by | Jun 17, 2024 | Depression and Faith

Special Bulletin from the Christian Chronicle

Dr. Terry Powell, Professor Emeritus in Church Ministry at Columbia International University, stood trial yesterday for three charges. According to the District Attorney’s office, the charges are “inexcusable” for a Christian leader who has been in some form of vocational ministry for over five decades.

“Powell ought to know better by now,” emphasized the D. A.’s lead prosecutor, Satan. “He isn’t a baby Christian, for Christ’s sake!”

The Judge didn’t waste any time reprimanding the prosecutor for his language, then allowed him to cite the charges against Powell.

The Case Against Powell

#1 Inconsistent Quiet Time “A couple times in recent weeks, the defendant missed his so-called quiet time. Either he thinks he’s an exception to Psalm 14:2, which calls believers to ‘seek after God,’ or he’s been too busy serving his God to worship Him in unhurried fashion. According to the Bible Powell teaches with such passion, he’s supposed to ‘discipline himself for godliness.’ Look it up in 1 Timothy 4:7-8 and you’ll see that I’m right!  Judge, it’s obvious that Powell doesn’t always practice what he preaches.”

#2  Impatience “The second charge I bring against the defendant is impatience. If patience is a virtue, then Powell is clearly not virtuous!  To save the court’s time, I’ll just give two of the numerous examples I have on file.

“When he experiences a computer glitch that costs him time, he’s been known to mutter stuff under his breath, as if his verbal complaint would resolve the matter. And when traffic was backed up one day last week, he spoke out loud to tell the driver in front of him to heed the green light and move on. (As if the driver could hear his agitated urge to press down on the gas pedal and get going!)

“Oh, he didn’t curse, but he was clearly impatient! Now I ask you, Judge, does this sound like a Christian who’s filled with the Spirit? Last time I checked, patience is on the list of traits of a Spirit-filled person (Galatians 5:22). What does this say about the defendant?”

#3 Not guarding his heart “The last charge on the docket is a failure to guard his heart from temptation, as Proverbs 4:23 calls for. The verse says to ‘Watch over your heart with all diligence,’ but Powell blew it one evening recently. While watching a TV drama, the scene shifted to a seductive scene between two adults who weren’t married to each other. No, it wasn’t on the level of porn and real sex wasn’t happening, yet he lingered briefly before changing channels, knowing how vulnerable he is to thought life issues. He should have immediately left that program, but instead he let the scene linger for several seconds. And to top it all off, he repeatedly tells his students not to trust their heart, but to guard it against sin. Is this hypocrisy, or what!?

“Judge, the defendant has waived his right to a jury trial and you will personally decide his fate. I remind you that the evidence of his sins is irrefutable, because I have everything on tape. The only logical verdict is ‘Guilty on all charges!’ The prosecution rests.”

The Defense Attorney Speaks

Smugly, Satan took his seat, confident in how the Judge would rule. Simultaneously, Powell’s  defense attorney, Jesus Christ, Son of God, stood to plead Powell’s case. Powell chose Jesus to represent Him because he knows 1 John 2:1: “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Here’s what Jesus said on Powell’s behalf:

“Your Honor, the defendant agrees that every charge brought against him today is true. I know it may sound illogical, but allow me explain why he still pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to the charges.

“Terry has owned up to every sin of commission or omission, and confessed them with sorrow of spirit. He daily asks the Holy Spirit to enable Him to live more righteously and avoid a pattern in relation to these sins. He also reports to a close friend of his who holds him accountable. Besides, You and I agreed, before the foundation of the world (2 Tim. 1:9, Rev. 13:8), that My death on the cross would pay for his sins: past, present and future. Long ago, Terry put his faith in My substitutionary death, and he knows that the penalty for his sins has already been paid for by me. My death on Calvary satisfied the law’s demand that sin be penalized (Romans 6:23).

“Legally, due to a doctrine the Bible calls justification, the defendant is not only pardoned, or forgiven, but he is also legally righteous in the eyes of this court. Not only were all his sins erased and then put on My account as his Substitute, but all My perfection during My time on earth, all My righteousness, was credited to Him.  When You look at Terry, You see My righteousness.

“That’s why Terry pleaded ‘Not Guilty!’ He knows his accuser is wrong because there is now ‘no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom. 8:1). Guilt isn’t a feeling, but a status before God. And the defendant’s status is none other than perfect. The Bible clearly states, ‘By one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified’ (Hebrews 10:14).

“Your honor, this whole trial is a farce. Why should Terry stand trial for sins I’ve already paid for?!”

Jesus Christ took His seat, saying, “The defense rests.”

A Quick Verdict

Typically, a judge takes hours to review arguments in a case and schedules a time for the announcement of his decision. But on this occasion, the Judge, none other than God the Father, immediately rapped His gavel so loudly that the ear-splitting noise reverberated throughout he courtroom.

Not guilty!” He roared, then retired to His chambers.

Shortly after the trial, this reporter found out that the defendant is actually an adopted son of the Judge and brother of his defense attorney.  But due to the sterling character of the Judge, as exhibited over a long career (it seems like He’s been on the bench forever), no one is accusing Him of any impropriety or favoritism. One objective legal expert affirmed that the Judge ruled accurately “based on the facts.”

Rumor has it that after the ruling, the defendant visited the Judge’s mansion for a five-course meal, joined by his defense attorney. The family gathering was, according to a neighbor’s observation, a raucous celebration.


What traits and strategies of Satan does this courtroom scene demonstrate?

What truths formed the bulk of the defense?

As a believer, when Satan accuses you for sins you’ve confessed, how does this story help you rebut his arguments?

Please note: comments are closed after two weeks. You are welcome to contact me directly after that time if you would like to share your thoughts.



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