Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Monday, December 17, 2012

There is no denying the existence of evil...

Last Friday proved that! If you didn't believe in the existence of evil before the 26 innocents, including 20 precious children, were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, pure evil reached out and slapped you in the face. Hopefully it did anyway.

After the tragedy, I saw and shared pictures on Facebook of a fictional conversation that's been circulating probably since Columbine. Someone asks God, "Why weren't You there to stop the killings at the school?" God replies, "I'm not allowed in school."

When I shared that picture, several commented that God is in the schools, in the hearts of every child, every faculty member, and every staff member who believes. I understand that, and certainly agree. God is omnipresent, everywhere at once. He lives within all of us who believe, and travels with us in our daily walk.

Still, the point emphasized in that short conversation is a valid one.
"16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." -- 2 Timothy 3:16-17

We agree that taking God out of schools is impossible, but our society has done everything in its power to take the teaching of Godly morals and Biblical principals out of our schools. From lawsuits to remove the 10 commandments to lawsuits to stop schools from saying the Pledge of Allegiance because of the "One nation, under God" line, a small minority has successfully forced districts across the country to remove any reference to God or Christianity from school campuses.

I remember last year, a very devout Christian student came to my classroom for the first time. He was a senior in high school. When he saw the Bible on my desk, he asked, "Isn't that illegal for you to have here?"

It's not illegal to have a Bible on my desk, just like it's not illegal to wear a cross or other religious symbol at school. But so much of our society has been convinced that outward expressions of Christian faith are banned from our public schools, that a virtual ban exists.

Teachers fear reprisals if they display a Bible or other evidence of their faith. Schools have removed posted Bible verses that teach the very morals and character our nation was founded upon. The Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory are taught as fact in the science classrooms of our schools in spite of the fact that major flaws exist that make absolute proof of either impossible.
"20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith." -- 1 Timothy 6:20-21

Even 2000 years ago, Paul recognized the attempts of scientists to undermine the Word of God. But still, our nation was founded on Biblical principles 1700 years later. Judeo-Christian values were taught in our schools, represented in our laws, and observed in most of our homes for the first 200 years of our existence as a country.

In that time, we rose from a small band of loosely collected former colonies to the irrefutably most powerful nation on earth. God's blessings were poured out upon us. Yes, evil existed even in those early days. It reared its head from time-to-time. But virtue in these United States was far more common, far more recognizable than it is today.

I cannot help but believe part of the disappearance of virtue and moral character in our society is directly linked to the absence of references to God and Biblical teaching. We have replaced that teaching with "knowledge" that seeks to defy the existence of God, or in some cases, simply a void, a sort of black hole that encourages kids to define their own morality.

In too many cases, the result is a completely self-centered, self-absorbed individual with no consideration or concern with the rights and welfare of others. In the most extreme of cases, an individual who, when life doesn't turn out the way they want, doesn't give them what they believe their entitled to, they seek to exact revenge on society with violence against innocents.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." -- 2 Chronicles 7:14

We've been turning away from God, as a society, for decades now. Our country and our culture are in a state of precipitous decline, as evidenced by events like the Sandy Hook shooting. Some point to legislation to heal our nation, but I don't believe more laws will help.

Our hope lies in the Lord. Our only hope lies in a return to the Judeo-Christian principles that lifted this country from scattered settlements in the wilderness to the greatest, most powerful nation on earth in less than two centuries. Our only real chance to turn the tide is to once again make Jesus Christ the center of our culture and again embrace the values He preached two millenia ago.

I pray that God will strengthen and comfort the families of those beautiful, innocent persons who were killed last week at Sandy Hook Elementary. And I pray that their deaths will not be in vain. I pray that this senseless tragedy will work to turn Americans back toward Christ and the principles of love and charity He taught, so that we can once again be a nation worthy of God's blessings.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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