Are we as Christians responsible in any way for the spiral of our country into the levels of violence and evil demonstrated by the riots and demonstrations that we have witnessed in this past year? May I suggest that the lack of Christians being “salt” and “light” in the earth may be a factor. Maybe we have failed to share the gospel with those who are angry and “disenfranchised” in our society. As believers we know that each person has imperfections and flaws, and the only way that these imperfections and flaws can be remedied, is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is only in Him that the forgotten and downtrodden can find acceptance. In John 4:13-14 Jesus said, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again.” In other words, He knew that every person has a need in their life that they will try to satisfy. Jesus knew that the woman He was talking too at the well had five husbands and was living with another man. In her life she had sought acceptance by being with different men. Obviously, it wasn’t working so when Jesus spoke to her in John 4:15. she responded by asking, “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” She was still thinking about physical water, but now Jesus was addressing her spiritual needs. At the end of their conversation it is clear that Jesus was the answer for her desire to be accepted, which was ultimately a spiritual problem that only He could solve. John 4:25-26, “The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming, the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!” When this woman left Jesus, her life was changed. She understood who He was and that because of Him the spiritual needs in her life could be met. She went and told everyone she knew how He had changed her life. One of the major ways each of us can be a part of the solution in our community is to share our faith in Christ at every opportunity. In many ways most Christians have failed in witnessing to the lost. We have also failed in being Godly examples to our children by becoming apathetic in our involvement with the things of God.
Jesus example is that even in the daily tasks of our jobs and other pursuits, we must not abandon our spiritual priorities for the answers to the issues in our daily lives, even as it relates to how we deal with those who are misfits or potentially will perpetuate violence in our society. As violence has increased, believers have come to realize, that if there is no safety in our communities, it is very difficult to share the Gospel. We also know that there are entire countries where the Gospel cannot be preached and shared without threat to the person who is witnessing. God forbid that this would ever be the case in the U.S. I do believe that the ultimate reason this type of violence is increasing in America is because our enemy, Satan, seeks to create such a spirit of terror and confusion, that the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be suppressed.
The current safety and security problem in America has come as a result of sin and selfishness, and we are reaping the fruit of that sin. Christians in this nation and around the world must take responsibility for leading people to repentance and doing everything in their power to change the spiritual awareness in their society. If we do nothing, tragedies will continue to increase and get worse. Many have taught that the issue of violence is the result of poverty or a lack of education. We must learn that even though these are certainly contributing factors, it is not a lack of money or education, but a lack of submission to God’s authority and obedience to His Word in our society that has produced this culture of violence. There is no doubt that until we as a nation repent and return to Christian principles as taught in God’s Word, evil will continue to abound. There is a day coming soon when Jesus will return to this earth and set up His kingdom. Then there will be no more war, and all weapons will be gone. That day will come only after Satan is removed from this earth and he no longer will cause men to commit evil against each other. Jesus told us before He returns to earth, there would be wars and rumors of wars, but we were to look up for our redemption was near. Today, as Christians we must pray for those in our society that do not know Christ. We must cover our children and loved ones in a prayer of protection against Satan’s plans of destruction. The Lord promises to protect us as we walk with Him. He promises never to leave us or forsake us, even in the midst of violence and fear. He is our only hope for peace and safety.
Robert Andrews, Ph.D.