Gun violence and the Image of God.

Mental-illness-gun-control

Mental-illness-gun-control

There have been many instances of people using guns to inflict pain on others all over the country. Each one is horribly tragic. To read about the senseless slaughter of innocent people is overwhelming and mind numbing. This reality of senseless gun violence came to my town literally down the street from me. People who attend our church were directly affected. It is unspeakably tragic.

You will hear the Republicans and the Democrats over then next few days point the blame at many things. Some will say it’s a mental health problem others will say it’s a gun control problem. We go back and forth in reality we are arguing over the symptoms but no one wants to address the true sickness. Although both sides see that there is a problem they both are so blinded by the symptoms they can’t see the actual problem. It’s a trap we all fall into because if we point to a symtom we don’t have to deal with the deeper issue. We think we are ok and everyone else is the problem. We don’t have a gun control problem we have a worship problem.

What we believe about God matters, because it informs the way we live. I did a blog post a while back about how so many Christians are Theological idiots. I got a lot of feedback from people saying that every person should not have to know or understand deep biblical truths. What I was trying to say and may have been unclear in that post was the decisions we make are based on what we believe to be true or untrue about God wether we like it or not. We believe something about God even if that something is that He does not exist.

The chief end of man is glorify God and to enjoy him forever. Our worship problem starts and ends here. When we don’t believe in God and we eradicate Him from the our schools, our courts and our hearts what happens is we fail to see him is our creator God and when we no longer see God as our creator and maker we no longer see that which he has made as precious  We no longer see man as the image of God because we have contempt for the image of God. When we have contempt for the image of God people become things we use for our own pleasure and discard when we are done. The problem with both sides of the isle is they are trying to fix our worship problem by addressing the consequences of our worship problem. What or who do we live our lives for because that’s what we truly worship. Very often we substitue true worship for something that isn’t God. Romans 1 addresses this very issue.

Romans 1: 21-25

21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,who is blessed forever! Amen.

More than gun control, more than mental health reform each of us need to recalibrate the loves of our lives. Piper says “Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth” When there is awful situations of profound sadness and loss due to gun violence it is easy for me to point the finger at the broken person who perpetrated this act and society that enabled this act but I must also point the finger at myself and ask God to help me  to properly love and worship him so that I can proper love and serve the people He died for. That the loves of my life are recalibrate to reflect the culture of heaven.

 

 

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