Violence Is Everywhere

Tomorrow is the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  On that day, June 6, 1944, thousands of American and Allied forces landed on five beaches along the Normandy Coast of France.  This was the beginning of the final assault upon Adolph Hitler and the Nazi German forces that had held nearly the entirety of Europe in its clutches for almost five years.  Thousands of lives were lost as men struggled toward the beaches and then attempted to scale the heights along the coast.  Paratroopers who had parachuted behind German lines successfully destroyed bridges which kept the Germans from getting reinforcements to the battlefront.  And, at the end of the day, the Germans were pushed back - the beginning of a retreat that would be finalized in another eleven months.  Yes, there would be other battles.  Yes, many more American lives would be lost.  But the tide of World War II was turned that June 6th day seventy-five years ago.  Tomorrow is another opportunity for us to remember those who willingly sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.  Pause for a few moments tomorrow and say a silent "thank you." 

In our country violence continues.  America's south has been pummeled with one violent storm after another.  We are on a pass to smash the record for the number of devastating tornadoes.  Oklahoma and Arkansas have been especially hard hit.  And torrential rains have nearly stopped farmers within America's agricultural heartland.  Rivers and streams have long-ago left their banks.  Fields that should be showing the green of corn and beans have water standing deep enough that a boat could be floated therein.  Pastures are so soft that cattle have difficulty walking.  Recently a parishioner of mine asked this question, "Pastor, do you think all this crazy weather is God trying to tell us something?"  I do not think it is merely coincidence that there are such weather extremes, not only in our country but around the world, and, at the same time, an increase in the number and magnitude of earthquakes around the globe.  It almost seems to me that nature is yelling at us and trying to tell us that the King is coming. 

But there is another type of violence that, sadly, is also occurring in America.  It is the violence that is occurring on America's streets, on our high school and college campuses, and in our factories and businesses.  Twelve people were gunned down in a government office in Virginia Beach, Virginia, by a disgruntled former employee.  Over a dozen people were shot and killed on the streets of Chicago this past weekend, many caught in gang-related violence.  There almost seems to be a growing boldness by those who perpetrate violence.  And yet, as I read the Scriptures, the Apostle Paul reminded his readers that lawlessness would increase as we neared the end of the age. 

Finally, I am noticing an increase in violence against children.  Newborns are discovered in garbage containers.  Daily our nation's emergency rooms and urgent care centers receive young children as patients.  Many will never recover from the injuries they have sustained because mom's boyfriend became angry because of their constant crying, or mom was in a drugged high and did not notice that her young daughter had gone out into the cold weather without a coat.  This violence against children greatly disturbs me, yet I am not surprised that it is happening.  In fact, to be brutally honest, there is a logic to its happening.  If, as a culture, we have approved the murder of children before they are born, then why should it be considered wrong to murder children after they are born?  If I do not want my child before it is born because, in many instances, I don't want to be inconvenienced by that child - I know that there are often many other circumstances involved in the decision to have an abortion, but many of them come down to the matter of convenience - then why can't I get rid of my child, let's say at age 2, because I don't want to be inconvenienced by her?  After all, she does not give me the freedom that I want; she consumes a lot of my time and resources.  And, friends, I have not even shared about the evils of the sexual exploitation of children; something that has reached almost epic proportions. 

These things are all happening because we have abandoned a biblical worldview that is based upon a moral and ethical foundation given to us by God.  The church I pastor is waking up to see that one of our responsibilities as a church staff is to guide the parents of our children and teens to know the biblical worldview.  How can we infuse within our parents a desire for a biblical worldview and then to help them disciple their children into that same worldview?  It will not be easy as each one of us is constantly being immersed in the humanistic, secularistic, post-modern, and even post-Christian worldview.  It is imperative that we get our families back into the Bible where they can anchor their lives with biblical truth.  If we fail in this assignment, then we might just realize the reality of that statement: "the church is one generation removed from its extinction."  From time to time I will let you know how we are doing. 

Meanwhile, as I say almost every week, keep looking up because Jesus IS coming again!! 


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