Imagine a bride whose wedding has almost arrived preparing herself for the ceremony and her long-awaited marriage to her beloved groom. She has adorned herself with the purest white dress to accentuate her beauty and highlight her chastity. Her hair is done up, her make up just right. She has anticipated this day for what seems like thousands of years. Continue reading
This past Saturday at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden a four year old boy scrambled past a protective barrier and fell about fifteen feet into the “Gorilla World” exhibit. A male gorilla named Harambe subsequently began dragging and injuring the boy. Zookeepers then responded to the scene where the gorilla was shot and killed. The animal belonged to an endangered species of gorilla. The boy was transported to a children’s hospital in Cincinnati for treatment.
The killing of the gorilla has brought widespread criticism in the days that have passed since. Many have challenged the zoo’s rapid response to the situation and called into question whether or not the animal’s execution was justified. All kinds of responses have circulated the web, from chastising the boy’s mother for negligence to protesting that, if needed, the boy should have died rather than the gorilla because human beings are not an endangered species. Some are even petitioning that charges be brought against the parents of the boy.
The Cincinnati Zoo is standing by its decision to take the life of the animal in order to save the boy. Tranquilizers, they explain, could have made the situation much worse by agitating the animal further. With a situation going from bad to worse, the zoo made the decision to end the animal’s life rather than risk the boy’s safety any further.
While it is not surprising that there are animal rights activists infuriated by this event, what is surprising is what appears to be the widespread sentiment for the executed gorilla and the scorn and disdain directed at the boy and his mother. And what is most shocking is the assertion being made by many that this boy’s life was not as valuable as that of the endangered primate. With all the publicity this story is getting, we see evidence of the societal devaluing of human life on display. It’s important that Christians remind themselves of a few key biblical truths at this point. Continue reading
Here we are, Tuesday evening, March 1st, 2016. Super Tuesday, as it is designated in the political realm. The results from a dozen states have been pouring in to the webpage on my iPhone (which is being manually reloaded every few minutes) for over the past hour. I can honestly say what I see disgusts me. I have been hoping and praying that America would wake up from their stupor and somehow vote according to the same Christian convictions that I have. Instead, it appears from all angles that the vast majority of conservative voters in our nation have abandoned morality, honesty, integrity, and just plain good common sense to cast votes for a man who, if elected, could very well be the most tyrannical president our nation has ever seen.
I’m angered by what appears to be the blind and emotional following of those who support this man. His supporters value him as someone who is “outside the political system,” and so doesn’t have to play by the rules of politicians. Regardless of his moral values (or lack thereof) many will support him simply because he is a strong voice who will not relent his opinions nor ask forgiveness (even of God, as he has said). They have fallen prey to the “might makes right” mentality of the middle-ages which has refashioned itself and resurfaced in the guise of a Republican candidate.
I’m also angered by the hypocrisy of those who would claim the name of Christ and yet support such a morally depraved candidate. It is very revealing of the true nature of American “Christianity” broadly and perhaps even Evangelicalism as nominal and surface. It’s also incredibly disheartening to think about the negative direction that our country is destined to take with either this Republican man or his Democratic counterpart at the helm.
This past hour I’ve been wallowing in disgust, sorrow, fear for the future of my children, helplessness. And I’ve realized that I’ve been taken over by emotions that boiled over from a heart that’s been hoping in the wrong things. I’ve been putting my hope, even my faith, in the wrong things. As a follower of Jesus Christ, my hope is not found in human leaders or lawmakers or the American public that would elect them. My hope is found in Jesus Christ, who is perfectly revealed in God’s word. Likewise my faith and trust cannot be centered in the election of a man or woman, no matter how great or moral a leader, as if somehow that act would right all the wrongs of this world. Even if a conservative Evangelical Christian were elected to our country’s highest office it would not be the end of immorality and injustice. Only the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior can accomplish that end. Continue reading
We are living in a world filled with fear. Last year the Islamic extremist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, invaded Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, and cut off transportation, power and water to the city, releasing over a thousand prisoners, and causing thousands to flee. After the conquest the terrorist group proclaimed itself “The Islamic State,” or “The Caliphate,” a term meant to link their organization to memories of the great Muslim era of the prophet Muhammad. Their leader was declared caliph, a term meaning “successor to Muhammad.” As caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi now claims the allegiance of all Muslims worldwide, and has called upon all Muslims to come and defend the Islamic State. Continue reading