something has to change

Something has to change!

Let’s do a social experiment.  Let’s set a limit on the ability of folks to purchase weapons. Let’s start with a limit of no more than 1 weapon per eligible, background-checked, and vetted (tested for major mental health issues) person.  And le’ts completely prohibit the sale of weaponry attachments that turn single-fire weapons into automatic weapons as well as completely prohibit the sale of assault style weapons to the public.

I’m all for people having guns.  Even as a hobby.  I have zero problem with that.  I have zero problem with people wanting to own a fire arm for self-defense and have the right to bear those arms.  What I have a problem with is the notion that limiting the sales of certain kinds and amounts of weapons is taking away a persons rights.  I also have a problem with the idea that says until we can solve the reason behind why these mass shootings seem to be happening more and more we can’t really do anything.  And beyond that I have a problem with the thought that trying to limit weapons purchases or prohibiting certain weapons is somehow an ignorant blaming of these atrocities on the weapon.

It’s not the weapon’s fault.  I get that.

It’s the messed-up person’s fault.  I get that.

The messed-up person with evil intent will find a way, even with one weapon, to carry out his/her horrific plot.  I get that.

Good-intentioned people need to have the right to defend themselves against crazy people like mass-shooters.  I get that.

But not one of those ideas is a good reason to NOT limit the sale of certain types of weapons or the amount of weapons a private citizen can own.

The only people who need to own 36 weapons are police departments (not even individual officers) and military personnel in certain positions in the military.   No one needs 36 weapons.  There’s a reason this man in Las Vegas bought so many weapons.

As a Christian, I know that the heart of this problem is just that, the heart of man.  But while I can’t change the heart of man, I can put restraints in place that hold back the evil that wants to kill.  God hates a heart that devises wicked plans (Proverbs 6:18).  And He holds those in authority accountable for restraining people who carry out their wickedness (1 Samuel 3:13).  Keeping the general public from having an accumulation of weapons seems like a perfectly reasonable option for a start in the direction of restraining the evil in the heart of men like the man who terrorized Las Vegas with his wicked plans.

What’s your thought about what we should do as a society about the problem of mass shootings?

Solving the world’s problem’s on the treadmill

I always think out these theological arguments when I jog.  It usually starts with seeing buff men and women out there on the gym floor pumping iron while I run like an uncoordinated giraffe on the treadmill.

When I look out on a crowd of people, especially people working hard to achieve some level of physical fitness or strength, I think about the fact that we are made in the image of God.   I think about what C.S. Lewis said,It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.”   And what the Psalmist wrote, “I said, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.’” (Psalm 82:6-7).

It’s part of what I believe that shapes how I view and interact with people.  I tremble sometimes when I look around and think about the souls all around me.  And when I walk a bent over 90 plus year old woman to the bathroom at work I think about the fact that she was once 16 and 21 and 42 and has a whole story.  She’s a creature of God!  She’s an immortal soul created in the image of God for the purpose of resonating his wonder through her life.  Even as she hobbles to the bathroom.  

 I look at all those bodies trying really hard to get bigger and be stronger and look sexier and I think,  “We’re all gods!”.  We’ve been given so much power and dominion and bear the image of God.  We are not God, yet we act like gods all the time.  Deciding what’s right and wrong.  Making rules and enforcing them.  Declaring what’s just and unjust.  Creating amazing works of art, science, structure and food. We champion causes and teach our children what we believe they should and shouldn’t do.  And yet we deny that there is a God and declare that we are merely random results of time and matter.  We are gods declaring there is no God.  We are broken, confused, evil gods that, at times (by the common grace of God), do good.

We don’t want there to be a God because the want to be the gods we deny that we are.

I heard a story on the radio of a woman who was angrily calling into a debate where she declared that the whole agenda of the debate was to deny her the right, as a woman, to do with what she willed the life of the baby growing inside her.  She carried on in her rant against the debaters questioning what kind of a God would take away the innocent lives of people in an earthquake or natural disaster.  And one debater asked the lady if she would answer him this one thing:  How can you declare any notion of a God who would take a life in a natural disaster an evil God while at the same time declaring your right to take the life of the child growing inside you as right and just?

We are insane gods.  We declare what’s wrong is right and what’s right is wrong.  We claim for ourselves the right to the power we declare would be wrong for a perfect, loving, holy, pure God to have.

