to move on and to continue your story (life).  In such witnessing, an otherwise destructive time bomb is detonated.

Revenge has many more subtle faces, Caroline says, such as its nature to “nurse past wounds”, to produce illness, to produce chronicity, to rob of life energetic out-giving, to hiding away, fear of everything, victimhood, viruses producing world panic theology and the paying forward past wounds to anyone around.

We need every step of our lives to seek to know if a virus of this type is infecting our energetic nature.

Noel Mason

Love and justice -each is incomplete without the other.  “He who has a “why” to live for, can bear with almost any “how”.” Nietzsche. That “why” can only be a selfless love. “The essentially  self-transcendent quality of human existence renders man a being reaching out beyond himself.”  “Human existence is not authentic unless it is lived in terms of self-transcendence.” V. Frankl.

A few nights ago I was on my way to visit my wife, who was a patient in a hospital. It was a cold, wet and windy night. When I got to her bedside I noticed that she had not eaten any of her dinner. She said it was cold and that she would like something hot. I told her I would get some hot soup.  I went to several fast food places but all they had was hot coffee.  When I asked a man emptying some bins he referred to a new Panera store across the lot.  They had many choices and one that my wife liked   broccoli / cheddar.  When I moved to the payment window the young lady said: “ Just one cup of soup that’s not much for your dinner.” I said: “Oh it’s not for me it’s for a patient in hospital.” When I handed her the money she said:  “No it’s free of charge.” I said : “You can’t do that please take the money.  You will get into trouble. “  “Yes I can” she said and closed the window with a smile. Her little act of love lit up a dark, cold, wet and windy night.  Authentic love is always  “free of charge”. There is a lot of grace in love.