God Isn’t Fixing This?

I rarely venture into politics or any type of analysis on national events. It mostly is a no-win situation with wide opinions and endless, usually unproductive debate. I love my country and feel blessed by the freedoms and privileges we enjoy. But I love my God more and realize that his kingdom is about much more than the United States of America. The truth is—that regardless of what happens here or what we become—his kingdom endures forever.

Fortified by that, I try not to be an alarmist concerning the course and future of my country. Nevertheless, I do feel concern as I see us systematically removing values and concepts reflective of God from our society. There are real and lasting consequences to this.

I see them in the latest tragic shooting in San Bernardino and its aftermath. Specifically I am thinking of the headline in The New York Daily News that proclaimed:

God Isn’t Fixing This!

The writer of the article—to me—seems to be using the shooting to mock politicians asking for prayer while making an appeal for gun control. The point? Since God is not fixing it, we need to by taking away guns.

I will let the gun control part of the article be discussed elsewhere.

My thoughts are on the headline. It creates questions for me like, “Why do we even expect him to fix it?” Or, “Why are we calling upon him now, when we have pushed him to the margins in almost every other way?”

Having pushed God out of the public arena means that we have also pushed out his values. What would an emphasis on “love your neighbor as yourself;” or “do not murder;” or “for where you have envy and selfish ambition; there you will find disorder and every evil practice;” or “hatred stirs us strife, but love covers all offenses;” or “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you;” or “learn to do good; seek justice; correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause,” (I could go on and on—literally) do for our societal narrative and behavior? It was said long ago of another nation and people, but it remains ever true:

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. 

Even if someone is skeptical about the whole notion of God, it would be difficult to deny the positive impact his precepts would have on a society who has forgotten how to treat each other with respect and dignity; who politicizes everything; who exalts and celebrates the vulgar while minimizing and ridiculing the civil; who reward the loudest and most belligerent while ignoring those with no voice; who create and foster an atmosphere of hate and then somehow is shocked when it explodes onto the innocent.

Perhaps God is trying to fix it, but we simply are not listening.

 

 

* Bible verses cited in order: Mark 12:31; Matthew 5:21-24; James 3:16; Proverbs 10:12; Matthew 5:44; Isaiah 1:17; Proverbs 14:34

 

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7 Responses to God Isn’t Fixing This?

  1. Anonymous says:

    The point of the article isn’t to mock politicians for believing in God. It’s to call out their inaction. No differently than calling out someone who is sick but just asks God to heal them instead of seeking treatment. No one is saying that you can’t send condolences and ask God to be there for those in need. But the writer is saying that’s the least that people in power need to be doing during this mass shooting epidemic. Instead of covering the event with a blanket of “Let’s pray for them and hope God fixes everything”, we need to take a spirit of action.

    “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17

    • dannydodd says:

      I agree and the action I call for would what the Apostle Paul termed, “the fruit of the Spirit.”

      • Anonymous says:

        Sure. But once again, those are just words. What are the actions behind them? That’s what the article calls for. Not just words. Action.

      • dannydodd says:

        What are the actions? To love one another instead of hate; to be joyful instead of resentful; to be peacemakers; to spread kindness and goodness. To live and express faith; to be gentle instead of harsh and rude; and to live self-controlled lives.

      • Anonymous says:

        Great sentiment. Now go do it. Find ways to help ensure others do it. It’s one thing to say, “here is what we should do”, and another to go do it.

        You can write and react to articles all day, but if you’re not actively promoting these things in your life, what good are they? That’s the whole point. You have to stop relying on God and some divine intervention and use the tools He’s given to drive actions.

        You can accuse anyone of politicizing something any time you don’t agree with how they would deal with it. But the truth of the matter is, these are all just words. We’re not changing anything. “Thoughts and prayers” are great to let people know you’ve thought about them. But why in the world is that satisfactory in a time like this when people have had these things happen to them? We’re called to be peacemakers, not benchwarmers, yet I see our side staying quiet with no action short of “thoughts and prayers”. Or explaining away why it’s happening because they’re too scared to speak for what they truly believe. We have the power as humans and as Christians to change this. Where’s our empathy? What if this happened to someone you loved or to you? Would you still be OK with our leaders sending “thoughts and prayers”? Can you even imagine what that would be like?

        I imagine it’d almost be insulting.

      • dannydodd says:

        I am not sure I am following you. What kind of action are you calling for?

        The entire point of my article is a call for action–an outbreaking of God’s kingdom into our world–to influence culture and perhaps change hearts and minds away from senseless violence and evil of all kinds.

        We do it through living out God’s will; producing the Spirit’s fruit in our lives; sharing God’s grace and truth; Being salt and light.

        Again–here is action. This was first spoken long ago into another shattered and hurting culture. Its transformational power remains:

        “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them’ (Matthew 7:12).

        If somehow this or even something close to it could become an overarching principle in our society (even if it not attributed to God for those who stumble over him) then the lawlessness, anger, and hatred that define us now, would diminish.

  2. Randy C says:

    Amen Danny, existentially speaking, all through history Godless societies have been the bloodiest by far. More have been killed in the 20th century than all the other centuries combined. Nietzsche, 19th century atheist philosopher, coined the idea that God is Dead. He, with reservation and great concernment, predicted what would become of our society if the nations followed this dereliction of God. Societal behavior either follows God or doesn’t. We see first hand what happens when it doesn’t. Christianity has been at the forefront of defending the helpless, we minister, we are the people in power. That’s why we pray for our rulers. That’s why we render to Ceasar what is Ceasars. One reason to not allow our government to become Godless, while we as believers continue with our actions of love toward a society that is screaming to know what is the purpose of life.

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