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Violence

Violence is no new thing. Cain, first mortal man of natural birth, killed his own brother in a jealous rage. God, knowing his heart, warned if he didn’t deal with his anger it would end up destroying him. And, it did. Anger will do that to anyone.

The fact that we usually turn to the church for answers in times of crisis indicates that we know this is basically a spiritual problem. If it was just an educational problem, we’d leave it to the schools. If it was just a legal problem we’d leave it to the courts. If it was just a discipline problem, we’d leave it to the parents. But it’s a problem of the human spirit.

So what can the church do about violence?  

First, we can call people back to God. A bumper sticker I read said, “With God all things are possible.  Without God all things are permissible.” The more God is elbowed out of our society, the less moral restraint there is. We need God in every part of our lives.

Second, the church needs to return to its first calling, to preach redemption through Christ. The message of the Gospel is that no person has to stay the way they are. People can change. Love can overcome hate. Peace can conquer violence. Brotherhood can replace prejudice. It is true, “The old-time religion . . . makes you love everybody.”  It even makes the Baptist love the Methodist.

Third, we can join together with the school and the home in demanding respect for authority and strict discipline. People must be accountable for their actions. We must counter the onslaught of the media – television, movies and music that devalue human life and glorify violence.

The bottom line is that all hope is not gone. We need to stop ringing our hands and start ringing church bells. The answer is inside those doors where we find Christ. That’s where I found help. That’s where society will find it also.

 

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

The Trustworthiness of Christ

Some startling claims have been made for Jesus Christ. He is acclaimed as the Son of God and the universal Savior of all men. But how do we know that these claims are true and not fairytales or nursery rhymes? How can we be sure Jesus is trustworthy? There are at least three reasons:

1. His universal appeal and magnetism. Jesus is the most fascinating person who ever lived. He has had a unique appeal to people of all classes, cultures, and ages. By common consent, the character of Jesus surpasses that found in any other person. No other character has caught and held the attention of people like he has. Such an unusual and magnetic appeal merits an unusual explanation. The claims must be true.

2. His effects on history. He has energized history as no other person. The test of pragmatism says of the Christian faith: “It works.” Wherever his message has gone, great changes have occurred. Marriages have become more sacred, women have been elevated, education has been stressed, children have been loved more, slaves have been freed, and hospitals have been built. There is more than a chance that reality is behind any person who can hold such positive qualities or religious character that bless our world.

3. Reliable historical records. What we have in the New Testament is a reliable historical witness on par with other historical events. The apostle Paul, who wrote so much about Christ, was an outstanding intellect and intensely educated. His mind could not have been easily captured by hallucination.

The combined evidence is weighty indeed. Jesus is trustworthy. You can believe in him.

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