Perspectives

What is the answer?

By Jon Allen
Posted 8/8/19

As I contemplated what would be the subject of this column over the past week, it became clear in the last 48 hours.

In response to the devastating and destructive shootings within 24 hours in the …

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Perspectives

What is the answer?

Posted

As I contemplated what would be the subject of this column over the past week, it became clear in the last 48 hours.

In response to the devastating and destructive shootings within 24 hours in the past couple of days, questions arise and answers sought as to the reason and solution to this increasing trend of violence.

It only takes a few moments of scanning social media to see the myriad of solutions our culture offers to such hurt and destruction. 

Some seek gun control while others believe that this measure would not solve this ongoing violence. There are cries for hearts to be changed. And in all of the solutions sought and offered, a call to prayer flows through.

So, what is the problem and what is the solution? While I consider these questions, I am apprehensive to take a complicated issue and oversimplify it. This is most certainly a complex concern in our current culture and one that’s prevalence is increasing. So, mindful that I not minimize or understate the issue, I believe the Bible has the answer to this situation as well as every concern that faces us.

In response to such violence, it is often asked, “Why would God allow such violence and destruction?” 

To answer this, we must understand that this was not his intent for us. He designed a perfect garden and created people to dwell there and dwell with him in close relationship. Unfortunately, those he created turned from him and chose their own way. The Bible calls this sin which separates us from our God (Romans 6:23).

Romans chapter one tells us that God’s character is revealed in his creation. And, living in the Big Horn Basin, we see that in the beauty around us. This chapter goes on to tell us that in spite of his revealed goodness, our thinking became futile and our hearts darkened. 

You see, God had a better plan, but as we turn away from his plan and choose to follow our own, sin takes hold and darkness prevails. With the concern of oversimplifying, this is the problem.

The solution is to reverse the sin. And God, in his love for us, sent Jesus as an atoning sacrifice to overcome this sin. You see, there is nothing we can do to fix sin on our own. It is only by the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus this can be rectified. John 3:16 tells us that is exactly what God did. Our response should be to accept this truth and act upon it by trusting in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to fix the problem. 

I hear you saying right now, “So, how does this fix the violence?” “How does this reduce and even eliminate the destruction?” 

The answer is that our nation turns back to our creator. We can start with a return to being “one nation under God.” After 9/11 there was a natural desire to seek God. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long, and as a nation, we turned again to our own plan and away from God’s. This is a broad solution. So, how do we start to make a difference?

In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we read, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear them from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

So, let us pray for those who have been hurt by this violence.  Let’s lift them before God and ask for his comfort and healing. They need our prayers. But, let us also turn back to God. Let us humble ourselves, turn from our sin and seek the way of the Lord. This is the solution. We must once again become “one nation under God.”

 

(Jon Allen is the associate pastor at Grace Point in Powell.)

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