Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Parable of the Defendant

The Parable of the Defendant
by Jason Hart

The prosecutor paused and re-positioned his notes and poured himself a glass of water from the pitcher on his podium.  He took a drink and continued.

"Your Honor, it is the contention of the prosecution that the evidence presented has left no room for reasonable doubt regarding the guilt of the heretic."

God stroked his chin and glanced through his notes.  He made a wave of the hand prompting the prosecutor to continue.

"We humbly ask his Honor to carefully consider the litany of evidence as it has been presented." The prosecutor glanced towards a woman seated in the gallery, "We ask that special consideration be given to the testimony of this witness who testified under oath to the frequent and consistent unbiblical advice received during her eight years under his shepherding care."

God looked up from his notes and looked at the heretic to see what, if any, visible reaction was present during the prosecution's summation.  Nothing.

The prosecutor moved from behind his podium and stuck one hand in his pocket while pointing at the heretic with his other.  "Your Honor, this man's own writings have condemned him."  He pointed in the air, shaking his finger at nothing in particular, "A teacher is held to a higher standard, your Honor.  And even by the lowest standards, he falls short.  Defying Your word at every opportunity, your Honor."

He leaned against his podium and took another drink.  He glanced at his legal pad, then slowly closed his notebook on top of it.  "It was for men like the heretic that his Honor commissioned me to rid the land of error and falsehood.  I am convinced, that if left unchecked, this man will continue to make a theological mockery of Your Word.  It is the opinion of the prosecution that this man is deserving of the highest punishment allowable by Your law.  That is all, your Honor."

The prosecutor returned to his seat and sat down.  God leaned back in his chair and removed his glasses and rested his elbows on the oak desk in front of Him.  He sat quietly, folding his hands together and resting his chin on his fingers.  A minute passed.  Then two. Finally, He looked at the heretic.

"Do you understand the charges that have been leveled against you today?  That you have been accused of heresy?"
The heretic spoke evenly and without hesitation. "Yes, your Honor.  I understand."
"Do you have anything to say in your defense?"
"No, your Honor.  I believe exactly as the prosecutor has described."
"Hmmm....I see."

God turned in his seat and looked at the plaintiff.  "Am I to understand that the prosecution views this man's heresy as disagreements between Him and me."
The prosecutor was wary and chose his words carefully, "Yes, your Honor.  The heresy this man espouses is a disagreement with the Holy Scriptures - Your Holy Word."
God continued, "I see.  And so it is your position that I have certain thoughts regarding certain important elements of life."
"Important elements, sir?"
"Yes.  Important elements.  Life.  Death.  Sin.  Salvation.   Important elements"
The prosecutor's face contorted in befuddlement, "Yes, your Honor.  You have thoughts about these things.  True thoughts, your honor."
"I see.  And this man, he does not have the same thoughts as Me.  Is that your contention?"
"Yes." The prosecutor answered, confident.
"I see."  God said, choosing His words carefully.  He leaned forward in his chair and continued his questioning.  "And am I to understand that you have no such disagreements with My thoughts?"
"Of course not.  I agree with everything found in Scripture."
"And you understand the Scriptures?"
"Not all of it your Honor."
"Of course - but what you understand, you agree with.  Yes?"
"Yes, your Honor."
God grabbed the Bible sitting next to his gavel.  "So, when it says I sent my Son into the world so that whoever believes in My Son will have life eternal - you believe that?"
"Yes your Honor, John 3:16, your Honor."
"I see.  And when it says in Genesis 1:1 that I created the world, you agree with this?"
"Yes your Honor, I am a creationist."

The heretic just stood staring.  Listening.  Eyes wide, heart pounding.  God slowly turned to another passage of Scripture.

"Here's another one.  In the fifty-fifth chapter of the great prophet Isaiah.  Verse eight.

'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.'

Do you agree with this verse as well?"
"Of course your Honor, as I've said - I agree with everything in the Bible."
"Wonderful.  So then, can you give me a thought of Mine which is not your own?"
"I'm sorry, your Honor, I don't understand."
"You told me that the heretic did not agree with My thoughts."
"Yes, your Honor, that is correct."
"And so, which of my thoughts do you not agree with?" God leaned forward and raised his eyebrows waiting for a reply.

"None of them sir."
"I see.  So everything I believe, you believe."
The prosecutor could feel anger welling up inside of him from the intense questioning.  "Yes!  I believe everything You believe."
"That isn't possible.  My thoughts are NOT your thoughts.  Which of my thoughts do you disagree with?"
The prosecutor took a deep breath and glared at the heretic.  "I am not on trial here, your Honor.  This man is a heretic!"
"But what about you?  Are you a heretic?"
"Do you really want me to disagree with You?"
God raised his voice in exasperation,  "Of course I expect you to disagree with Me!  The moment you agree with me completely, is the moment I become a figment of your imagination.  I become a pawn in your game.  Completely trumped by your thoughts.  The moment all My thoughts become your thoughts - is the moment that you become Me."

The prosecutor shook his head, disgusted.  God looked towards the heretic with compassion, "I am comforted by this man you have brought me.  For, despite our disagreements, he has served me faithfully his entire life."

"You however," God said, looking at the prosecutor , "you bring me no such comfort.  Your dedication to me is a dedication to yourself.  Following me because you think you agree with Me.  But really, you only follow Me because you think that I agree with you."

-The End

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