Justice is Coming

ImageTo believe in a transcendent reality is to necessarily believe in a transcendent justice and vindication. When you see those who kill people indiscriminately, or for money, those who torture, those who conspire to deprive people of their basic human needs, you see people who, regardless of the emblem they wear, or what they do at prayer meetings, or the acclaim they receive because of wearing a uniform and serving some national ideology or local sense of “law and order”, you see people who don’t believe in a transcendent reality. If they say they do, they are liars. If they did believe, they would fear what will happen to them, and the rising up of their victims. Whether they’re US soldiers at Fallujah or Abu Ghraib, or US intelligence and security people who tortured or murdered or committed massacres, or they are the armchair ideologues who enabled them, or they are Qaddafi’s paid murderers in Libya, they are atheists apart from any religious confession they may pretend, even to themselves. They are bereft of belief. They are apostate to all. They will, with us all, face judgment, but they don’t fear it – they don’t really think it’s there or it’s going to happen. You judge what someone believes by what they do, apart from what they say. Action is belief. There is justice coming, though – and I don’t mean to put things off with a shrug and say “I’m not going to get too concerned about the present, because judgment is coming – they’ll get theirs”. No, that’s someone who believes in the transcendent, but not the reality of the present – someone who is denying the Incarnation, if they are a Christian. Now is real. This is real. And the justice to come is real. And it all matters. All of it. When the sparrow falls, it matters. One who cannot contain both belief in a transcendent reality and belief in the here and now cannot be a Christian, at least. He cannot be an Orthodox person.

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