I don’t understand a lot of things about God.  I don’t see why.  But I know this: I am not able to see or understand and therefore I have no right to claim I know better.  I would much rather come under the judgement and mercy of a perfect God than to align myself with the twisted reasoning and declarations of an imperfect human being.



Thinking,
Sheila

Mothers, Kings, Spider Webs and Arrogance

WARNING: HEAVY POST!  I have to get some things off my chest.

Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zehariah.  And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD.” – 2 Kings 18:2

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem.  His mother’s name was Hephzibah.  And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD...” -2 Kings 21:1-2

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.  His mother’s name was Jedidah… And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD…” -2 Kings 22:1-2

A mother can change the course of an entire nation.  A mother is one of the most powerful and influential people in the world!  And all power is given, and taken, from Almighty God.  What a high and amazing calling we’ve been given as servants of Christ to be mothers!

Maybe one of the greatest lies of feminism is that motherhood is slavery or drudgery or a waste of talent and power.  Mothers stand in a position of power at least as great as kings and presidents… they are the molders of kings and presidents.  Not that these verses are about mothers.  And not that mothers are to be worshipped (feminism can swing the other way too).  God saw fit to include the names of the mothers of some kings who effected radical change on their nation for good or evil.  If He saw fit to include it, I think I should pay attention.

Each child is responsible for their own actions before God alone, and his mother is responsible for her actions in molding the future leader of a nation before God alone.

I hate pornography!  It’s a drug more powerful and more destructive than cocaine and heroin combined!  Apart from the moral putridness of it, this science should be enough to cause alarm for us residents of a pornified culture. If I could champion a social cause, the obliteration of pornography would be one of them!  Hezekiah removed similar “high places” in his day.  Maybe God would raise up a son of this mere momma to do the same!  It’s poison that has personally damaged my psyche and the psyche of many.

You know it’s funny to me how we are.  Actually it’s not funny at all, it’s a horror!

I love Christ’s righteousness and I hate man’s.  You know why?  Christ’s righteousness is unchanging!  It’s solid.  You know what’s right.  It doesn’t change and have a 5000 page legal-lingo code full of loop-holes to describe it.  Christ’s righteousness is pure!  It’s totally free of perversion or filth.  It doesn’t say something is evil for you, but for me it’s ok as long as no one gets hurt.  Man’s righteousness is a tangled web full of trap doors and booby traps and poisonous spiders.

For example:

On one floor of one building a newly forming human life is being fought for with thousands of dollars of medical technology and specialized doctors and nurses, while on another floor, in the same building, that same newly forming human life is be burned alive in his mother’s womb or slowly ripped, limb from limb.  I hate man’s righteousness!

I’ve worked in women’s health as a nurse since 2001.  NEVER, never, does a physician have to kill an unborn baby to save the life of a mother!  NEVER!!  But ALWAYS, always, a physician must DELIVER an unborn baby to save the life of a mother.  If the unborn baby is unable to live outside the womb, every measure is taken to give life an opportunity to take hold, and a mother an opportunity to grieve.  The prescription for a pregnant woman who’s life is in danger due to her pregnancy is always the delivery of the baby.  Never the killing of the baby.

And then we wonder why the news is full of stories of young women killing their newly born children.  Why should she be prosecuted when in a sterile building in her town the same act could be done as a “right” and called a medical procedure?

I hate man’s ideas of what’s right!

I love Christ’s idea of what’s right:

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” -Matthew 18:5-6

A society, a person who seeks to preserve life, may loose many a life, nevertheless the honor of Imago Dei is upheld and the health of the person and society grows.

In case you or a loved one is toxic with the poison of pornography, here are a few resources I have found very helpful:

1.  Encouragement and Truth

2.  Practical Gospel Help

3.  Accountability Help

I do not take this for granted.  This is most remarkable.  That I would be given the privilege to address the most influential people in the world… A woman on her knees, sways more in this nation than a thousand three-piece suited, Wallstreet jerks.” -John Piper

“Men look at pornography out of an arrogant desire to see women in a way that God does not allow. They show arrogant defiance to God’s commands, rejecting the delight of sexual intimacy in marriage and deciding for themselves what they believe is better — looking at naked women in porn. They show arrogant disregard for God’s call to selfless marital love. They show arrogant derision for the female actresses whom they should be seeking to respect as women who need to hear the good news of Jesus. They show arrogant disdain for their own children by hiding their sin and inviting the enemy into their home and their marriage. They show arrogant disrespect toward all those who would be scandalized if their sin were known. The root problem with men who look at porn is not neediness — it is arrogance.” (110)

“Until God is your chief concern — until sinning against him is what makes your heart break — you will never turn the corner.” 

