Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Still We Remain Silent

     Last week 17 students and school staff were killed in yet another school shooting. This one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida. This latest massacre brings the death toll to 214 who have been killed on American school campuses since 2000.

   It didn’t take long for politicians and activist groups to put their particular spin on this tragedy. Democratic leaders immediately saw this event as proof that the Unites States needs more stringent gun control. As expected, Republican leaders took the position that these shootings cannot be controlled by more gun legislation. Each is singing the same song that they always sing when these mass murders occur.

     The Christian community has also responded as expected. We condemn the act, point out that it is the result of the sinful condition of mankind and offer prayers and condolences for the victims and their families. While none of those responses are wrong or unnecessary, I wonder if we are doing all we can, or all that we are commanded to do.

     Five years ago, after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting (26 killed) I wrote that “the problem is that we are sinners and we desire sin. There is no law that can correct it; there is no law that can contain it. There is only one cure for this condition – the Gospel.” Only Jesus can change our sinful nature. This is the only way to effectively address the rampant evil in our world.

     The problem is that the majority of Christians still choose to remain silent, we refuse to share the Gospel with a world that desperately needs to know. If we won’t tell them about Jesus, how will they ever know? If Jesus is the only way, then how will they ever find the way if we are unwilling to show them. It seems that we are content to sit in our sanctuaries and watch the world spin out of control. The only words we are willing to speak are words of condemnation (or in support of our 2nd amendment rights). It seems that somewhere along the way we have lost our passion for telling others about Jesus.

     The simple truth is that this unabated violence will continue as long as Christians choose silence. Jesus said, “No one lights a lamp and puts it in the cellar or under a basket…”(Lk 11:33), yet that is exactly what we have are doing. We are hiding the gospel away while our country experiences the effects of our negligence. What would we say about a corporation that callously withheld life-saving medicine while all around them were dying? Can we claim to be any different?

     Jesus told His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:19) and that they should “preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mk 15:16). These are commands, not suggestions. If we continue to remain silent then we not only condemn the world, we disobey our Lord.

     It has often been said, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about who’s in office.” As it applies to Christians, “If we don’t share the Gospel, we can’t complain about the moral condition of our country.” In Jesus, we have the only prescription, we must share it. It’s the only way.

     As always, we should continue to pray, but we are commanded to do more. We are commanded to be His witnesses.

In His Service,