Thursday, February 7, 2013

There's got to be something better...

cbsnews.com

What's the deal with this rash of violence we've seen in recent months? Is it really all about guns? Is it about mental health? Is it about violent movies and violent video games? Are people just worse than they used to be? Or maybe all of the above?

Do you ever wonder how different things might be if we hadn't made a concerted effort over the past decades to rid ourselves of any sense of responsibility and accountability to the God of the Universe who made us to glorify and enjoy Him forever? When we tell people there is no God, then naturally, they do what is right in their own eyes. 'What's right' is going to differ from person to person, and what 'right' does anyone have to tell anyone else that anything is wrong? or that anything is right?  Maybe kidnapping children is their thing. Maybe killing a classroom of kids is their thing. What does it matter? Who's to say it is wrong to do it?

We can hardly turn to society to be our standard. We saw what happened with the goodness of society in the Soviet Union under Stalin, in Germany under Hitler, etc.. Society cannot be counted on to do the right thing. And besides, what IS the right thing??

How did we get to the point that we cringe at a TV commercial which shows a homeless, abused dog, but go through our day with little or no thought of the million unborn babies murdered in this country each year.

We want to think that we are moral, but outside God, there is no morality.  He is the standard. He has given it to us to obey - for our own GOOD, so that we can love Him and enjoy life and prosper and be happy and help our neighbor. It is all good. But when we turn away from Him to the dark side, there is no longer any standard. When we get rid of God and make up our own rules, then the guy who held that little boy hostage in the bunker has every bit as much right as anyone else does to do what he wants.

We all know, whether or not we'll admit it, that things in our society are dreadfully wrong. We know there must be something better.

Ephesians 2:1-10

"It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. 

You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. 

It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.


Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.- The Message

"To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."

Jesus: the only One who gives us hope and a future.



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23 comments:

Suzan Sweatman said...

I was so afraid for that little boy Judy, I can't tell you, thought it was going to be another terrible ending.
I think it's a terrible recipe of all of the above at this point - it's a terrifying world today -
Having said that I know a lot of moral people who are not religious - really I do -
And a lot of religious people who are absolutely nuts - so I don't think that's the answer - half of these crimes are done by devoutly religious people after all.
Personally I think there's an epidemic of Mental Health issues going around.......something is very wrong - with people - with the planet - with the whole infrastructure.
Blessings to you,
xxx

Trace4J said...

PERFECTLY SAID!
AMEN!
Warm Blessings
Trace

EM Illustrator said...

It's a tough world we live in these days. Enjoy your day

Terri D. said...

Well said, Judy. Very well said. I agree with you! I do think the media is somewhat to blame for making violence such a sensation. There has always been violence in the world, but now it is all we hear about. We need to hear good news, too, and the best "good news" is in the Bible and preached in our churches. We, as a society, really need to get back to church. A Godless society is just as you described it. Praying about it, everyday.

Cranberry Morning said...

Being religious and following Jesus are two different things. In the first, we rely upon ourselves and try to muster up our own 'goodness,' but followers of Jesus know there is no righteousness in ourselves. Our trust is in Christ alone and His righteousness.

I totally agree that nutcases abound - those who are religious and those who are not. But following Jesus by faith and 'religion' are not the same thing.

Suzan Sweatman said...

You're completely right -
Thanks Judy for pointing that out - they are NOT the same thing at all
XXX

Sandra said...

i was listening to a preacher on the car radio yesterday and he was talking about this. he made a comment which i think is true.
he said, our country is in a culture battle and we have already lost that battle...we have become a country of don't censure anything, if people want to watch naked people on the screen let them, you don't have to watch it, that is the mentality.. our world has become sodom and gomorrah all over again..

Parsley said...

Oh Judy...THANK YOU! I couldn't agree more. If everyone carries their own 'moral compass' then there are no absolute rights or wrongs.

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Yes I think you have nailed it. We have turned the mentally ill on the streets. Their rights to do whatever supersedes the rest of the population and as well we are increasingly violent with no moral compass. How come you and I can see this but our leaders are like a bunch of nutcrackers running around passing laws. When has that ever solved societal ills? Porn on every computer and smart phone for every young man to just look at any old time. I fear for my four girls.

Dewena Callis said...

Judy, even Christians are so afraid today to be honest about their belief in God and Christ. We water it down to be more acceptable. And there are certainly plenty of people who call themselves Christian who are so venomous that cause people to be down on all Christians. It's not a popular thing to repeat what Jesus said, that he is the way, the truth and the life. Even Bill O'Reilly on t.v. says there is a N.T. loophole for good people. Oh, how I wish there were but I can't find it in the Bible. I know many wonderful people who are not Christians. Honestly, I like being around them more than some who call themselves Christian. I don't think we ever lead someone to Christ except through love, except that they see something in us that makes them want to know Christ.

As far as all the problems today and especially the violence, I have to remember that God is still in control.

Ellie VanCaster said...

I just don't know where this is all bringing us-I'm a little frightened for the little ones coming up, what will their world be like?

Denise said...

Speak on sweet sis, love you.

Rachel said...

I totally agree with this post. At lunch today a friend and I were wondering if the violence had increased or if we were just being made more aware of it. It seems like all these "bad guys" are getting their 15 minutes of fame. I think mainstream media is to blame for some of it.

The Zeigler Homestead said...

