You have probably heard of the show called America’s Dumbest Criminals, I bet. Sometimes criminals are just so stupid that they are actually kinda funny.
But what a lot of people don’t give much thought to is the idea that there are really only TWO main categories of reasons for bad behavior. (Any exceptions are just that – exceptions – and thus very rare.)
The two categories of reasons we do bad things are Evil Intent and Ignorance. Evil Intent never gets excused, but sometimes Ignorance does – especially for minor infractions. (“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know…”). However, Ignorance is a shameful thing to plea in a LOT of cases. Most bad behavior resulting from Ignorance is still a matter of SHOULD-HAVE-KNOWN-BETTER. Thus, even though pleading Ignorance might save you from paying consequences, you frequently are admitting to your own Stupidity, and thus a bit of shame is still attached.
But sometimes it’s both. And that is extra shameful, and so we like to hold such behavior up to ridicule. Thus we have a show like America’s Dumbest Criminals.
But you know the system is bad when you can so blatantly disregard the rules that no one calls you out on it – or if they do, you punish the whistle blower instead of the criminal.
And that is what we have in our churches today. We hold to a mission statement like “Love God and love others” even pointing out how it comes straight from the lips of Jesus, but then totally disregard his words when he says “I was a stranger, and you took me in…”
Yeah, you really can’t plea Ignorance on this one. And if you try, you should be called out as BOTH Evil AND Stupid, and should change this behavior before it becomes your shame.