Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Public Shootings, Gun Control Debates and Salvation Sources

One of the things I hate about moving is having to learn where everything belongs all over again. For weeks, sometimes for months, finding what we need will take two to three times as long as normal. Where do the measuring cups go? Where did we store the bandaids? What did we do with the tub of craft supplies? Why can't I find my winter coat? For quite a while after a move we are looking in the wrong places for the things we need. We think we know where to find things but quite often have no clue.

I have found the same thing to be true in other areas of life. Responses to public shootings are one example of this. I have heard people cry out for the government to take away people's guns to prevent criminals from getting their hands on them. I have heard other people cry out for the need for more guns in public places to discourage criminals from attempting anything. But it seems to me that both solutions are only attempting to deal with symptoms rather than the solution. Why? We're looking in the wrong place for salvation. We argue over whether we should have less guns or more guns as if those are the only two options available to us and forget about the much more powerful solution waiting for us on or knees.

When Jesus took on flesh and was born into the world as our savior, God announced the news to a group of shepherds through angels. They were told, "The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign:You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:11-12, NLT). Why did God chose to send his son to be born into seeming poverty and need a feeding trough for a bed? In part, to remind us that salvation doesn't come through worldly power. Without the angels' directions, the obvious place for the Messiah, the Son of David, to be born would have been the palace. But God wants us to look to the places where we are weak, where we must depend entirely upon God for our salvation.

When we look to places of earthly power to save us, whether it is to the government, to the barrel of a gun, or to wealth, we have looked in the wrong place for salvation. Salvation comes from admitting our weakness and depending on God, whether it is personally or nationally. As a nation, we must stop pretending that we can pass laws or gather enough ammunition to bring peace. Peace comes when people encounter the Prince of Peace. So we must strive to draw people into his presence, through both word and deed. We must look in the right place for our salvation.

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