Why Justice And Vengeance Cannot Atone For Past And Present Sins

The nature of sin is that it is morally consequential, regardless if the sin is committed, omitted, or done involuntarily. Sin has a sociologic, cultural, economic, and psychological impact on individuals.  Furthermore, sin's consequential nature affects other people geographically and generationally.  Sin in one geographical location affects people in other locations, just like sin from one generation visits the next generation.  That is to say; we do not live in a morally inconsequential world.  To say otherwise is pure foolishness and stupidity.  Sin impacts others around us and future generations after us.  Sin is not amoral, except in the land of unicorns and the ideologies of naive life coaches.  

Using the metaphor of the board game, "Monopoly," some players cheat (i.e., sin) in rolling the dice more than they should, to acquire hotels.  Others skip player's turns to oppress them from playing the game of Monopoly.  And other times, players roll poorly or neglect to roll the dice altogether, resulting in them not passing "Go" or collecting $200 - they miss out on their turn.  And finally, some players make mistakes to their advantage in a game.  The point being, every dice-roll, and action in the game of Monopoly affects all the players and will have lasting consequences for the 'rest' of the game.  The game of Monopoly is not played in an inconsequential vacuum.

So, what does this mean?  While it is difficult to expose the cheating of some players, and while it is difficult for other players to take responsibility for lousy dice-rolling or their negligence, it is - perhaps - even more difficult to remedy the inequality of the game of Monopoly.  Bluntly stated, what does one do with a besmirched game of Monopoly, when cheating, mistakes, and manipulation have taken place?  

Should extra turns be given to remedy the inequality?  If so, to whom and how many extra turns?  

Should some players be sent to jail for several turns, and money be taken from them to balance the injustice?  If so, who goes to the Monopoly Jail, and how long should they be sent to jail?  And how much money should be taken away, and who should receive the money?  

Those who neglect to roll the dice, should they be compensated?  If so, why and how much?  

And what should be done about players who roll lucky dice?  Should they be penalized?  

And players who played by the rules and did not cheat - never tried to take advantage of other players?  Do they get lumped together with the cheaters?  

Perhaps, the whole board game should be over-turned?  If so, how should the board game be reset?  Who gets to roll first?  Who gets to play?  Are the rules the same, or are there no rules - and who decides all of this? 

While specific laws do certainly help to curb the old Adam in all of humanity, the only way forward in a so-called ruined Monopoly Game is through individual reconciliation, not vengeance.  You see, no amount of justice and vengeance can atone for past and present sin.  Like a tricky recipe, the right measurement of justice is never achieved when trying to atone for sin.  The stain of sin is often too deep and too dark to be expunged with tit-for-tat justice.   One will either impart too much to one player and not enough to another.  Again, the only way forward is through reconciliation.  

And how is reconciliation wrought?  It happens through gritty contrition and loving forgiveness that drinks deeply from the forgiveness of Christ.  You see, the Atonement of Christ is the only thing in this world that appeases the deep guilt, pain, and injustices of sin.  Christ was the only one that could adequately bleed for sin as a propitiation – no other sacrifice comes close.   Christ is the only one that resets the Monopoly Board - making all things new.  It is only in Christ that we dare roll the dice again with love for one another – seeking to love our neighbors as ourselves while confessing sin and forgiving each other in Jesus name.     

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