Like many of you, I had a great life growing up. I didn't fear being bullied, kidnapped or shot. I was able to safely walk to school, play outside with friends, ride round town on my bicycle, and explore and enjoy my neighborhood.
For several years we even lived in downtown Lancaster, just five blocks from the square. I walked alone to school every day. We walked to church both night and day. I loved to explore the stores downtown, all by myself. I enjoyed the city and never had any fear or reason to worry about my safety. Decades later I had the opportunity to again explore that neighborhood - during the day - and I admit that I was very uneasy about my safety. No longer would I do that at night.
Today we live in a completely different era. We are threatened by terrorists and now nuclear weapons. Almost daily there are shootings - many deliberate and even some drive-bys. We need to be alert in malls, in schools, and even in our churches. Brutal robberies have become more common. Dangerous drivers on drugs, alcohol or with distractions like texting and cell phones abound and threaten our safety. Dangers surround us and we must live with it.
And everybody seems to have their own solutions for the problems. Many blame the government for our problems. And while part of the blame might lie there, politics can't solve problems of morality, especially with the godless morality that we have seen displayed in government circles.
Now there is a major push, especially by young people, for more gun controls. I do wonder why some of these guns are necessary for anyone, but I think that limiting them by the government sets a dangerous precedent. What will they limit next - Bibles or churches because they aren't politically correct in today's society? Seems to me that this has happened elsewhere throughout history. And I think criminals will continue to get guns, by any means, no matter what the government does.
How about more money spent on mental health? Sounds good and might be needed, but until we deal with spiritual health it will have little impact on our safety, no matter how much money is poured into it. And who will determine who is unstable? Will Christians be labeled as unstable? What did Hitler do to the Jews? Think about that. It's a slippery slope!
What about greater security in schools? Good idea, but not a solution. Most schools now limit public access to buildings. I still wonder how the shooter in Florida gained easy access to the building. Where were their security controls? I did see a spacial on how one school has trained their students and teachers to lock doors, hide out of the view of folks in the hall and even use turned over desks as shields. That seemed to me to be a good tool, especially for middle and high schools. Arming teachers? I would never have wanted to carry a weapon in school when I was teaching and it seems to me that this could cause too many accidents and other problems.
I did read an interesting article that said that 75% of the shooters came from one parent families, without a father. And 42% of students today do come from one parent families. Maybe one of the major causes of this violence is the degeneration of the home. And what can the government do about this? With the immorality recently revealed in the lives of government and media leaders, the obvious answer is - nothing. And what have churches done about this? Too little.
In my mind the obvious cause of what is happening today is the attack on the Bible and Christianity. We condone killing of babies, so of what value is life? We take down displays of The Ten Commandments, so what rules do people have to guide their lives? The ACLU fights to eliminate all mentions of Christ and the Bible, so what of eternal value do they have to replace it? Movies and games feature violence and even parents allow their children to participate but do not encourage them to participate in church or Christian activities such as Awana.
Satan is alive and well, although it is not politically correct to talk about an actual Satan. We are in a real spiritual war and right now it appears that evil is winning. May Christians wake up to this fact and start putting on the Full Armor of God and depending upon the Lord for daily wisdom, guidance and protection. Satan may win many battles, but Christ wins the final war.
The hymn "The Fight Is On" by Lelia Morris reminds us of the battle. The chorus says:
The fight is on, O Christian soldier,
And face to face in stern array,
With armor gleaming, and colors streaming,
The right and wrong engage today!
The fight is on, but be not weary;
Be strong and in His might hold fast;
If God be for us, His banner o'er us,