Violence and Sin
To The Editor:
The recent violent crime wave that has swept our city recently evoked a heartfelt letter pleading for a cure. A cure however will never come about until we acknowledge the cause and our contribution to it.
Man is inherently evil. He desires to turn away from what is right and good, he makes himself a god, deeming what is right in "his own eyes" and has not the slightest inclination to obey his creator. This is called sin, people, and every one of us is guilty of it. Fortunately, God in his omniscience knows this, and had given us his word and his Law. He has done this to convict us of our sin and recognize our need for a savior, his Son, Jesus Christ.
Every sin, regardless of whether it be murder, disrespectful behavior, rebelliousness or a lukewarm attitude towards God and his Word, separates us from a life abundant in peace. It separates us from one in which we can enjoy the protection and communication with God, ensuing in a life of joyful servanthood to our creator.
The answer lies not in building community centers, skate parks or ATV courses. It lies in a very auspicious, yet undeclared, and dare I say it, unwanted solution: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
In order for violence to decrease, we must be willing to acknowledge our own sins. Engaging in sex outside the marriage convenant, conceiving children out of wedlock, the neglect of a day devoted to the things of the Lord (Sabbath), irresponsible parenting of not training our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord are just a few that come to mind. We must be willing to confess these things to God, have a heart of true repentance (a turning away from sinful things) and finally through the power of the Holy Spirit live a life worthy of Him who has saved us from our own vile selves.
We can build entertainment centers, but until deep down change occurs in our own hearts and lives the violence will not only continue, but it will escalate. I challenge the religious leaders of this community to begin preaching God's word in its entirety, not just what makes people "feel good" about themselves. I challenge our city council to open their meetings with prayer and invite youth leaders to start Bible studies in neighborhoods for our young people who are in dire need of not just a "place to go" but deep spiritual truths even more so. Finally, I challenge each Christian to stop living this half-hearted attempt at following Christ, but become obedient and bold in your witness for him. Determine in your families to attend worship services together, not just send the kids to Sunday school for some "religion". Honor God's Sabbath day by spending the day (yes, the DAY) in spiritual activities, discuss with your children spiritual matters and not how the Phillies are doing, what's on sale at the mall, or attending to chores that can be done during the week. Spend time during the week in God's Word and prayer. If you don't know where to begin, try reading a chapter of Proverbs everyday to gain wisdom and insight.
Our attitude should be one of prayer, humbleness and an honest seeking of God's forgiveness for the neglect we have shown our spouses, children and Him. Only then will change occur, will lives be spared and God will be placed on the throne of our lives as he so richly deserves.