Letter to the Editor

We must recognize we life in an evil time

Thursday, December 20, 2012

To the editor:

How could God? As we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, our peace has been broken. A horrible massacre of the most innocent. Reminiscent of the Pharaoh of Egypt trying to kill Moses and the massacre King Herod committed in fear of the birth of the Prince of Peace. If you are asking yourself, "How could God allow this?" take a moment and examine scripture with me.

After the Flood

Genesis 8:21 "... the LORD, and he said to himself, 'Never again will I put the earth under a curse because of what people do; I know that from the time they are infants their thoughts are evil.'

King Davids confession of sin

Psalm 51:5 "I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived, I have been in sin"

The Prophets

Jererimah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Jesus quoting the prophets

Matthew 15:19 "For from your heart come the evil ideas which lead you to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others."

God did not do this evil act, a man with a sin sick heart did. And there is only one cure; not psychology, drugs and therapy but Jesus Christ. So what then is to be done? There are two possible answers: the Secular world (i.e.: all other religions and atheists) and Christianity.

The secular world answer.

You will hear from psychologists and others saying, "It is a psychological problem, we can stop this, 20 years of testing proves with drugs and therapy." No, it is an evil heart that does this, "... who can ever understand it."

Then there are the type that live in a bubble who will complain about a "gun culture." There is no gun culture in America -- there is a a culture of self-defense and self-reliance and a culture of someone else has to take care of me. We either know that the world is evil or we live in a dream bubble that the world can be made good by disarming the public. The deliberately ignorant and so-called comedian Bill Maher and others of the Hollywood ilk will call for gun control as they live behind a cadre of 24-hour armed guards. And then there is Washington, D.C., members of the House and Senate will do the same as well as our current president and use this event to make political points and try to write new laws. "Don't worry," they will say. "We will protect you from yourselves," as they speak from behind there own wall of 24-hour armed guards.

The founders of our country, steeped in Biblical knowledge, knew and understood the heart of man and that it was evil and the people needed to protect themselves from the evil men and evil governments. Yes, we do have police officers who are woefully underpaid and overworked. They cannot protect us from all the evil that men do. So then I invite all the Hollywood types and politicians to pay for 24-hour armed guards for every citizen of the United States, rather than just thinking of themselves. Since I am sure they will not happen then we the people, must take personal responsibility for our own protection.

The Christian answer

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." Maybe putting the Bible back in the schools will help, maybe allowing prayer will help, but these are primarily the responsibility of every parent, not the school. Nothing breaks our spirits like these events of the past several days. And the idea that God is no longer allowed in school is mistaken at best by many Christians. God does not need our permission to be somewhere -- He is King, he is everywhere. As the Psalmist write, Psalm 139:7,8 "Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!"

Sadly, there are those, mostly the atheist and the marginal Christian, who will say they cannot believe in a God who would allow this tragedy. So they only believe in God to blame Him. So what then is to be done? In the words of the old confession of the church, "My fault, my own fault, my on most grievous fault." (the mia culpa). No I did not and you did not pull the trigger, but our own evil as Jesus and the prophets point out is always the problem, and He, Jesus, is the only solution. Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." God alone creates a clean heart. This is done confession of sin and faith in Jesus Christ who has paid for all sin even the sin of this young man.

Be sure of this, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is now weeping at the side of each and every parent touched by the evil of one young man. It breaks His heart to see the evil in this world and the pain we inflict on one another. This is not the world He created; it is the world of mankind and evil that we do. So then we repent, we call on the Lord for forgiveness, we work for righteousness here and we kneel next to victims and weep with them, remembering there will always be great evil in this world until He returns. And we pray, "Come Lord Jesus."

And finally, as the old prophet wrote, "He who is sluggish in prayer, and slothful is negligent in serving his brethren..." Yes, idleness in prayer is lazy and a great sin. So then, do as Jesus taught, pray! Pray for those families in agony, our churches, our country and the world, in the manner that Jesus taught. Matt 6:5,6 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." All of us can do this. And we can begin each day with our children in prayer and Scripture, not knowing what this day may bring, but accepting life from our Father's hand whether it be joy or sorrow.

And as I close, at this time as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, but our peace has been broken. Turn to the Lord, in prayer and repentance, seek his face, call upon His name, and work to make this world safe. We cannot stop every inhuman act but we must recognize the time we live in is evil and will remain so until our Lord returns. Gods' richest blessings on your day.

Solo Deo Gloria.

Dennis Fitzpatrick
Pastor, First Lutheran Church