Definitely a sad world we are living in. It leaves you not wanting to trust anyone. It most definitely has everything to do with not acknowledging God and doing our own thing. I'm afraid it's only going to get worse because there is too much politics involved - which makes it even more disgusting. God help us!!

Chatty Crone said...

Think about this one - the same people who want gun control - might believe in abortion - how does that make sense. (You know who I am talking about.)

Olive said...

Sad times my friend and yet here I have exciting news. We attend a church started by four couples eight years ago that has been meeting in a high school. Many are coming to the Lord Jesus. We are breaking fire codes and now have four services every Sunday. We are involved in many aspects of our community helping the broken, the hurting. People are hungry for the truth. Life is messy and we get messy but that is what it takes. No sitting in the pews and soaking. I think the "church" has failed by having too many folks who sit in the pews and soak and never get involved in making disciples.

Carla said...

Thank you Judy, a well written post.

As my husband and I work on raising our boys, we wonder what kind of world they will live in. We pray for God to guide us in raising them for Him.

Praying with you.

Angela said...

In her comment above this, "The Zeigler Homestead" said, "It most definitely has everything to do with not acknowledging God and doing our own thing."

No, it does not. I disagree strongly with this common sentiment that implies that those who don't believe in a god are inherently more selfish and violent than those who do. Statistics show that crime rates are significantly lower in more secular cities and countries than they are in more religious locales.

If you'd like to take a look at the facts, one place to start is p. 7 of this article: http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf . (At the end of the article, there are 9 full pages of valid references supporting his claims.) Here is a relevant quote:

"Murder rates are actually lower in more secular nations and higher in more religious nations where belief in God is deep and widespread (Jensen 2006; Paul 2005; Fajnzylber et al. 2002; Fox and Levin 2000). And within America, the states with the highest murder rates tend to be highly religious, such as Louisiana and Alabama, but the states with the lowest murder rates tend to be among the least religious in the country, such as Vermont and Oregon (Ellison et al. 2003; Death Penalty Information Center, 2008). [...] Of the top 50 safest cities in the world, nearly all are in relatively non-religious countries, and of the eight cities within the United States that make the safest-city list, nearly all are located in the least religious regions of the country (Mercer Survey, 2008)."

Interestingly, the violent crime rate in the U.S. today is about equal to (and in some cases lower than) the violent crime rate in the 1960s, and it is quite a bit lower now than it was in the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Check out the Department of Justice's site and search on the entire US, Violent Crimes, 1960 - 2010.

Tammy Chrzan said...

Completely agreed!
Way too many people confuse faith in Christ and religion.
Jesus himself had a detest for religion.

Under Her Wings said...

However one tries to skew the crime rate, there is one very important thing to note: Jesus said, "I am the Way,the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father but by me." John 14:6. Whatever else we have to say, that is the bottom line. The cause of violence and crime is SIN, pure and simple, secular or religious. "Religious" people are not the answer to crime prevention. Even those who don't believe in God (or claim they don't), if they follow the principles of God, become less violent and more considerate of the lives of others. So anyway one looks at it, the Bible is the source for all that is right and good. I pray that those who follow godly principles yet do not know Him, will recognize His worth and give their lives to Him. The reward is great. Eternally!

Anonymous said...

So, Angela, when are you moving to North Korea? They have NO RELIGION, other than State Worship, and their crime rate is very low. The drop in US crime rate has decreased as the gun ownership rate has increased. Opposite in UK since guns were confiscated and the moral structure has collapsed. The no-religion states of 20th century resulted in the democide deaths of approximately 100 million people, but they had a 'low crime rate'. "Researchers" can make a case for almost any position, right or left.

Angela said...

Good morning "Anonymous"! :)

By "The drop in US crime rate has decreased as the gun ownership rate has increased," I assume you mean the crime rate has decreased (not that the rate of the decrease has slowed). OK, so here's where we are:

* The crime rate in the US has decreased over the past 40 years. (Do you agree?)
* Gun ownership rates have increased in that same time. (I haven't looked this up...I'll take your word on it.)

Is there a cause-effect relationship here? Can the increase in guns be given credit for the decrease in crime?

* While the crime rate has decreased and the gun ownership rate has increased, the number of people who are religiously-unaffiliated in the US has drastically increased. (See "Long Term Trends in Religious Affiliation" in http://www.pewforum.org/unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx )

How does this fit into the mix? If guns are being credited for the decrease in crime, then the godless can't be blamed for a non-existent *increase* in crime.

My whole point in all of this is that one can't legitimately say that the non-religious are to blame for crime, when society's crime rate has decreased while the numbers of non-religious have increased.

I'm not saying it's a cause-effect relationship; I'm not saying that *because* fewer people are Christian now, the crime rate has decreased. But there is a correlation, and one cannot state the opposite and claim that *because* fewer people are Christian now, the crime rate has *increased*. Because that's just not true.

Kevin said...

Angela, correlation does not imply causation. You should know that.

But now to the more important issue. Why do you feel the need to get on here and argue? What are you so angry about?

Don't let your anger or whatever it is blind you to the truth. Do you realize how LITTLE research it takes to destroy the myths you've built your rebellious world view on? I take that to mean that you're not interested in truth, you're interested in having an excuse.

Today is the day of repentance. Turn from your apostasy and come back to the faith. When you do, you will be welcomed with open arms.

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