Why do we feel guilty? Softness and love, part II

As an addendum to my last post, check out the helpful comments responding to this Baylyblog post. An excellent comment by a certain “Gary” caught my eye:

Keller here places himself above the rest of us who oppose abortion by accusing us of something we are not even doing so that he might appear to be more gracious and forgiving than the rest of us. I am leery of men who seem intent on making sure that they seem more gracious and nicer than others who are concerned about righteousness. [my emphasis] “If there were only just more people as gracious and merciful as I am.”

Was John wrong to call people vipers (Matt. 3:7)? Was Jesus wrong to call us evil (Matt. 7:11)? Apparently we can no longer refer to people as murderers, thieves, liars or adulterers either because certainly these are stronger terms than “scum”. The temptation perpetually is to coat ourselves with Teflon so that nothing that makes us “appear” to be harsh would stick to us. In the eyes of the world Jesus, the Prophets and Apostles were harsh men. May we be willing to be counted amongst them.

Well said, Gary. Why do I sometimes feel guilty and feel “like scum?” Because I am guilty and I am scum. Why do those who’ve murdered their children feel guilty and like scum? Because they are. What they’ve done is a big deal.

As fallen creatures, we sometimes feel improper guilt (e.g. about eating certain things). However, most of the time, isn’t guilt just our conscience’s response to our own sin? The world tells us to not feel guilty when we sin, but this is how one sears his own conscience. The denial of guilt is a denial of sin. Until we understand the depth of our sin and our guilt, how we can understand the magnitude of what Christ has done and the grace that He offers?

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