There is blog after blog today with people weighing in on the horror in Newtown, CT. There’s one here decrying selfish individualism and one here from Pastor John Piper if you want to read them. It is heartbreaking when things like this happen. And this will not be the last one. I have watched very little of the coverage, although I watched the evening news last night. As expected, the topic of guns and gun control is already on the lips of Brian Williams. I don’t own a gun. I will say I believe evil people will always find a way to do evil things. The largest killing of schoolchildren was in 1927 and the person used three bombs. That being said, the purpose of my blog today is not to debate about guns. I want to debate about Jesus.
The President of the United States said, “As a country we have been through this too many times…” There are no simplistic answers to these kinds of random horrors. However, as a follower of Jesus and as a pastor I always believe we need to first look to Jesus for answers. I understand everyone doesn’t believe that. And in our country, of course, if you don’t believe in Jesus that’s your right as a citizen. The United States and Jesus agree on this point – I (we) can’t make you believe in or worship Jesus. You don’t have to believe and I can if I want to. You may think I’m wrong to believe and I may think you’re wrong not to believe. One day, we’ll both find out who was right. Until then, we should agree to disagree and I (and we who believe) should pray for you and others who do not believe and do not worship Him. I’m OK with that. And yes, I’m well aware of the problems with Christianity over the years and there are still a small fringe of irrational people who do bad things in Jesus’ name. But today in America, 99% of New Testament believing Christians do good things in their communities and are assets to our country. You may disagree, it’s your right.
I spoke to someone yesterday about a concern they had. The person talked to me about a local high school, Point Pleasant High School, and their gymnasium where the high school students wrestle. Some wrestlers and some parents painted Bible verses on the walls of the place they wrestle. From what I gathered with my friend on the phone, there is one person who doesn’t believe in God and complained about the Scripture. Now they are going to paint over it. We also recently lost the right to bring the elementary school kids to a local church for lunch, a craft, and a Bible lesson one day a month. The kids had to have a permission slip and 99% participated, telling me that 99% of the parents WANTED their children to learn about Jesus one lunchtime a month.
I’m not claiming that if the Scripture remains in the schools that the violence will end. But I cannot fathom why this person feels the need to have the Scripture removed. If he or she were Muslim, I could better understand it. But if someone believes that the God whom the Scripture is about does not exist, and that no God exists, why do they care? And if the Scripture and the belief in that God has a chance to teach morals, bring peace, tell kids they are worthy and loved, and make our society a better place, then why have it removed it even if you don’t believe?
Is it a coincidence that our country is drifting further and further from Jesus and things are getting worse and worse? I believe there is a correlation. I believe the further we as a country get from Jesus and His teachings, the worse it’s going to get. You are welcome to disagree. As for me, I will apologetically preach the love and commands of Jesus. It’s my right….. for now.