Scott Sauls brings us a fresh perceptive on grace, God’s grace.
When I heard the news of this man’s conversion to Christianity, for a brief moment I thought to myself, “I’d almost rather be damned than spend eternity with someone like that.”
With self-hatred written all over him, Lou asked boldly, “Pastor, do you really think there could be room in Jesus’ family for someone like me? It seems so impossible.”
It’s hard to believe that this bully resembling Hitler ended up writing one-third of the New Testament, isn’t it? It’s hard to believe that through grace, his violence was transformed to gentleness, his vitriol to tenderness, his sword to a healing salve, his racism and violence to reconciliation, and his rage to love. It’s hard to believe that eventually he, too, would be imprisoned and mercilessly executed for his faith in Jesus.
So then, there are really two possible “Christian” responses to a perpetrator:
On the one hand, if a perpetrator demonstrates no sorrow or restitution for her or his abuses, the faithful response is to keep a safe personal distance while also confronting the evil by all means possible. Victims can also prayerfully celebrate that God, who will ultimately judge all and punish all evil, will achieve a complete and satisfying justice in due time… …
On the other hand, if a perpetrator demonstrates proven sorrow – a sorrow that endures, and that is accompanied by restitution, wherever possible, of what has been taken from the victims – she or he may be viewed as a candidate for grace… …