Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2021 John 15:20a.

John 15:20a.     If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you:

And a good, lazy Saturday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family, wherever you are in God’s great universe! Hope that you are having better weather than my snow-bound, bleak neighbourhood, but it’s all a part of life in this great country of Canada, so we’ll handle it with the aplomb of Jesus. (smile) 

Anyway, there’s some good news to share today; our friend Anselm has been resurrected. Yes, he’s risen from whatever ailed him, and he’s sent us a full slate of quotes this week. A couple of them though are so highly politicized that I have no answer for them, so I’ll just throw them out there and let you draw your own conclusions. And we’ll get those out of the way early. 

The first one says: ‘I LOVE Trinidad and Tobago more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.’ Yes, Anselm was born in T&T and apparently he still has a great affection for it, but what am I supposed to say about his claim that he has the right to criticize her in perpetuity eh? 

I don’t know if you LOVE a country a lot that it gives you the right to criticize it. What I do know though is that we need to be very careful in our criticism, especially in these times of much negative opinions and criticism on all sorts of fronts,  because most of us never know the full story behind whatever we are criticizing. 

So although our criticism might look good and sound true, ofttimes it’s not the whole truth or even much of the truth and consequently can lead a lot of people astray, just like what’s happening on social media today with all the lies, half-truths and disinformation being bandied about there. It’s so bad in the U.S, that it’s causing rebellious tendencies there. So please be very careful with your criticism. 

Then there’s this: ‘To announce that there must be no criticism of the Prime Minister, or that we are to stand by the Prime Minister, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the Trinidad and Tobago public.’ There we go again with the criticism regarding T&T. Brother Anselm must be in a real T&T frame of mind! (smile) 

And again, all I can say is that our criticism must be fair, honest and truthful, though standing by the leader of a country, even when they are wrong, is not doing the country any positive service, just making matters worse. That’s been recently proven right down in the U.S of A, with ex-President Donald Trump making so many incorrect, lying and prejudicial statements that it has caused a large division and much disunity in the country. 

Now listen to this one: ‘I do this real moron thing, and it’s called thinking. And apparently I’m not a very good Trinbagonian because I like to form my own opinions.’ My buddy Anselm seems intent on getting me into trouble with my fellow Trinbagonians. (smile) But thinking is a good thing, more of us should try it. (smile) 

However, it’s also possible to overthink a situation, which could lead to personal opinions that are not welcomed by others. And again, let me remind us that before we form opinions, or better yet mouth them, we must be in full possession of all the facts. Sadly though, especially in governmental circles, the real truth, the true facts, are very difficult for the ordinary citizen to gather. All we usually get is a lot of hearsay and the unsound opinions of others. 

Now don’t think that the other two quotes aren’t politically inclined nuh, but they can be handled biblically. And this is the first of the last two. ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.’ 

That last part is obvious; the oppressed are never impressed with neutrality. The first part is a tad trickier, although as a believer, once we see injustice our sense of justice should rise up and cause us to consider ways to right the obvious wrongs. How does the saying go? If you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem. 

Likewise, if you see injustice been perpetrated and you say or do nothing, for whatever reason, it will certainly appear that you are on the side of the oppressor. But friends and followers of Jesus, we have been instructed by Jesus Himself to follow justice and to right wrongs wherever possible. 

As He said to the Pharisees. ‘But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over (neglect) judgement (justice) and the LOVE of God: These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone (without neglecting the others).’ (Luke 11:42) 

Yes friends, our God is a God of justice. Why do you think He sacrificed Jesus to pay for our sin debt eh? Because His just character would not allow sin to be forgiven without full payment, for the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), and without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins. (Heb. 9:22) 

And these two scriptures tell the story in spades. ‘Learn to do well (good); seek judgement (justice), relieve the oppressed (correct oppression), judge (bring justice to) the fatherless, plead for the widow.’ (Is. 1:17) And Micah, puts it very plainly. ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but  to do justly (justice), and to LOVE mercy (kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic. 6:8) 

And that brings us to our last quote: ‘It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.’ And that’s oh so true! Jesus is also a very good example of that. He came to earth to bring justice and salvation, to heal the sick, care for the poor and release the captive slaves of darkness. All these things went against the very grain of the both the ruling Romans and their Jewish lackeys. 

So what happened? Jesus found Himself on the wrong side of the authorities because His philosophy did not match theirs. Consequently, although He had done no wrong, but simply because He was disturbing the rulers’ easy life, He was labelled a traitor, an insurrectionist and quickly removed from their sight by crucifixion. 

Please note too friends, that as believers in, and followers of Christ, we are often on the wrong side of the authorities, so we too can also expect persecution and problems just because of that. Jesus warned His disciples, and consequently us, of the world’s hatred. 

‘Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they kept my saying, they will keep yours too. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.’ (John 15:20-21) 

That brings it all to the forefront my brethren. Remember, we are supposed to be in the world, but not of the world, and that very fact alone will cause us problems. So be prepared, but also remember that Christ has already overcome the world, so please be of good cheer. Much LOVE!

…eventually…right is always stronger than might…so in wisdom…please look to Jesus… 

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