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Monday, October 17, 2011

Murder in Seal Beach

Here we go again.  Another wicked man has taken his gun and blown the life out of 8 people in the clean, friendly neighborhood of Seal Beach, CA.  I hate when this happens.  I hate it, but I'm not astonished as many seem to be.  God has told us about the moral warp that has infected the human race after the fall.  In fact it was rather early in history that God said, "Every intent of the thoughts of his heart is only evil, continually."  Or Psalm 14 that says that God looked down on the children of men to see if any did understand and seek God, only to find that they are all together become filthy, and there is no one that is good, no not one.  The events in Seal Beach on Wednesday are just another unfortunate outcome of the sinful condition of human nature.  There should be no great surprise here for a Christian. Grief, yes, but no surprise.

The irony is that our culture seems fanatically determined to believe that human nature is basically good.  This is what gives the media commentators pause when angry sinners lash out with irrational slaughter like this.  Sooner or later (for the defense attorney it will be sooner) someone will try to give a reasonable excuse for this behavior.  They seem to display a religious commitment that requires the isolation of this man from society.  He was out of his right mind because of his boating accident, or because of the threat of losing custody of his 7 yr. old son.  There has to be a reason...something other than admitting that there is a dark side in every one of us that will drive us to unspeakable deeds if left unchecked.

Then we might hear the skeptics and atheists cry out, "Where is God when things like this happen!"  I'll tell you where God is.  He is still saying that these were not worse sinners than any others, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.  Life is suddenly over for 8 people, and the lives of dozens of others have been irreparably scarred by the loss of loved ones.  Providence teaches, no, shouts at us, that life is short.  Life would be senseless if that is all there is, but when you know that after this there is a judgment, it begins to come back into perspective.

The very first message that Jesus preached was summarized by, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."  Every man, woman and child needs to know that they could be snatched into eternity without even a moment's notice.  If that innate sense of justice is going to be satisfied, we'd better believe in the judgement seat of Christ.  Without it, the existentialists are right to say life is absurd.  But they only say that.  They do not live as though they really believe that.  When Jean Paul Sartre railed against his own government for cruel behavior against the Algerian guerrillas for their immoral behavior, he had to publicly admit that he was speaking in flat out contradiction to his philosophy.  We all know right from wrong, and when right is not rewarded or wrong is not punished in this life, there is no resolution if one stubbornly refuses to hear God speak of heaven and hell in the bible.

Proper dignified minds may belittle the belief in a "sky high heaven and red hot hell" but without the Bible's perspective on eternity, those same proper people are left with no ultimate meaning for life.

Let us morn those who were senselessly murdered.  But let us take this harsh lesson to heart.  It is appointed to men once to die, and after this: the judgment.

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