Several weeks have passed since the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 lives were taken in a senseless act of violence. In the subsequent weeks that have followed there have been over 600 reported “copycat” threats on school grounds in the country, with 41 of those in Western Pa. alone.
In the immediate days following this event, students from Marjory Stoneman and many from the Hollywood arena began what has become a rally cry; “we don’t want your thoughts and prayers’, we want action.” Most notably this has become a rally cry for stricter gun control measures. It is not my wish within the parameters of this blog to delve into the merits of the 2nd Amendment, rather I wish to directly address the premise of the rally cry; “we don’t want your thoughts and prays’.”
My first inclination when I heard this was to think, ‘how ironic, the world didn’t want Christ Jesus in school in 1962 and they still don’t want him!’ As a Christian, I will never fully understand a secular worldview that doesn’t want Christ Jesus. Instead of seeking out and embracing a God who sent His one and only Son to draw us into a personal, salvific relationship with Him, secular man instead looks to himself. Instead of looking up to God, mankind looks down to each other, and declares; ‘I fully expect broken mankind to fix broken mankind.’
Friends, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you. That just isn’t going to happen! Simply put, broken man, doesn’t have the ability to fix broken man. In Scripture we read that “we are dead in the trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), that “there is no one who does good” (Ps. 14:3), and “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). In conjunction with these verses that incriminate us and declare us guilty, secular man responds with defiance and defense, after all, no one wants to be charged with a guilty verdict. Instead, secular man agrees with Scripture (of course unknowingly) and cries out “there is no God”. Only when crying this out, they fail to realize that they are instead “a fool” (Ps. 14:1).
I must conclude that the only way I can overcome the evil and sin that is inherently part of my DNA is to run as fast as I can into the arms of the Savior Jesus Christ, who painstakingly incurred the sum total of all my sin and in turn gave unto me a righteousness that declares in me a ‘not guilty’ verdict. This my friends is the good news of the Gospel! God showed that He is just and that He is the justifier. He declared that I am free from the bondage of sin, that I am justified in His sight and I am therefore in a ‘right relationship’ with Him. This is the heart of the Christian faith, and it is available for all who put their trust in Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.
For those who do not want my prayers’; I am truly sorry, but that is what I have to offer. Even if God had granted me the wisdom of Solomon, I am afraid that I still would not possess the “action” needed to resolve the infection of sin and evil. Instead, what has already been offered, Jesus Christ, is more than enough, He is everything and while you worry about the here and now, about your flesh and bones, He worries about your soul. One is temporary, the other forever. Which one say you is more important?
For those who don’t think that prayers are enough, hear now the Word of God, as given to Paul when he wrote to the Philippian church back when being a Christian was to do so under penalty of death;
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6,7)