It’s Friday RedStaters – welcome to the Water Cooler – always an Open Thread.
Evil in Las Vegas
If you’ve had enough of Vegas and get no farther than this paragraph, please pray that God will heal those directly affected, their families, our country. And then a prayer for you. And me. For all of us.
The horrible event in Vegas has consumed a lot of my head this week. It bothered me a lot.
We think that this is a nasty or even evil event in a world that for all practical purposes “is what it is”. At least most of the time. Even if we nominally believe that God reigns, hates the evil, wins over it and then we get perfection for eternity. In the meantime we resign ourselves to a world that contains good and evil, and try to keep ourselves mostly on the good side. If we think that we do anything sinful or evil, we think it’s different and unrelated to the other evil around us, especially the big unfathomable evil. And that is a lie.
We think that we know better than our creator what works or is acceptable. We might think we can fix the world, in whole or in part. Or we may think it is beyond our control. We might think the world is getting better. Or worse. We may see our position in-between these extremes. We might think more government will save us. Or less government will save us. Or this certain politician. Or enough politicians like that certain politician. Or all of us chipping in and “doing our part”.
None of this can save us. We are broken. We KNOW at some level that our sin is part of the evil in the world. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All of us. It’s the sin that is the problem, not (just) our leaders. I think America is starting to see that our leaders are a big fat reflection of us.
Sin – that big unfathomable evil, and the “little” stuff that most people might do, has a consequence. According to the Bible, it’s always the same consequence: death. Sometimes we can see a material consequence of sin at mach 3 out of the muzzle of a gun. Sometimes the consequence may be spiritual and as imperceptible to ourselves as the beating of a butterfly’s wings in China. But the seeds of destruction are always sown, and we will reap the harvest. Until we all submit (live and act according to God’s plan) and/or the rebels are removed, we will have sin, pain, and suffering. It’s not God’s fault. It’s ours.
We’ve all sinned. The consequence is death. Leading back to the good news – our God loves us so much that He came down to earth to pay that penalty for us, so that the price could be paid, and us redeemed to Him. He calls each of us to repent of our sin, and to submit to Him. We can then be remade as new creations that can live in harmony with Him.
As Americans, we have responsibility here. And I’m not talking about ridding the streets of guns, or flooding it with them. What is needed is that we stop compartmentalizing evil – seeing and lamenting the big unfathomable evil, while looking the other way in our lives, in our relationships, and even in the leaders we elect. We need to fight the eviction of God from our lives. We collectively need to repent of our practical belief that we have a way to fix this without turning back to God. Then the blessings and peace can follow. We will reap what we sow.
Individually, it’s up to us whether we will someday see the world as it was meant to be: sinless, perfect, and in harmony with God. The price is not political vigilance, nor even working ever harder to be good boys and girls. The price is acknowledgment of our flawed condition, repentance, faith in God’s promise that Jesus’ sacrifice paid our debt, and submission to his will. The only way out of our predicament is the way into God’s arms.