The State of California has filed litigation against the Sherwin–Williams Paints (SWP)? Why? For advertising its lead-based paints—and not warning consumers about its lead content. What is somewhat disturbing about this lawsuit, however, is that its evidence against SWP dates from 1904—114 years ago!
Back in Time
A 1904 SWP advertisement fails to notify consumers that its paint contains lead and of the lead’s possible
health hazards. Keep in mind that the federal government didn’t ban the use of lead in house paints until 1978. Therefore, the government is empowering its new laws to reach back in time to accuse and condemn people–who could not have even anticipated the new law’s enactment.
Consequently, there is no practice and behavior which is perfectly legal today that cannot be made illegal in years to come. And when it does become illegal, then we, who live today, become guilty and liable for punishment. In other words, a person must know the future in order to avoid some kind of judgment. We must not only know what is illegal today, but what will be illegal in the future.
In a way, I’m not surprised at California’s crazed logic. If they are successful at punishing SWP and other paint companies, then they can proceed to wage war on oil companies–or anyone else. And this attitude of condemnation, toward everyone and everything before it, has been a hallmark of our popular culture. American pop culture’s thinking is, “How dare those people of the past not keep pace with today’s enlightened thinking! How dare the dead not keep up with the constantly changing morality of pop culture!”
We might suppose that this attitude of condemnation would come from the religious crowd or from the so-called “Religious Right.” But, no. This judgmental attitude flows from the Anti-Religious Left. It comes from the crowd that self-righteously preaches tolerance and love to the rest of us.
Scripture on Forgiveness
Friend, you and I desperately need to get out of the blame game—no matter what our political affiliation may be. Jesus assured us in no uncertain terms that if we do not forgive others of their offenses, then our heavenly Father will not forgive us. If we continue condemning others, God will most certainly condemn us. Look at what Jesus said.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1–5).
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? ’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” (Matthew 18:32–35).
Let’s destroy this climate of condemnation by forgiving others as God has so mercifully forgiven us. Let’s ask God to soften and melt our hearts–and to fill them with His love. Let’s, with God’s help, allow that love to flow to one another.
Dear Father in heaven, here and now I take my place with the rest of sinful humanity. I admit my guilt before You and the court of heaven and I plead for Your mercy and forgiveness. Empower me, also, O God, to forgive all who have offended me. Soften my heart and fill it with Your love. Cause Your love to flow through me to others—to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ. Amen.
In article photo: Air Force Academy graduation ceremony [Image 4 of 5] by DVIDSHUB licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/