Is your Christianity being challenged? A simple question with a complex answer for all Christians (myself included). In light of the recent events in Florida, tensions are high and patience is low… but let’s go back to December 14, 2012 when the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary took place… or back to July 20, 2012 when a mass shooting happened inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. According to an article found at http://www.thenation.com* there were 16 mass shootings in the US in 2012 alone ranging from domestic violence to racial motivation to just plain senselessness. Those 16 mass shootings do not include the number of individual shootings that occur on an regular basis all around the country. So again, the question remains “Is your Christianity being challenged?”
When things are going great (or, at least, pretty good), it’s easy to fall into a false sense of complacency, but what happens when evil rears its ugly head? Do you run to your thoughts and opinions OR do you run to the Word of God? It’s easy to run to thoughts and opinions because those can be justified, but it’s a lot harder to run to the Word of God ESPECIALLY when that Word says…
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” -Matthew 5:44a (NKJV)
…because we want to hang on to the Word that says…
“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” -Revelation 21:8 (NLT)
…but we forget that while we are here on Earth, the Word also says…
“For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” Matthew 5:45b (NLT)
Everyday that we wake up and see the sun shining or the rain falling, we have another chance to get it right and that applies to ALL OF US. In fact, with the exception of Jesus (aka the Son of God, at all points tempted but without sin according to Hebrews 4:15, etc), the Bible is written about real people trying to get it right with God and with each other… much like many of us. What we need to remember in times like this is that:
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” -Eccleciastes 3:1-8 (NLT)
I’m not a theologian, but I like to think of this as the “Passage of Appointed Opposition”. There is a time for (blank) and a time for (the opposite of blank). I’m not sure where we are as a country in this passage, but as Christians living in this day and age we need to re-evaluate ourselves to find out what we can do to make it better and LOVE EACH OTHER like God loves us because that love begins in each and every one of us. No one ever said that it would be easy to do, but think about it like this: if it was easy, everybody would do it.
The bottom line is that we ALL need to pray for this country, we ALL need to pray for each other, and we ALL need Jesus to be our Lord and Savior continuously… each and every day… now more than ever before.
What do you think? Shared wisdom makes us all stronger.
*Article Reference: http://www.thenation.com/blog/171774/fifteen-us-mass-shootings-happened-2012-84-dead