Micheal Vick is now set up to finish the remainder of his sentence for dog fighting on home confinement. He is allowed to go to church and doctor’s visits and the like until latter July, when he’ll be totally free.
Supposedly he has paid his debt to society (whoever “society” is-the truth is I nor you actually ever get a vote) and he soon can come get back “into society,” supposedly having paid that debt.
Of course his most likely source of income may still not be a possibility for him. Until the commissioner of the NFL sees real remorse for his crime, he has the right to prolong or preclude his return.
On the other side of the fence you have the crazy PETA people (People for the Ethnic Treatment of Animals-they make sure Siamese cats get the same treatment as the American shorthairs) who will never be satisfied that justice has been served. They will display this by showing up at the appropriate NFL team’s “front door” and picketing. Of that you can be sure.
I think they want him to atone for and pay for his “sin,” but what exactly atonement looks like-a life of slave labor, torture or death I don’t know. Those years in prison and ensuing bankruptcy haven’t yet atoned for his sin as they may have in “society’s eyes.”
It is very important to distinguish repentance and atonement. No sort of sorrow or regret or good deeds can atone for sin in God’s eyes. That’s one of the reasons Jesus died and rose. Only Jesus can atone for and make sufficient payment to forgive our sins.
Repentance then is the sorrowful turning away-though imperfectly-from sinful actions and thoughts based on the freedom and power to do so provided by Christ’s atonement. I’m now starting to read Repentance by Jack Miller so I’ll have a better definition soon!
Yesterday I heard a great expression regarding repentance. Someone asked a man, “Is he repentant?” The wise man answered, “I don’t know, ask me in a few years.” It may take years for repentance to be demonstrated to the point where an offended party may say, “Yep, he or she definitely is repentant.” The NFL commissioner will obviously have less time to determine this.
We’ll see how what becomes of Vick. I’m more curious about his profession of faith than his football career. Tony Dungy has met with Vick to discuss both. I’m definitely pulling for him on the faith end; the football end….well I’ll see if he ends up in the Bucs division or not.
But it is nevertheless incredibly important that the offended party (obviously PETA is offended because dogs can’t voice their disgust as clearly as this organization), or those responsible for the offended party, make sure to recognize the difference. Otherwise repentance becomes penance, which is useless and horribly offensive to Jesus.