Paul's Passing Thoughts

Condemnation Claims Another Casualty

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 23, 2016

ppt-jpeg4I was deeply saddened to hear of the recent suicide of Keith Emerson, the keyboard mad scientist of Emerson, lake, and Palmer. My teenage years took place while ELP dominated the progressive rock scene. The depths of their talent created enchanting songs like “Lucky Man” and “From the Beginning.” Their unique brand inspired many rock icons that would follow.

In reading accounts of his suicide and comments from close friends cited in various articles, we find THE familiar theme: fear. If you have been following our recent series on depression from a biblical perspective, you know that I am beginning to suspect ALL, or at least most depression flows from condemnation. Obviously, one who commits suicide has condemned themselves. Perhaps the premier example is Judas. Of course, this doesn’t include other forms of suicide that are in the minority.

Always in every kind of depression and mental illness, and this according to mental health professionals, anxiety is present. In other words, “fear.” Biblically, this makes perfect sense. According to the Bible, the law condemns leading to fear of death and judgement. The conscience also condemns, and you can also add fear of failure and loss of life-purpose to the ugly mix. Granted, present fears of this life may override fear of death, and depending on one’s beliefs, death may be a desperate escape.

However, let me point out that God is not the primary proponent of condemnation. The primary proponents of condemnation seem to be man himself and the kingdom of darkness. Adam and Eve are the ones that chose to hide from God because of what? Right, read it for yourself: fear. God didn’t tell them to hide; in fact, He went looking for them. And what “accuser of the brethren” gets thrown out of heaven in the book of Revelation? And who throws him out? Toward the end of Revelation, who are the ones outside of the holy city? Right, the fearful.

Couple this with the Bible statement that God did not send Christ into the world to condemn the world, but to save it. God does not seek to condemn, he seeks to save that which is lost…mankind. But it doesn’t stop there: He sent His only Son because He wants to save mankind in order to make us His very family for all of eternity: He is the “Son of God” and the “Son of Man.”

The great hope that we represent is escape from condemnation and fear. Sin condemns, not God. He not only hates sin, but He hates condemnation. He sent His only Son into the world to defeat death, sin, and condemnation. Beware of any religion that makes condemnation part of God’s repertoire; God and condemnation are mutually exclusive, and death is the final enemy that He will defeat.

Condemnation is the source of death and fear. God is the source of life and peace. That’s the good news…that’s the gospel.