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Righteousness is not Just a Doctrine.

Righteousness is not just a Doctrine.
I was recently filming a video for the non-profit organization I lead and in it I talk about how at times I’ve thought about just jumping on a plane and flying to Ukraine.
As a global charity guy I know that flying into Ukraine just now would be the least helpful thing we could do. We become a liability, a nuisance, a 'do-gooder' in the midst of a crisis situation.So, while I have these emotions I know better than to go and cause more work for exhausted people to satisfy my own feelings.
While I know that, and while I’ve been reading in the arena of justice recently, I have been thinking about the Biblical story of Noah.In the end - was Noah haunted by guilt at the number of people he could have saved if he had tried a bit harder?Noah might have been a righteous man before the flood - but I’m wondering if God would have classed him a righteous man after the flood.
Can you be righteous and only sail away safely with your wife and kids on the boat?
Now, you could be saying, well maybe Noah did speak to people and try to save them.Justice claims that we should not punish people for their failure to protest when it was clear that had they done so no one would have listened.But justice also asks - how can you be sure you will fail if you never try?Moral integrity demands that we try.Silence is consent.Perhaps someone will take notice and perhaps change his or her ways - and that perhaps is enough. Is this not what the prophet Ezekiel seems to suggest [Ezekiel 2 vs 3-5].
Maybe our goodness is measured by what we’ve done for the people of Ukraine, or done for those around us who are being excluded by age, race or the color of their skin, or done for the child orphan dying of malaria or hunger, or what we've done for the neighbor who is hurting and alone.It's the age old question - am I my brother's keeper?It's the age old answer - yes we are!
Or to say it another way - I cannot fully recover until I help the world that made me sick recover.
Biblical Christianity is way more than you or me 'getting to heaven'. Righteousness is not just a doctrine.Maybe Christlikeness is more about goodness than we've grasped.See you Sunday to talk more about justice ......
Gilbert

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