April 13, 2023
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
I woke up Monday to the reports of another “mass casualty incident,” this one in Louisville. Some guy with a grudge and a rifle killed 5 people at his place of work. A few days before, some poor, tortured woman breached a Christian school, killing kids and teachers. The beat goes on. Then of course, you’ve got the incidents of mob behavior stopping speakers from speaking, storming government buildings to demand their way. After every incident, the “other side” responds with anger and threats, most of which are only rhetoric. It’s easier to call people names than it is to engage to seek solutions. With all sides garbed in permanent outrage and sanctimony, the hope for actual answers seems slim. With each side calling the other “a threat to our democracy,” we just “harrumph!” and proceed to the next atrocity. What happened to our country?
I’m a pro-gun, pro-life, anti-crime kind of guy. On the other hand, surely there is some way to monitor how many mentally ill people have arsenals. I will even admit that there are some decisions concerning terminating a pregnancy that are ethically very difficult. I’m not ready to make that call for every situation. And, though I appreciate all the work and sacrifice of law enforcement, the folks that do those jobs are still human. Some of them are incompetent, some of them are evil, and all of them make mistakes. On the foreign front, it should come as no surprise that “allies” who are only looking for military and monetary support will cut and run when those things are no longer forthcoming. The question in foreign alliances has to be, “What are the values and principles that bind us?”
So what has happened to our country? It’s simple: We are no longer a godly People. Period. Hard stop. People unable by nature to govern their own impulses are not qualified for democracy. For most of human history, countries or whatever tribal organizations preceded them, were governed by some form of tyranny. Power was exercised from the top down, and the folks at the bottom of the pile had very little hope of ever moving up. Behavior was restrained by threat of force. Western democracies as we now think of them, only became viable with the influence of Judeo-Christian values. One of those values is human dignity. Every person is created in the image of God and therefore valuable. Every person is given the dignity of making choices, for good or for evil, and then being responsible for themselves. When the majority of the citizenry is constrained only by law and not by conscience, chaos ensues. That’s the real threat to our democracy.
At a church dinner recently, we were chatting about the disarray and decay of our culture. One lady opined that, “It looks like the days of Noah.” That’s a good description:
“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. ”Genesis 6:5-6 ESV
If you recall, Jesus said that He would return to a Noah kind of world. Though the earth was drowning in evil, most folks just went on about their business. “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:37-39 ESV).” Maybe it’s time to shift out of business-as-usual mode, and actually try to do something.
As far as we know, Noah, receiver of grace, was the only one crying out as he prepared the ark. Thank God, we have quite an army of grace-bearers available in our day. If we can just quit sniping at one another, complaining to one another, and hiding in our homes, who knows what might happen. I see signs that God is doing something in the midst of the mess. It seems to me we should join Him.
Somebody Said: Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams
Scripture Reading: Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. 1 Timothy 1:8-11 ESV
Here’s the Point: People who are not motivated to please God, either by love for Him or fear of Him, are not able to control themselves. It’s a heart problem. A criminal code that covers every possible crime is too unwieldy to enforce. We can’t hire enough cops to enforce the law when men’s hearts are desirous to do evil, not good. It could be that these really are the days of Noah that immediately precede the Lord’s return. If so, let’s fill the Ark! If not, then we want to stop the slide toward communism for our kids and their kids. Either way, we need a revival of passion for God and compassion for the lost. Anything less is unacceptable. If you see the need but feel impotent, here are a few suggestions:
- Pray! I know you believe in it. So do it! Pray for revival. Pray for salvation for our leaders. Pray for the souls of those who hate us. They are the reason we’re here.
- Stand up and speak up. Don’t just go along to get along. You don’t have to be obnoxious, but don’t give people the impression that you approve.
- Vote your beliefs. Politics and programs are no help against evil. Character matters. Policies matter. History matters. Do your homework and vote.
- Write or call your political leaders. Let them know someone is watching! You can use Facebook for most of them. Your voice matters. Use it.
- Tell somebody about Jesus. One person at a time, we can change the course of history.
- Encourage others to do the same. When you hear your brothers and sisters complaining, encourage them to pitch in.
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