Having been a clergyman for over forty years you know I do not casually use 'redemption' in the above context as a reference to salvation. Rather, it is 'rescue', from an entrapment that is as riveting a story as the LOST television drama that aired its final segment on Sunday. For Paul and Zabeth the redemption issue is a settled matter for they devoutly believe in the Saviour of the Bible – Jesus, the incarnate God-man, Son of God who came into the world to lay his life down as a ransom for soiled humanity. Soiled in the sense that, if God is God, perfect in all that pertains to deity, humanity cannot approach him for relationship apart from Christ's substitutionary sacrifice. Paul and Zabeth have placed their faith and their hope of personal redemption exclusively in the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Their family redemption/rescue is still undecided, at least as far as we know. Will the children be released to return to their mother's and father's house? This makes the story so compelling.
As with the extended fictional drama of LOST, viewers are waiting – waiting for the Judge to make a ruling. No one knows whether any of us who love the primary characters, will be as content with the conclusion as most people are content today with the final episode of LOST. You may think that the identity of the protagonists in this story is a matter of interpretation, that is, whether they are the MCFD social workers and managers or the parents of the three children. As an author I write the story with Paul and Zabeth being the principal protagonists. But this is not a fabricated script. This is reality. When journalists record the news, most of us want it up straight. We don't want a journalistic slant, a leftist or rightist or moralistic pitch. The reason why in my account Paul and Zabeth are the good guys is because I believe their story. If these two people were child abusers and refused to admit their criminality, an outcome that places the three children in another family home where they will be reared with security and opportunity for advancement, would translate into the MCFD team being the good guys and everything they have done would be viewed as good and the final result would be good. Yea team. However, if these parents did not harm their child and have never harmed their children, and have been maintaining their innocence in the face of allegations and court orders; if the medical examinations were correct but the conclusions were in error and; if all the medical data applicable to these children was complex enough to have been misjudged by the professional experts to whom the MCFD listened, then the parents are the good guys and when they are vindicated all the fans will cheer. Yea redemption.
But if despite their innocence, and despite the misrepresentation of their characters and conduct, their children are not returned to them, then this is nothing short of a Stephen King horror.
I can't believe it, 200 and still counting.
This is Part 200. Consider this! Two hundred days, 200 blog posts. And the Baynes have been (952) 946 days without their children. I stand corrected as per comment below.
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Call to Repentance by Stephen Sawyer