The Perfect Storm

                In the last week or so there were two mass shootings that took the lives of at least 31 people and altered the lives of so many more.  The first thing we usually do, is ask the question: “who is to blame?”  Let me say this emphatically:  There is a lot of blame to pass around.  Have you ever seen the movie “The Perfect Storm”?  It references a huge and deadly storm that happens when all of the otherwise benign elements of weather join together at a precise place and time and with the right conditions to create a monster.   I would say that our nation is at the point of that “perfect storm” for these type of tragedies.   That is, all the elements needed for senseless murders on a large scale are present.
                This list is by no means exhaustive because each one is an umbrella under which several subsets can reside. And it is in no particular order, though one may feed off of the other. The access to weapons is indeed part of the problem, but we need to understand that relationship to the other aspects of this storm.  The weapons a lot of people want banned have been around for many years with few problems.  Take them away and people are going to find a way to create death and mayhem. The means of destruction will always be available, which makes our understanding of the other storm producers ever so important.
                First, I’d mention a collective rage. No matter the side of the political spectrum there is intense anger; even hatred. I’ve never seen a nation so angry and it seems that there is no willingness to find a middle ground.  Some want to give all the “credit” for that to our president but whatever his rhetoric, it is no stronger nor does it bear more weight than the rhetoric of his opponents.  Right now, both sides are only interested in kowtowing to what they believe to be their strongest voting demographic. The mudslinging and name-calling is fueling the rage.
                Next, I believe the access to an unfettered social media is a large part of the problem.  A person feeling marginalized or offended can quickly find anonymous people, though they be only a very small part of society, who only encourage and affirm hatred to the point of irrationality.  A person feeling that rage and wanting to take some sort of action is urged on by like-minded people hundreds of miles away. And I’ll use a politically incorrect term, but crazy people pumped up by other crazy people will do crazy things.
                Add to that the intense violence that is portrayed in movies, on TV, and in video games.  We are becoming desensitized to the horror of bloodshed. The gore is unbelievable: brains splatter, guts fall out, and blood spurts from wounds like a fountain.  That sort of thing has its affects on our collective psyche as violence is, quite simply, normalized.
Then (and this is of utmost importance) there is the drastic mistake of trying to separate the physical from the spiritual.  Humans are not merely physical products of some sort of majestic coincidence of chemical reactions some billions of years ago.  We were created by a loving God, in His image.  When we as a nation purposely kick God to the curb the elements for that perfect storm are unleashed.  Presidential candidate Joe Biden said a week ago “white supremacists are winning the battle for this soul of the nation”.  How pitifully simplistic.  Satan is winning the battle for the soul of this nation. He is using white supremacists, Antifa, black supremacists, violent gangs, greedy politicians, hate sites on the internet, a news media that thrives on controversy to the point of actually feeding it, and a nation that is distancing itself from God.
                A lot of people have died in this storm.  We, the Christian church, have our work cut out for us.  Prayers are necessary and these things ought to drive us to our knees in the presence of God.  But action is called for and I believe the most important action is evangelism. Only God can change hate to love and He does that by changing the people through the Gospel.  Now is not the time for the church to circle the wagons, it is time for us to stand up and boldly share the true and only cure for this storm:  Jesus Christ.
Say good things about your Savior and His Church on the Bluff

Bro. Tony