Where is God?

Dear CBC Family,

I have been asked a lot about the mass shooting at the school in Texas. It is in times like this that we as Christians need to be able to give an answer for what is taking place around us. Where is God? What is happening? Is there any hope?

The statement that school shootings are a “uniquely American crisis” is difficult to dispute given their alarming frequency in this country compared to the rest of the industrialized world. According to recent reports, the United States leads the world in school shootings with 289 while the second-place country is Mexico with 8. Despite having 4 percent of the world's population, the U.S. has made up 31 percent of all public mass shootings globally between 1966 and 2012.

The data above is universally agreed upon but the reasons “why” these things happen is where there is much debate. It is our responsibility to bring the Word of God to bear light upon these things to not only understand why this is happening but, more importantly, how it can be changed.

Some people believe that all that is necessary to correct the issue is to have tighter gun control. Other countries have guns and yet, compared to guns per capita, still do not have the violence anywhere near what we do. The facts do not show that simply changing the laws will correct this. The reason for that is that you cannot legislate morality.

Perhaps a different perspective is needed. The United States was founded upon Christian principles. We had a nation that generally believed in God and had a desire to please Him for more than 125 years. In that environment people used their freedoms to love God and love their neighbors. This resulted in the greatest country the world had ever known.

Unfortunately, what we have seen is a country that has, by and large, abandoned God and His truth. Freedom without the restraint of the Holy Spirit will always produce selfishness and violence. That selfishness and love of violence led us to hate our neighbor, kill our children (abortion) and glorify evil (look at the video games our kids play). Prov 21:7 “The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.”

While there was never a time that Americans were good, there was a time we were ashamed of being evil. This departure from truth, from a country that should know better, is only fulfilling what the Bible says will be true in the last days. 2 Tim 3:2-6 “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

Instead of using our freedoms for good we twisted them to perform all sorts of evil and claimed that these actions were our “rights.” Because of our unrepentance as a nation, God has been giving the U.S. over to its sin and thus you see a fulfillment of Rom 1:28-32: “Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”

As you can clearly see, the solution to this problem is not new laws but the new birth. No nation will have peace until the Prince of Peace rules it. “When a man’s ways please the Lord He (God) will MAKE even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Pr 16:7).

As I pray on this situation I am once again driven to the text God spoke to me on September 11, 2001, which was Luke chapter 13. In that text people were asking Jesus, just like they ask me: “Where was God in this? If there was a God, He never would have allowed this….” etc. The error here is to assume that people “deserve” to be treated well by their Creator whom they have sinned against, and are at enmity with.

In Luke 13 Jesus gives one of the most amazing answers to any question He was ever asked. He simply says “Do you think that these people were worse sinners than all the other people, because they suffered in this way?  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”  The point here is critical. Man is in rebellion against God and God is showing us what that rebellion will bring about both now in this life and then, at the judgment, death now and eternal death (condemnation) then for all who are not saved.

The solution to the shootings is not merely a gun control issue but, more importantly, a sin control issue. And until that is addressed, these horrible things will only continue to escalate. For example, England reduced the guns in the population’s hands and then knife crime (murders and attacks by knives) quadrupled.

The answer to the why is this: Man is in rebellion against God and God is giving men over to that rebellion. One fruit of that is violence. The message from that is “repent”. Don’t be surprised that evil men do these things, remembering that none is good; rather, be surprised that all men were not gunned down this way.

What is the solution? The solution is Christians living for Christ and not abandoning their posts for ease and comfort. Jesus did not tell us to move into some sort of religious commune but to live a life of salt and light. He specifically said: Matt 24:45-46 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?  Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” Woe to me if I do not preach and live the gospel.

Since there are 5 weekends this month it means the children we be with us and we will be studying a parable: The parable of the 10 virgins. It comes right after the text from Matthew above, and will tie all the concepts from this email together. This is one of the most misunderstood of all the parables. I look forward to seeing you all this weekend.

Blessings to you all,

Pastor Scott