Judas’s Lament

Despite what the scribes tell you, here’s the truth –
He let me go, I was the second snake –
The Fall he purposed just for triumph’s sake –
So that man and fiend both know they’re uncouth –

And grace alone keeps his own, I was damned –
Right from the start, the son of wrath and hell –
And that’s my only part in tales they tell –
In a room of betrayal thrown – doors slammed –

In agony I writhe, though I didn’t ask –
For life or curse, for pitch-black prophecy –
Regarding my part in the scheme of things –
It was his will, his purpose, plan and task –
And this solves the gap, the theodicy –
Withdrawal of grace made the dark – broke kings –

For a next ‘best of all worlds’ – heaven, hell –
Where the ‘right’ spit on us, the ‘damned’ – he reigns –

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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        1. If I’m not mistaken Lutheran’s believe in resistible grace, and hence disagree with TULIP. Resistible grace changes everything dynamically because free-will becomes something that really exists. Then there are those who say both free-will and determinism co-exist. These are moderate Calvinists. So, it’s a wide subject really. I’m doing much better these days. Growing comfortable writing for myself and also going out more and living. I hope you’re well.

        2. Yes, we disagree with TULIP, and most especially with particular or limited atonement. In regards grace, that is a big topic, as it’s so mysterious. We would say that we can resist grace, but we don’t have the power to accept it. I guess an imperfect spiritual analogy would be the raising of Lazarus, he had no power over that, but he could take his own life if he wished.
          Did Judas resist, or despair? Comparing him to Peter for example, who also betrayed Jesus.

          It is a very wide subject. And the difference between God having foreknowledge and He planning something. So I would say that He foreknew Judas’ behaviour, as opposed to programming it. And I don’t want to take up your comment section, this is a huge topic, and the layers with the priests and Judas’ confession etc.

          Anyway, I am really glad if you are doing better. Going out and living is really wise!! haha I might consider that right now :) I’m okay, thanks 🌸

        3. Yeah foreknowledge is a word that’s caused heated debates. In the Armenian sense it means God looks into the future and depending on your choice elects you, which is also the Methodist point of view. Wesley absolutely loathed the concept of double predestination. In the Calvinistic view, God knows and is also completely sovereign. As far as resisting grace is concerned, Calvinists staunchly stick to Romans 9. But some people say that there is a general outward call to everyone and an inner one only for the elect. But since man has hardened his heart, he won’t respond to the outer call, unless the Holy Spirit does some work of grace within, and turns him to God. In the case of the reprobate God himself hardens like he did for Pharaoh. Now here’s where I dispute with Calvinists. I think there is an inner call for some who are the worst cases because God soon lets them go, which is the case of Judas who once exorcised demons and Demas, who faithfully served before suddenly abandoning Paul. And me. I know repentance and agape. That love of God that makes you love God. A Christian must feel an overwhelming passion and love for Christ. But Calvinists hate bringing feeling into the equation. All except John Piper and Martyn Lloyd Jones. The Christians here equate loving God to obeying God, but the Bible doesn’t say that. It says, if you love me, you’ll obey me. So the affection comes first. In my case it all just went away, and then after some experiences I don’t want to talk about, I became a nihilist in the figurative sense. Peter was kept from turning completely unlike Judas. Hebrews 6:4-6 is the passage that talks about all this. Armenians will say that it means a person can lose salvation out of free will, and Calvinists will say that such people were never saved and just had outward experiences. But God alone knows the truth. He’ll make it clear one day. And no problem. Discussions are fine. I liked this one. And thank you.

        4. haha still does :) fascinating.
          Lutherans say a big no to double pre destination as well.
          Yes Romans 9 can be challenging, actually all of Romans is intriguing, imho. Verse 22, “patience” in the Greek means “bearing up under provocation” as with Pharoah, who hardened his own heart a number of times before God did, as He “desires all to be saved”. And the word “prepared” implies a readiness for, as in “ripe for” destruction, not irreversibly foreordained destruction, according to Lutheran scholarship, but you may know that already, so I apologise if I am saying anything redundant. I do like word studies in the original languages, and have been way too lazy in my reading lately. With everything. Another reason I love WP!

          Your comments about love are interesting. When must a Christian feel overwhelming love and passion for Christ? Do you mean in the beginning? Constantly? As proof of faith?

          And I am curious about figurative nihilism, and wondering what you mean? Of course, you don’t have to answer any of my questions. We can leave it if you wish.
          I enjoy the depth you go to in your writing.

        5. Okay it’s strange that you’re talking about the original languages. I was just wondering yesterday (and I don’t care how crazy this sounds) whether I should actually study Hebrew and Greek, and see what the original manuscripts say. Here all the Reformed Churches are dispensationist, premillenial, cessationist and follow McArthur closely. They’re basically zealots who hold Bible studies at 9 in the night, abuse their kids, home school them, and are very restrictive in their approach. The other churches sadly don’t preach the gospel: It’s either Pentecostal hysteria or the Joel Osteen gospel. The ‘Reformed men’ here have this machismo, chauvinistic thing going on, and spend a lot of time laughing at the other churches. You’re supposed to grieve and not mock them. My views are amillennial. I don’t believe in a ‘rapture’ or a literal thousand year rule of Christ. I also believe that the book of Revelation is symbolic and not literal. I think McArthur is a nightmare. The gifts haven’t ceased, but they don’t exist in the way Pentecostals present them. It says before the coming of the perfect (which means Christ) and not the word of God. I don’t speak in tongues, but when I was walking in the light, I did have a few gifts that I don’t want to talk about, because that’ll be bragging. Another thing is that without religious affection or emotion, there isn’t any faith. I lack religious affection completely now, but I had it once. And the chief of all affection is love. You realize that another died in your place, and you love him for it. You feel an overwhelming love in your heart. Perhaps it diminishes now and then, but it’s very much there. Even repentance which is the first sign of grace is accompanied with a Godly Sorrow. You feel this pain, and know that you’re not worthy. Then you also have joy and peace, which are all feelings. Jonathan Edwards called them religious affections. John Wesley called the love I spoke about a second work of grace. Now you understand from where I’ve fallen. But the circumstances I was put in, made sure I fell. I won’t go into detail. I was partially restored last year, but then some frightening circumstances made me fall again. I kept going to the Reformed churches and tried telling them, but they mocked me, called me mad, ridiculed me and yelled at me. Finally I was dry again. Figurative nihilism is a term I’ve coined. It basically means that I do believe in God, but I believe that my life is meaningless and that there is no purpose, except carrying on everyday. It’s unlike Nihilism which says, ‘God is dead.’ I say ‘God is dead,’ figuratively because he abandoned me and cast me away. And unless he fully restores me, I’ll stick to this point of view. And thank you very much. You’ve gone into a lot of depth yourself.

        6. Nitin, your words have so moved my heart. I understand what you are saying and I really feel so sad at how you were treated.
          I don’t know Hebrew or Greek, but in some Lutheran denominations, the pastors still learn them in their training. Something I am very grateful for , as my husband has taught me some things, and I really enjoy reading commentaries that refer to them. Plus, it’s fascinating. And the richness of it!!! The things that are lost in translation. We have a dear friend in the States who is an expert, and I really enjoy his teaching. I guess if you have the means and inclination, I would totally support you!
          I agree with you, about Revelation. We don’t believe in the rapture or the thousand year reign either. Sigh, I hear and feel your frustration about all of those things you mentioned.
          Thank you for explaining your view. My view is that I don’t believe that God, in Christ, abandons. I feel so moved to remind you how loved you are even when you are numb. 1 Cor 13, so appropriately placed right after a chapter about gifts, tells us what is the most important. Chapter thirteen is about Christ. Christ is that love, and He “does not keep a record of wrongs”, among all of those other things, because He is the source of it all.
          Gifts have their place, including passion and affection, (and the older I get, the more moved I am by it all. But it comes and goes, for all kinds of reasons I won’t go on about) but Christ trumps everything, because our feelings are fickle and influenced by many things. “God is greater than our hearts”. Spiritual gifts are (better translation “gifts of grace” if I remember rightly), not something we own, the HS moves as He wills to help others, and maybe He uses us with a particular gift just once, and maybe many times. Maybe one gift one time, maybe another a different time. But relying on the depth of our affection etc is legalism, and that doesn’t bring life. Christ brings life. The love and obedience is all organic work of the HS that we are often not aware of, as it should be, as God is hidden behind the masks of everyday, “mundane” acts of love and kindness. (Matt 25:36-38).

