After the Aurora massacre, America debates gun control, violence in TV and films, and mental illness, among other controversies, even more hotly than before. The shooting at the movie theater has become the big screen upon which to project one’s pet peeves or proposals for air time. The Christian looks for opportunities to share the message of security in Christ, the unveiling of a plan which fully takes evil into account. His agenda is not his own, for God has set the task, unbending and unwavering, as the eternal salvation of the soul. This is our single-minded work.
• The media frenzy searches for scraps of information on the alleged murderer. People ask the unanswerable question of motivations. One’s own heart is murky, self-knowledge nearly impossible, so how can a long-range analysis come close to revealing the whys and wherefores of a mind devoid of mercy and goodness?
• The human heart is “deceitful … incurably bad.” So Jeremiah asks, “Who can understand it?” Only one can delve into the mind: “I, the Lord, probe into people’s minds. I examine people’s hearts” (Jeremiah 17:9-10 NET). That probing becomes judgment (Hebrews 4:12), for from the bad mind comes bad deeds. “I deal with each person according to how he has behaved. I give them what they deserve based on what they have done” (Jeremiah 17:10b).
• Thank God, then, for the transformation, for the renewing of mind and heart (Romans 12:1-2). In the word is God’s power (1 Corinthians 1:18). He can turn things around. The world is full of violence and grief. In Christ appear the hope of the ages, the joy of things eternal.
• The American culture war gained another, albeit strange, focal point recently, a chicken fast-food chain, when the Chick-Fil-A founder came out against gay marriage. The chain’s outlets close on Sundays, for church. This is one business serious about its faith. Since Christendom in all its forms became anathema in America, such on-your-sleeve faith draws the ire of the politically correct crowd.
• On the other side, J. C. Penney’s stock is tanking, though it remains to be seen how much of that is due to its promotion of the homosexual issue.
• Gone are the days when you bought a chicken sandwich or a shirt with no strings attached. With the Internet, we now know – and partisans are bound and determined that we know — what companies do with their earnings. So now you have greater choice: to chow down at Chick-Fil-A and support the traditional family, or deprive said company of your dollars and dimes; to primp via Penneys for the rainbow of gay pride, or keep walking to the next store in the mall. Wasn’t choice supposed to be a good thing?
• More than choice, however, is answering the call of God to discipleship and then turning around immediately to be his voice in extending that call. Beyond the wars of culture is the constraining love of Christ which teaches the ways and will of God. When one acts to please the Lord in this way, one might even eat a chicken sandwich at KFC, too.