A 1988 movie, Judgement Day, imagined two travelers who come upon a town visited by Satan once every year to claim souls. It got a two and a half star rating. Then there was a 1993 movie by the same name about a guy who killed his family to hide his personal failures and wasn’t arrested until decades later due to his apparently very effective ability to hide. Three and a half stars. The 1999 movie entitled – you guessed it – Judgement Day tells the story of the earth in danger of being struck by interstellar debris, a scientist who figures out how to stop it, a religious cult who wants to stop him, and a murderer who joins an FBI agent to free the scientist and prevent millions of deaths. Back down to two and a half stars.
Besides the happy assurance that I’m not the only one who’s not that great with titles, it appears that Hollywood hasn’t had much luck with judgement day. Oh the irony.
And here we are: here being recovering from devastating natural disasters, mass killings, exposes of major news sources, ongoing revelations of deception, and a waterfall of sexual deviance. Strike that. Sexual deviance doesn’t seem to get much negative press. Make that sexual assault, abuse, harassment, and plenty of plain ol’ boorish behavior. And let’s not forget a few souls who make false allegations, usually for money. Weaponizing whatever sin is trending detracts from very real heartache and damage of the real until it loses some of its repulsiveness.*
Just when we think we’re on our way to recovery – boom! – here comes another wave. For instance, I wrote a few words of this post a week ago, never dreaming there would be so much more to address by this date. I’m not even going to use names now because the names just keep coming. It’s like the Halloween Blizzard of ’91. By the time we get to the Judgement Seat of God, even the most nosy neighbor will hope upon hope for a mute button.
Often we think of the judgement of God Almighty as something to avoid. Thinking of His hand moving or removing to bring/allow horrific consequence isn’t something that allows for peaceful sleep or peaceful thought or peaceful anything.
But the judgement with which this world is currently overwhelmed is a good thing, I think. Of course no one wants their sins – large or small or anywhere in between – being spread all over Twitter, but it gives us all another chance to say what is wrong and what is right. It helps us remember that being politically correct is pretty crooked compared to God’s plumb line. Even in the church. Even in Academia. Even in Media. Even in Hollywood. Even in Congress. Even in politics. Even in our own lives.
We don’t often think of judgement and goodness being related, but they are. We’re not supposed to stay stuck at judgement. It’s a step – a very hard, ugly crumbling step – but a step nevertheless. The next beautiful, shining, solid step is repentance. Such a good thing. A freeing thing. I love repentance. If we’re willing, judgement can bring us there.* It’s like a reset on the remote. Ready . . . click.
* It is at this point I must say something that should go without saying, but must be said because righteousness is only en vogue at certain times and situations for some folks. Sexual abuse isn’t right. Nor is rape, incest, sex outside of marriage, perversion or any other misuse of something that could have been beautiful, but has been distorted. When someone pretends to be a victim, they might hurt their target, but they surely hurt true victims as a result of diminishing returns.
*Hurry now! One of these days that step will no longer be available.