The gut wrenching cry of the day is “why?” Why do shooting like the one in ___ happen? Why do they seem to be increasing? Why little children? Why? Why? Why does there seem to be a hopelessness that has griped our country? Why do young men seem to be lost and snap taking with them innocent lives? Everyone from the preachers I had lunch with to the talking network TV heads I listen to this evening are asking it. Why? None of this is said to be smug or sound intelligent - I’m weeping too at this. I have grandkids who will sit in public buildings for school, or church, or ball games and I can only imagine the grief of these families. So not a word of this is said to sound like anything but one also looking to answer the “why’s?” thrown into the air at a time like this.
I remember sitting on the white oak, unpadded pews of the old straight shot traditional building in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama. A city that of late had seen it’s own share of senseless violence. It was a seminar and a brother Waggoner was preaching. What was 40 years ago seems like yesterday in my minds ears. He used a word that was too big for me to grasp - “humanism.” But I did get what he said about it. If man is as big as God then we will learn not to value human life. If we worship the create over the Creator we will collapse as a culture. His words were powerful and thick with impending doom. And some folks didn’t like the taste of them. And...and...true.
We have removed God from our schools and replace Him with social values. We have removed Bibles from our dining room tables and replaced them with remotes and laptops. We have removed Christianity from our capitals and replaced it with tolerance. We have removed the threat of judgement and the fear of hell from our churches and replaced it with seeker sensitive positivity and mega church imitating marketing.
I don't mean to sound hopeless, but without a serious course change, well, we are. And our culture has grown more corrupt. Our teachings have given way to tolerance. So should it shock us that people do not value the life of a human any more than that of an animal. That, with no fear of retribution from a God who made them in the form of His Own Self, we can end that life easily. We have a world that is sick - that groans under the weight of sin and that will continue to wander without direction - unless direction is given. What is life if there is no God, or if God doesn’t care how we treat His laws, His Word, the church He gave His Son to die for?
And for a few days we say we were wrong and people will look for ways to connect with others, and be nicer, and watch how they treat others. But we will forget again, go back to our old hard-hearted attitudes, amuse ourselves with our gadgets, distract ourselves with sports and shopping......until we change hearts lives will not change. Until we respect God and His Word again nothing will really change.
Humanism is a failed project. Humans are corrupt and trying to pull God down to our level will not work. Until we come contritely to Him seeking to submit and learn how to live from the One who created life and wrote the Manual on it...well...we are lost.
But He did not leave us hopeless - in fact He is our Only Hope (1 Thess. 1:3)!
"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).