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Like you, I was horrified to hear of the tragic mass killing in Orlando last month. A man opened fire in an Orlando nightclub, killed 49 innocent human beings, and injured another 53. It was the largest mass shooting in U.S. history and the worst terrorist attack in the United States since September 11.
If I have only a short time to read, Proverbs is where I turn first. Every day that I do, I feel like my foundation is being shored up. February 1, 2014 There’s nothing original about reading a chapter of Proverbs a day. Thirty-one days in a month (roughly); 31 chapters in the book. Easy. In fact, it’s so obvious, it’s easy to overlook. Don’t. Very little in my life has yielded such rewards with such little effort.
Principle #1: Exercise complete dependence on God.
If you've been to Starbucks lately, you might have noticed a new campaign to lift the consciousness of caffeinated patrons. Quotes from intellectual and spiritual virtuosi now grace their talls, ventis, and grandes "to get people talking," their web site says. Starbucks' moments of truth might become one of yours, a pretext for friendly, thoughtful conversation that might turn into a divine appointment of sorts.
Having self-esteem is not going to rescue us, but must we hate the one for whom Christ died? I'm obviously not going to solve the issue of psychology and Christianity in my comments. But it strikes me that there are a few givens. One of them is that man's heart is naturally hostile to God. But it doesn't mean that because man is fallen that man is worthless. In fact, it's his inherent worth made in the image of God that makes his fall so tragic. It's also his continued worth in the image of God that makes his redemption possible.
To put it simply, the one who says, "I don't need forgiveness," is at odds with God and doesn't get it. What is the place of confession of sin in the New Testament? 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
The frightening thing about this vacuous substitute for intelligent thinking is that too often it works. I appreciate my Roman Catholic listeners and, frankly, I don't want to lose you. If you stop being involved here, and you stop holding my feet to the fire and I stop holding your feet to the fire, then we both lose. I need you and, I think, you need me.
When a person goes desperately wrong, whose fault is it? Greg draws some conclusions from Steven Speilberg's film on the holocaust, "Schindler's List."
We have a responsibility to do this. We cannot just pawn it off on teachers, or Sunday school teachers, or our pastor, or a Christian school, if we have one. They can help, but it is our primary job to raise our children in the Lord.
What kind of God would allow a Hitler to go to heaven if he believed in Jesus and a Mother Teresa to go to hell if she didn't? "You're saying that Hitler and Mother Teresa would both suffer the same fate before God if they didn't believe in Jesus?" The words echoed over the radio airwaves as the host of "Religion on the Line" on ABC's L.A. affiliate station patiently waited for me to answer. I knew the question was coming, but I had no tidy theological retort that would put the ball back into his court.