VEGAS: SIMPLE, NOT SIMPLISTIC

Vegas Shooting

What positive could we possibly glean from the Vegas shooting?!  The most disturbing question on everyone’s mind is: How could a seemingly average man do such a thing?  For all the theorizing, he wasn’t that different from any of us. The comfort is in knowing that God has always known.  It’s at the core of His message to us.  There is an answer that is simple, but it is far from simplistic.  It is the foundational reason of why this happened, and how to guard against such darkness.  It deals with really understanding the nature of sin in all of us; how it really works.  I’ve never read a better explanation than this devotional from Oswald Chambers which you can access from our church website’s DEVOTIONAL PAGE.  Chambers’ article (Thursday) wasn’t written as a response to some recent shooting.  It was written in 1935 before people ever conceived of such things.  In summary, he writes:

The nature of sin is not immorality and wrongdoing, but the nature of self-realization which leads us to say, “I am my own god.” This nature may exhibit itself in proper morality or in improper immorality, but it always has a common basis— my claim to my right to myself. When our Lord faced either people with all the forces of evil in them, or people who were clean-living, moral, and upright, He paid no attention to the moral degradation of one, nor any attention to the moral attainment of the other. He looked at something we do not see, namely, the nature of man.   …  

God nowhere holds a person responsible for having the heredity of sin, and does not condemn anyone because of it. Condemnation comes when I realize that Jesus Christ came to deliver me from this heredity of sin, and yet I refuse to let Him do so.

Romans 6:23 makes the simple statement that “the wages of sin is death”, but death comes in many contexts and forms.  In how many ways did this “average man” die before raining death on so many others?  In how many steps and choices did he refuse to be rescued from our inherited sin nature, but instead he walked further into it?  There is nothing good about a senseless mass killing, but the good news is; God has the answer for it- why it really happened, and how to guard against such darkness.  The depth of the answer is beyond the scope of a little email, but those alive in Christ  can know this: We can grow in the answer, for the answer is not a psychological profile, social program, or law; it is a Person.  It always has been.

“Jesus said to them, “I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I AM!'” John 8:58 NET

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El Diablo

ElDiablo_pic

“Those kids were playing their hearts out, but it was just so natural to try and cheat their way to heaven!”

You have to love what kids can teach you!  It was the third day of Kid’s Camp on the lake.  The theme this year was focus on goals.  Sarah was teaching a great lesson on heaven as a goal.  The kids were attentive and asking questions well beyond their years.  We’re all impressed with how well the lesson went; and now on to our favorite camp game, “El Diablo.”  It’s kind of like sharks and minnows, only with a spiritual twist.  The goal is to make it to the far line (heaven) without getting tagged by “El Diablo.” Continue reading “El Diablo”

CHARLOTTESVILLE

Charlottesville_picAfter the Charlottesville demonstration blew up in the news, I found myself asking, “What exactly, is the alt (alternative) right?”

I didn’t care much for what I found, but I admit, I was amazed at the extensive world out there!  For example:

Beside the blog group with the name sake, “Alt Right”, there’s the Identitarian movement, a white nationalist movement that advocates a return to “traditional western values”.  The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi white supremacist website; the Traditionalist Youth Network which supports “white supremacist view of Christianity” (as if that’s possible); The American Nazi Party; National Anarchism out of Britain that subscribes to each race living in their own confederation; The Council of Conservative Citizens, an American white supremacist group, and the list goes on and on. Continue reading “CHARLOTTESVILLE”

THE CROWD-SOURCING OF TRUTH

Religion_newIt was an unexpected phenomenon in our new world of computerized connectivity.  Many people can speak into the same issue at the same time and many people can be exposed to those proclamations in real-time.  A certain dynamic has been set in motion: No matter what it is; if enough people say it, then it’s true!

An offshoot of our Wikipedia generation is the proliferation of those little pictures with the quasi-clever sayings. Continue reading “THE CROWD-SOURCING OF TRUTH”