          I think it is really interesting that there are different disciplines of thought about looking inside ourselves for answers etc, but health practitioners will tell you to focus on something outside of yourself when dealing with anxiety and panic attacks etc. Which is so in line with Lutheran interpretation of Scripture, to look outward to Christ, not inward. And I respect that there are many different opinions and it’s contextual, but I still think it’s fascinating :)
          Well this got longer than I planned haha sorry!! (But here’s one of my favourite verses: Romans 8:38-39. Christ Sabbath rest for our weary, weary souls.)
          PS you are welcome to email at any time: vanessa_flower@yahoo.com
          (I’ve had very dark experiences, I will never judge you!)

        7. Thanks Vanessa. Thank you for listening and being supportive. I’ll send you a mail sometime, but I don’t want to talk about those dark experiences. They’re supernatural and filled me with terror. One even led me to try taking my own life by attempting to gouge my eyes out. They’re sick and I want to live, which is why I avoid religion and unless God performs a miracle I’ll continue avoiding it. You’re right about the gifts. But I think that once God gives you a gift, it stays as long as you’re walking in the light. As far as affection is concerned, yes you must look to the cross, but if you just can’t anymore, or if it brings you a feeling of torture like in my case, it’s better not to. But looking to Christ must produce love for him. That’s my perspective anyway. And Martyn Lloyd Jones and John Piper will agree. Jonathan Edwards once said that without any affection at all there is no faith and he’s right and that’s legalism. It’s where a person makes Christianity a list of commandments to keep or things to do. I also struggle with Bipolar Disorder and severe OCD (which is why I corrected my typos in the previous comment!) I’ll just send you a mail and talk philosophy! Where do we start? Aurelius or Camus!

        8. I understand, I really do. More than you realise. And I am sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you should tell me about them, I just meant that I understood and wouldn’t judge what you had to say about anything that’s relevant. I totally get why you wouldn’t want to talk about it, and the triggers etc. My heart aches for your awful experience. And that you were treated the way you were when it all happened!
          We can start wherever you wish, as my reading in recent years has been sadly lacking for a number of reasons, so it will inspire me :)

        9. I might tell you slowly. The way I was treated made me write a long winded FB rant asking if God is just, and if he is to take the lives of the people involved by chastising them. I was that mad. I write a lot. I mostly read literary fiction and philosophy. I don’t agree with everything I read but it’s interesting knowing the different points of view prevalent today. I read a postmodern, very avant-garde novel sometime ago without any structure. It gave me a bloody headache. I’ll read catch-22 ten times on repeat over that book. And don’t sweat it. Shit happens. That’s life lol.

        10. I am sure you needed to vent! And they are valid questions!
          And I’m afraid I can’t help it – my heart aches for traumatised people who are treated like that. I really hope those people will come to a much greater understanding and level of compassion!
          I laughed at “bloody headache”, haha that is my response to all kinds of writings here and there. I have trouble focussing, it’s something I really have to work on. But I am able to see the ridiculous in us humans quite easily, and that does help me tremendously to get through the hard times :)
          And I am the same, I like to read different things to get different points of view. Also, for the creative side in me.

          I do like ancient things too. It intrigues me how developed some ancient civilisations were, the skills they had that have been lost over time. I saw this interesting documentary on tv recently, about making ancient armour, and how we have no clue now how they reached the level of skill they did.

        11. Seeing the absurd in humanity is a terrific way to carry on. I often enjoy dark humour because it really highlights society’s idiocy. History once intrigued me, but doesn’t these days. And yeah, it’s good to be concerned, but I’ve learned to not care when necessary. People will use and dump you if you’re too concerned.

        12. haha oh yes, dark humour appeals!
          I have had that warning from a number of people. And I have, of course, had those experiences. I was very cynical at one time because of it but decided against it. There is so much of that already in the world. I am just trying to be wiser about it because I have lived long enough to see some wonderful surprises (I mean receiving apologies and changes of heart out of the blue that shocked me). It’s all about discernment right, caring when it’s needed, but letting certain things slide off your back. Definitely better at that.

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