Friday, June 19, 2015

Guns??? Really????

Nine people lay dead in a church.  In a church for God's sake.  A place that should be a refuge.  A place of safety.  A place where people go to connect with God, not a place where people go anticipating to literally meet Him face to face.  I have to say, as I read the initial stories coming out of South Carolina, I was a bit numb.  I didn't know what to feel.  How to feel.  I didn't know what to say, or how to say it.  I was just numb.  To be honest, I still am.

Then, before the investigation at the crime scene is even completed, here comes politics into play.  I was outraged by it all, to say the least.  Guns??? Really??? We are going to go there before the blood of 9 martyrs is even dry?  Let's not waste a tragedy, right?  Let's stand on our soap box and declare our political position on gun control before the story becomes yesterday's news.  Pardon me, while I puke.

Let me be clear! I'll not smear the memory of nine of my brothers and sisters in the Lord, with a statement on where I stand on gun control. Today, that point is irrelevant.  This is not the time nor the place to give room for that debate.  In the aftermath of such a tragedy, to take opportunity for political propaganda is disgusting and as Americans we should demand more from every leader regardless of their party affiliation.

A young man, full of hate, walked into a church and killed a group of people that looked different than him. A group of people who had a different skin color.  The why is the real issue, not the how.  Hatred!!! Regardless of how it looks, the driving force is a tainted heart. A heart full of hatred for another.  While the "experts" will analyze this in order to minimize the possibility of it happening again, I can assure you any solution that doesn't address a heart change, will not solve anything. We live in a society that wants social change but wants only to deal with surface issues.  We want to suppress the real answer, while screaming from the mountaintops, man made antidotes that have as much chance at ushering in real change as an aspirin has of curing a brain tumor.

Lock the lunatic away or, put him to death.  Regardless, of the penalty, apart from a heart change, he will go to his grave with a heart full of hate. Take his weapon away and the hate remains.  Let's not pretend here that hatred to the point of killing another needs a specific way to get what it craves.  Cain used a rock, but a stick or a few well placed right hooks would have got the job done as well.  Hatred is ugly and when not dealt with can manifest in ways unimaginable.  Hatred has many more faces too and is not limited to those with different colored skin.  There are those who hate those who think differently; those who vote differently; those who worship differently; those who speak differently; those who dress differently.  There are those who hate others because of their economic status, or educational level. There are those who hate because they've been wounded or abused.  There are those who hate because they've been raised to hate.  Regardless, of the face it wears, the root of hate is always the heart.  Any solution that doesn't begin and end there is a complete waste of time and energy.

Hate is not a political issue, a cultural issue, or a religious issue. It can't be fixed by politicians, political correctness, or some man contrived religion.  Hate is an issue of the heart and as such can only be remedied by the Creator of man's heart.  Jesus came to do just that.  He came to change the heart of man.  He came to create in mankind a clean heart, a heart void of hatred and malice.  He came to empower us to truly love one another.  Ours is a culture that wants no mention of this Jesus, but apart from Him there is no other answer to this problem.  Jesus changes hearts.  Jesus is the only One capable of replacing a heart of hate with one of real love. I don't know what will become of this young man who walked into that church and murdered those 9 believers.  I don't know if he'll carry his hatred to the grave.  But, I'm reminded of a man in Scripture who once sought out believers and persecuted them.  Until one day, he encountered the Heart Changer on the road to Damascus.  On that day everything changed.  His hatred for those who thought different than him was replaced with a heart of love and compassion.  My prayer, for this young man is that he too, would encounter Jesus in the same way as the apostle Paul did so many years ago. Jesus was, and still is, the answer for the world today.

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