I saw a clip of the Morning Joe Show where they were talking about the things needed to control the shootings that have been going on. They talked about gun control, psychological testing and the violence coming out of Hollywood. A few days before, I watched another clip of an NRA supporter saying that gun control just amounts to people control.
Jesus addressed a situation similar to ours when He walked the earth. What was happening then was that the Jewish leadership was establishing “precept upon precept, line upon line” (Isaiah 28:10 NKJV) The result was that he called the leadership “whitewashed tombs.” (Matthew 23:27) The reason was that the leadership was “experts in the law...load[ing] people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and... not [willing to] lift one finger to help them.” (Luke 11:46) The freedom that God intended for His people by walking in relationship with Him had become oppression that some revolted to get out from under. As time went on, Rome took Israel over and made the oppression even greater.
Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) He said that He had come that we should be able to live life more abundantly. (John 10:10) However, He also said that His way was a narrow way and few would find it. (Matthew 7:14) What does that have to do with our present state in America?
According to surveys done by Barna Associates, the Southern Baptist Convention and others, the number of evangelical Christians in America is declining. In addition, the number of church attenders in the mainline denominations is falling. Churches are closing on an almost weekly basis. The number of students coming out of our schools that do not know Jesus or the Christian heritage of our nation is astounding. We are a post-Christian nation. We are also reaping the fruit of our falling away from Jesus and principles of God’s Word.
It does take people control to maintain a low crime rate in a nation. However, it is not people control as is being proposed by the media and government. It cannot come from the outside in, as the Jewish leadership once attempted. The control that has to be done needs to come through an individual personal relationships with Jesus changing many individual hearts in our nation. Jesus would condemn outside control by a leadership that has its own moral heart problems today just as He did 2,000 years ago. In addition, we stand condemned ourselves, if we do not individually bow our knee to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The word still says, “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.” (Philippians 2:10)
It is our nation’s individual and collective sinfulness that has gotten us to the state we are in. The church is partially responsible, because we have not done things like Jesus taught.
What was Jesus’ prescription? First, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11 NKJV) That means living as He lived. In order to do that successfully at all, we need to have a personal relationship with Jesus, meeting with him on a daily basis and learning to walk by His Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:13) Second, He also called us to pray, both in His teaching and by example. In the Gospel of Luke alone, there are 23 instances where it says Jesus went off to pray.
Last of all, Jesus called us to be salt and light. (Matthew 5:13-16) We can’t do that if we are silent when evil arises. We have to live as He lived, respond in love as He did, but also with His truth just as He did. Loving everyone as Jesus did does not mean that we condone their sin. Jesus did not ever condone sin.
Unless we are engaged in all three of these actions, we will not see out nation survive. I pray that we do. I love America and I mourn for the state that she is presently in. But, I also have great hope in God’s mercy, that he will answer the prayers of those who are His for America’s spiritual restoration.
This column is by Frank Clark. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.