After all that inhuman mercy…

How do you present an image of false or “inhuman mercy” as Chesterton calls such and reach the viewer with God’s view of it? In a world so deeply divided, in a country that is certainly so at the present moment, a picture is not worth a 1000 words because as the late Ravi Zacharias often decried about our present fallen generation: “How do you reach a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings?” Show one picture that seems fairly clear to you and another will take an entirely different message from it, each seeing it according to what is right in his own eyes. But are we trying to see things from God’s eyes, without doing the thinking for him? What we need inside of us is His, unadulterated by our sins, mind. We need the mind of Christ – all of it – and not just the scriptures that comfort our continuing sinful behavior.

We are most certainly in need of the promise made in Ezekiel 36:26 by God: “ I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” So that we may be able to reason again with sanity, so that we may see with sanity and not excuse making for our behavior against God’s laws and his order. The world wants no limits. God in his real mercy sets the boundaries precisely where they should be. And we must learn those proportions and not give in to our own. This is what Chesterton tries to conclude his book, The Outline of Sanity by saying.

“Before closing these notes, with some words on the colonial aspect of democratic distribution, it will be well to make some acknowledgment of the recent suggestion of so distinguished a man as Mr. John Galsworthy. Mr. Galsworthy is a man for whom I have the very warmest regard; for a human being who really tries to be fair is something very like a monster and miracle in the long history of this merry race of ours. Sometimes, indeed, I get a little exasperated at being so persistently excused. I can imagine few things more annoying, to a free-born and properly constituted Christian, than the thought that if he did choose to wait for Mr.Galsworthy behind a wall, knock him down with a brick, jump on him with heavy boots, and so on, Mr. Galsworthy would still faintly gasp that it was only the fault of the System; that the System made bricks and the System heaved bricks and the System went about wearing heavy boots, and so on. As a human being, I should feel a longing for a little human justice, after all that inhuman mercy.” – G.K. Chesterton, The Need of a New Spirit, The Outline of Sanity, 1926

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