As I perused the headlines of the day, I have to admit it looked bleak and I fought back a sense of approaching doom. It's Christmastime and I'll be darned if the celebration of the birth of my Lord and the Savior of the World will be disparaged by the profound immorality and wickedness of mankind!
At this most holy time of year, what must God be thinking? Do we seem to be getting closer to reconciling with Him, or further away? Is my narrow/current perception of the state of mankind accurate, or are we just repeating the sins of historic man? In today's world, does the birth of the Messiah still have meaning?
During these last weeks and months, it's as if the total depravity of man has amped up the playing field, sensing that it is on a winning streak and going for broke. Just consider the headlines: Belgium Considers Euthansia for Minors & Alzheimer's Sufferers; and France Opens the Door to Medically-Assisted Suicide. And you know that many of our legislators and elitists think that what's good for Europe is good for us. I suppose, in all their "we-know-what's-best-for-society" brilliance, they think they are qualified to make these life and death decisions. Let me get this straight .... God has created each and every one of us in His image, and He knows every hair on our heads. I happen to believe that He knew me at my conception and knows how my life will play out; that includes the state of my health and the exact way I will pass from this world. For any doctor or governmental agency or "system" to presume that they can overrule God's determination of any person's life is pure arrogance and rebellion against God's authority. He must be grieving at our ever-evolving readiness to devalue life.
There is also the ongoing debate over gun control in this country. Just as the Federal Government seems to think they can legislate a collective solution to our healthcare system and our poor economy by redistributing wealth, they will now attempt to legislate a collective solution to the insanity of individuals who use a firearm to vent their anger. It is my belief that "stopping the violence" is just a code phrase to appease the masses. The real intention behind their moves are to control a free society. Being largely Godless themselves, they cannot conceive that America was a Divine experiment; whereby God, for a short time in His plan of world history, gave His creation more liberty and freedom than man has ever known. It was theirs as long as they could defend it against the inevitable hunger for power and dominance that man's sinful nature craves. He gave this exemplary nation and its citizens the desire for independence and self-determination, along with the ability to defend themselves against tyranny.
And now, not desiring to let "any crisis go to waste", the actions of one sick individual will be exploited to take away the one right of individuals that can guarantee their freedom. Those of us who believe in the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms, are being demonized as out-of-step and an aberration to the culture. Indeed, we have been designated as the bloodthirsty "gun culture". We have been depicted as backwoods rednecks, "clinging to our guns and religion", responsible for the recent rash of gun violence against innocent, law-abiding citizens.
I would refer you to a blogpost by Daniel Greenfield, in which he disputes this generalization: Your average school shooter is unhappy and angry, irreligious, incapable of fitting into a community and filled with rage that he exercises through violent fantasies. His culture isn’t gun culture. It’s loner culture. Video games do not cause him to kill, but they are how he entertains himself until he can get a taste of the real thing.
Adam Lanza, Dylan Kleibold, Eric Harris, Seung-Hui Cho, James Holmes, One L. Goh and Jared Loughner had as much in common with what the Michael Moore Fan Club thinks of as "gun culture" as Michael Moore does with the working class. Whatever gun culture they had was not the American Scots-Irish culture of the hunter, the rancher and the militia member, but the urban posse of emasculated men of no worth that brandishes weapons as a way to get respect.
So what must God be thinking when He has shown us throughout history what has happened to societies who gave up the right to defend themselves? Haven't we learned anything from Nazi Germany? A weapon-less society is no longer able to protect themselves from the "bad guys", whether they be those who are intent on mass murder and obtain their guns unlawfully, or a despotic leader who wants unlimited authority. I confess to being disappointed in the so-called "pro-gun" politicians, as well as the retail and online stores who have buckled to this knee-jerk reaction and obvious pressure to appear "humane." This I know: more laws on the books won't stop the crimes. The laws we have now didn't stop them. Evil will always find a way.
Just as it found its way over 2,000 years ago, when another "Massacre of the Innocents" was conducted by a tyrannical ruler who feared the influence of a baby born in a manger. He, too, slaughtered the young of a village to assuage his depraved soul. And he didn't need a gun to do it.
In conclusion, I think you will agree with me that if you read the headlines, or listen to the news reports, the world seems to be degenerating into a spiral of decay and destruction. But I venture that it is no more dark than it was when God, Himself, entered His creation. The reason He came then is the same reason we have hope today. As Max Lucado prayed so powerfully after last week's shooting, ""Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger. This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us." Amen.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight."