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... the LORD God called to the man and said to him ... ... "Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree and I ate." Then ......... the woman said, "The serpent deceived me and I ate."           Genesis 3: 9-13 [usually the third page of the Bible]


Blame culture in Jersey. Something has gone wrong. Therefore someone (else) is to blame - and I must be compensated. 

Blame at work in Jersey. A joke - an old joke - told of a new Departmental Manager meeting his dismissed predecessor and being given two envelopes to open; envelope A was to be opened by the new Manager the first time anything went wrong ; envelope B was to be opened the second time that happened.

Inevitably, something went wrong. Inside envelope A was a two-word instruction. "Blame me". Inevitably, a second thing went wrong. Inside envelope B was a longer instruction, "Prepare two envelopes, one marked A, one marked B.....".

Blame in politics in Jersey. "It was a decision of a former Committee." "Those responsible (not me) have been disciplined."

Blame in marriages in Jersey. Who started it? It wasn't me.

Blame in churches in Jersey. "They've got it wrong." "Not us."

Blame in the Bible. On only the third page of the Scriptures accumulated by the nation of Israel over the centuries of their existence BC, Adam is asked if he has disobeyed the LORD God. "It was Eve who gave me the fruit." "What's more it was you, LORD God, who gave me Eve." What does Eve say? "The serpent deceived me ..." Always someone else - even God, or Satan.

And because the blame is placed on others they are discredited. Never mind, we say.

But here's a remarkable thing. Back in AD 30-33, Jesus Christ came across that same dis-crediting, blame-transfer mentality. Two examples. In both examples the Greek verb for what they are saying is, literally, hurt-the-report-of (blame) this man.

First, when senior religious leaders travelled 50 miles from Jerusalem to assess Jesus, they hurt-the-report-of him by saying, "He has an unclean spirit" "By the prince of demons he casts out demons". In that way, they raised themselves up.

Second, when two criminals were executed for their crimes along with Jesus Christ, they both hurt-the-report-of him whilst they were undergoing the death penalty. One of them used the words, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" Even in death, this criminal was blaming Jesus for failing to save him from the punishment that he deserved.

But the second of the two criminals by Jesus' side then changed his mind (something rare these days when avoidance of loss-of-face is more important than changing one's mind and doing the right thing). This man, in his dying hours did not want to blame Jesus but instead found reason to distinguish the conduct of which they - the criminals being executed - were blameworthy and the conduct of the blameless Jesus, also being executed with them.

He says to his partner in crime, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

And a most amazing thing then occurred - at the precise moment when a convicted criminal agreed that he was to blame. The man Jesus, blameless but blamed and dis-credited and being executed, said to the blameworthy man, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

It won't surprise you to hear from this man's followers in AD 2008 that they are blameworthy. 

The easiest thing to find is fault.' (Anon.)
This the power of the cross: / Christ became sin for us. /  Took the blame, bore the wrath - / We stand forgiven at the cross. (Keith Getty & Stuart Townend)
Richard Syvret

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