Today I want to draw your attention to a conversation between Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday: “Well,” says Friday, “you say God is so strong, so great: has he not as much strong, as much might as the devil?”
“Yes, yes,” Crusoe says, “Friday, God is much stronger than the devil.”
“But if God much strong, much might as the devil, why God no kill the devil so make him no more do wicked?”
“You might as well ask,” Crusoe answered reflectively, “Why does God not kill you and me when we do wicked things that offend?”
G. K. Chesterton was once asked by a reporter, “What’s wrong with the world?” “I am,” the old sage replied, and in that question and answer is a perspective much needed in the world today when everything seems to be going haywire. “What’s wrong with the world?” and “Why doesn’t God do something?” are questions that spring to our lips easily in moments like this, but, as the Robinson Crusoe and Chesterton quotes indicate, they may not be the best questions to ask right now because they come from a self-styled justice that doesn’t serve us well as representatives of the Gospel of Welcome: grace turned outward.
If what’s wrong with the world is always someone else, well, what does that make me? That makes me right, and it also makes me judge and jury, and I don’t think any of us want to be in that position.
Sin and evil are relative. There are many degrees of sin, but at the end of the day, it’s all sin and we’re all guilty. Gunning down fifty innocent people and hating someone in your mind might seem like they are worlds apart but they are really not. They are both sinful and inspired by evil and worthy of the same punishment.
So, as proponents of the Gospel of Welcome and grace turned outward, this is our message: I am what is wrong with the world, but because of God’s grace, there is hope for me, just as there is hope for you too, for the same reason. It’s not up to me to judge anyone, but to announce to everyone the good news that God has already judged His Son in our place so He could forgive us all and receive us to Himself.
“What’s wrong with the world?” I am.
“Why doesn’t God do something?” He already has, and isn’t that the best news of all?