A Filter for A Fallen World
Life in the information age can be tough. Each day seems to bring reports of tragedies and terrible things—mass shootings, murders, and other atrocities. Searching for stories so that they might sell more advertisement spots, the media fills our minds with horrific images and thoughts. Hate and debate rage. Controversies concerning race, politics, religion, and culture are standard fare. Death tolls escalate and the masses must find ways to deal with it. Some try to simply shut out the noise. Others join a new movement known by its catchy hashtag. A great number shout for political referendum. Legislation and law are thought to be the solve all.
How should believer’s respond to the depraved acts and divisiveness which seem to plague our society? I believe Scripture provides us with a filter for interpreting these things. For the sake of our witness, it is important for us to articulate a gospel response to the godless things which occur in society. Let’s consider three ideas which form a Christian framework for understanding life in a fallen world.
First, believers should maintain a frame of mind which views earth and humanity as products of God’s creation. Every man, woman, and child is alive for the purpose of knowing God and enjoying Him (see Genesis 1:26-27). Many of the struggles which we see in society are the result of people trying to fill a void in their heart with things other than God. When man and woman misunderstand their purpose in life, trouble is inevitable. People kill, steal, cheat, abuse and commit countless other heinous acts against their fellow men and women. All these things spring from souls which don’t recognize the Lord’s sovereignty over His creation. When hearts are in tune with Christ, they find a resting place. They also discover true purpose, meaning, and direction.
Second, believers must stay aware of sin. Since the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3:1-7), humanity has been reeling from the consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Because He is a God of grace who desires for people to personally repent of their sins and follow Him, the Lord gives all a freewill. Men and women can choose to accept His means of salvation and forgiveness, or they can live according to the paradigms of a corrupt society. Satan works behind the scenes (see Ephesians 2:20 and 2 Corinthians 4:1-4), deceiving and tempting. One can place the blame on original sin for all of the killings, natural disasters, abuse, and false philosophies which we observe on a daily basis. Though political reform, peaceful demonstrations, and open dialogue can all help to a certain degree, they fail to address the biggest problem of all — humanity’s sin.
Finally, Christians must live with an unwavering hope in the cross. The forgiveness and redemption which comes through the blood and body of Jesus is the only hope for our messed up world (see Acts 4:12). We must be careful to not sell Jesus short by looking for deliverance in popular politicians, news agencies, and non-profit organizations. The gospel is the only real remedy for humanity’s remedy.
Dr. Patrick Latham