– Finally Free, Fighting For Purity With The Power of Grace by Heath Lambert 

 Quieted,
Sheila

The problem of evil

I was asked tonight why God doesn’t end the evil now, why wait? I was asked why pray to a God who is going to let evil continue?  “Why pray He’s not going to change His mind, He’s going to do whatever He’s going to do anyway!”

I feel like I failed miserably in my attempts to answer.  I pray somehow, in my weakness, God would show Himself strong and speak truth in the ears of the ones with understandable questions.

As I sat tonight after reading about Elijah, calling on God in a set-up to prove nothing is impossible with Him and that He alone is God, and after reading the prophecy that some day, the lion will lie with the lamb, and after reading Peter’s letter to answer the questions about why and how long- he said God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but wanting everyone to come to repentance.  God is waiting for us.  He is not slow in bringing about His promise to bring evil to an end, He is patient to draw us out first.  After I read all this, and watched some of my questioners fall asleep as I read, feeling like my words were falling on sleeping ears, feeling like no awakening was getting in, I went out to the couch and watered the word I spoke with my tears.

And I called on God, the God who is God even over Connecticut.  Even over sleeping ears and doubting hearts and questioning men.  I cried:

Why shouldn’t I call on You Lord?  Who should I call on?  Should I call on no one?  Shall I hide in my hobbies?  Or TV?  Or music?  Or food?  Or politics?  Shall I stick my head in the sand and act as though nothing is happening?  Shall I carry on numbly as though nothing is ever going to change?  Shall I act as though I can save myself and live the good life while those around me fall victim to evil?  Shall I call on politicians?  Or philosophers?  Shall I call on new laws or religious leaders?  Shall I call on education or psychologists?  Shall I call on philanthropists or musicians?  Shall I call on neighbors to rally?  Shall I become a hermit and flee from the troubles of the world?  Shall I call on no one?  

Who have I but you Lord?  Even if nothing I think should change changes because I call on You, does that mean you don’t hear, or don’t care?  Shall I not cry to you and ask you to change things and yet surrender to your goodness and sovereignty and acknowledge my brevity and fallenness?  

Do I presume to know what you should do?  Shall I not entrust myself to You who sees all things and knows all things and is working all things according to Your will?  I choose to cry to You, not turn from You.  I don’t understand.  I can’t explain You.  I can’t defend You.  I can’t convince others of You.  But I will call on You.  Though evil seems to prevail, though the ones I love seem to doubt You, though I myself do not understand why Your will plays out this way, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!  I will run to the only One who saves!  I will choose to believe Your promise to one day make all things new through Christ who is your answer to the problem of evil.

And so I go looking for others whose faith will stoke the smoldering reed of mine.  I pick up If God is Good on my Kindle and start reading:

“The cross is God’s answer to the question ‘Why don’t you do something about evil?'”- Chapter 21 of If God is Good by Randy Alcorn.

“God may already be restraining 99.99 percent of evil and suffering…  Given the evil of the human heart, you’d think that there would be thousands of Jack the Rippers in every city.  Her statement stopped me in my tracks.  Might God be limiting sin all around us, all the time?  Second Thessalonians 2:7 declares that God is in fact restraining lawlessness in this world.  For this we should thank Him daily.” – Chapter 30 of If God is Good by Randy Alcorn.

“Behind almost every expression of the problem of evil stands an assumption:  we know what an omniscient, omnipotent, morally perfect being should do.  But we lack omniscience, omnipotence, and moral perfection- so how could we know?  We should rescue ourselves as judges.  As finite and fallen individuals, we lack the necessary qualifications to assess what God should and should not do.  Not only do we know very little, even what we think we know is often distorted.- Chapter 35 of If God is Good by Randy Alcorn

Quieted,
Sheila