God’s Answer To Hate Crimes

(Proverbs 1:16)  “For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.”

The recent beating of a transgender person at a McDonalds in Baltimore this past week was posted on YouTube until it was recently taken down.  Words can’t describe the viciousness exhibited by two young women as they punched and assaulted the helpless victim.  Although the video was only three minutes long, the beating reportedly went on for more than ten.  Charges have been filed and there is discussion over whether this is categorized as a “hate crime.”  The law may squabble over how to brand this crime because of external circumstances.  But Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, leaves no doubt.

“…their feet…” and those who “make haste to shed blood” are the “sinners” Solomon warns against in verse 10 – “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”  Regardless of how the attorneys argue in this case, the root cause will never be economic, environmental or emotional.  It will never stem from racism or religion.  All hate comes from the same place: sin in the heart.  Any other label we place on it is descriptive and masks the true origin.  We don’t have to go very far in the Bible to see the path man’s heart follows when his flesh is allowed to reign within him:

(Genesis 6:5)  “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

The Apostle Paul, once a perpetrator of hate crimes, gives us the solution to hate crimes in Galatians 5:14 –  “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”  But a fleshly attempt at love is difficult at best.  Man can’t tame the flesh.  The answer to hate isn’t more legislation against hate crimes.  The only way to stop hate crimes is a changed heart. The cross provides every person the opportunity to experience for themselves the love of God.  The Holy Spirit working inside the heart provides what God provided for us through Jesus Christ: love in spite of ourselves.  Galatians 5:22 tells us the fruit of the Spirit is love.  This is God’s answer for hate.  Personal and real experience of the cross and resurrection life provides a source of love that can never be equaled in education or legislation.  The only solution to hate crimes and all hate is the reality of Christ living personally through each of us.  A society free of bondage to sin will be free from the burden of hate crimes.

Renewed Thought – God’s response to those who hate Him the most is still unconditional love.

 

A Myopic Christ?

(John 14:6)  “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Is Jesus the only way to God the Father?  He thought He was!  He claimed to be!  This is clearly a contradiction of the human philosophy that there are many ways to God.  When someone claims “all ways lead to heaven” or “there are many ways to heaven,” they are claiming to know more than Jesus Christ.  Those who have a “broad mind” believe they have a wider view of God’s Sovereignty than Jesus Christ.  Therefore, they must hold to the idea that Jesus was limited in what He knew in regards to Heaven and the path leading to it.  But what revelation gives them this knowledge?  At end of it all, there is no authoritative source for the “many paths” viewpoint other than man confirming his own self-induced revelation.  It is man believing he is more knowledgeable than Christ.  If this is the case, then Jesus was clearly deluded in His claims to be God and the way becomes no way.  But if this isn’t the case, and those who have a “wide” view are wrong, then they truly missed the narrow way to life and are speeding down the broad road to destruction.

Renewed Thought – If there are “many ways to God,” then Jesus Christ cannot be one of them.

Saved From Depression By Hope

(Rom 8:24)  “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

If the here and now was the sum total of our existence, what purpose outside of the physical would our lives serve?  The contributions of our efforts, our life-work, our highest achievements, our wildest dreams would do nothing more than provide for the present reality of ourselves and those around us.  As our physical abilities fade and our bodies age, purpose would also seem to dwindle.  This would lend credence to the hopelessness of the godless.

But as regenerated children of God, our purpose resides in Someone higher than ourselves – the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our hope rests in Him, our future is entrusted to His care and our life-work is dedicated to His glory.  As we see our physical abilities fade, our bodies age and even the threat of death invade, do not despair.  The salvation from depression over distress rests in our hope.  This salvation is the kind that lifts us up when we are down.  This salvation helps us see the light when we grope in the darkness of suffering.  Even as we suffer and we see creation suffering around us, we are delivered from the emotional bondage of despair and depression.  We have the promise and the assurance that our physical bodies will one day be free from the curse of sin and the suffering will only be spoken of in the past tense.  We will live forever in the presence of God.  Our future experience will be the realization of our present faith.

Renewed Thought – One key to deliverance from suffering is to live by faith, knowing our present reality is never more real than what God promised for our future.