The matter of guns in America continues to be front page news as almost daily there are shootings, where multiple people are killed. Added to this terrible reality is the dramatic uptick in the shootings of those in law enforcement. All this is so very painful to see and hear.
The response from left-leaning politicians and media pundits follows the usual knee-jerk of crying “ban guns.” But getting rid of guns does not address the problem. More laws will not eliminate such violent deaths, as is seen in that some of these shootings have taken place in places where there are very restrictive laws on guns and gun ownership. These laws appear not to be able to keep people from getting their hands on guns. And creating more laws will not solve the matter, because those laws simply will not address the core problem. But even if the many laws on the books were able to keep guns out of certain hands, the truth is that people are also capable of using bombs, cars, poisons and whatever else their minds can dream up, to get their 15 minutes of fame or to execute revenge on their enemies. People get daily doses on how to destroy other human beings in the movies, on television, the internet and in video games.
In America, there has always been an abundance of guns owned by the citizens of this country. But the problem is not gun ownership, the NRA or that there not being enough “gun free” zones. The problem is the people themselves. We are rapidly becoming a violent, immoral society and we, as a nation, are reaping the results of our abandonment of God’s moral standards. As a culture, we mock the idea of moral absolutes. We dismiss a holy God from the public life. We foolishly hide behind “individual rights”. We make excuses for aberrant behaviors and pride ourselves on how tolerant and broadminded we are. And then, when we begin to experience the consequences of these pseudo-standards, we decide it is the evil NRA that is to blame, or Fox news, or gun loving rednecks, or maybe those “hateful” Christians.
Some 1900 years ago, the Apostle Paul wrote authoritatively, in Romans 1:18-32, on what always happens when a culture/nation dismisses God and His standards from their lives. Those who do remove God always descend into two evils: (1) idolatry and (2) all forms of immorality. First, America has become idolatrous. Falling down before carved images in our backyards is not how this is manifested. Removing the Lord Jesus Christ from His rightful place as Creator and Savior, America primarily worships “self,” but not too far behind are rock stars, movies stars, athletes, money, and a myriad of other “deities.” The second part of the built in consequences of removing God and His principles, is a three-fold step downward into immorality. The first step is the widespread acceptance of sexual immorality as a part of life. The second step is the acceptance of homosexuality as legitimate; that which God calls “abominable”, the culture proclaims as good and progressive. The third, is the descent into life without conscience (the “abandoned mind”); which is seen in senseless violence, unrestricted sexual expressions, and the rejection of God-ordained institutions and authorities. This is, as the Apostle explains, the wrath of God manifested in that God allows such people to experience the corrupting, life devaluing consequences of their behaviors. It leads to anger, depression, and hopelessness. And this is exactly what we are seeing in our nation. Do carefully and slowly read Romans 1:16-32, the authoritative treatise on the subject at hand.
The moral standards which used to have a restricting effect on societal behavior has pretty much evaporated as “enlightened,” “progressive” folks do their best to remove more and more of the Judeo-Christian (Biblical) ethic which helped put a lid on bad human behavior. The traditional family unit (with a mom and dad operating on biblical principles given by the Creator Himself) which is the core to the stability of any civilization is openly disparaged. The value of human life was established when God created both Adam and Eve in “the image of God.” But the traditional high value of a human life as found in the Bible is on a rapid decline; as babies are aborted by the millions and the violent behaviors of rape, murder and physical attacks have become common everyday experiences.
I have come to believe that our national situation is much like that of the prophet Jeremiah. God sent Jeremiah to the people of Judah. Judah was under the irreversible judgment of God because they had willfully turned from the Lord God and His standards. There was no way that Judah was not going to experience the judgments of God. And it did not end well for them, as judgment did come in the form of Babylonian armies. However, as one reads Jeremiah, it becomes clear that there remained hope for individuals. Individuals were still be savable.
I personally do not believe that America will be salvaged. I suppose there could be a little pocket of revival here or there, but nothing national. Jeremiah spoke truth to Judah, but the nation did not listen. It seems that our task is quite similar; that of offering hope in the Lord Jesus Christ to those around us. Individual friends, relative and acquaintances can still be saved. The problem is the human heart. As Paul says in Romans 1:16, it is the gospel of Christ that has power to change and bring redemption to the human heart. And that we can share.