I mentioned in my adult Bible study last Sunday that we are witnessing a rising tide of evil. I pointed them to an article in the Huffington Post that lists the mass murders occurring between 2009-2013.
This week we've had two massacres in Oklahoma and Louisiana. The week before it was four Marines in Chattanooga and five females in California. In June it was nine killed in South Carolina. It's getting hard to keep up with all the carnage, and worse, we're being desensitized to it.
Many people try blame the massacres on lax gun control laws. But we've had semi-automatic weapons for years. That cannot be the main cause of this problem. Others blame it on mental health problems. But that also raises important questions: Are mental disorders on the increase? Did we have as many mentally disturbed people twenty five or fifty years ago? Suicide rates have actually declined since the 1950s.
There is an explanation which many do not want to hear: The problem is the problem of evil, and evil is on the rise.
Without a doubt there is another statistic that coincides with the rise of mass murders and that is the rising tide of unbelief in our country. In 2012 the Pew Research Poll shocked us by showing a dramatic increase in the number of Americans who used to be Christians but no longer identify as such. Is there a correlation between the two? Probably, but true correlations are difficult to lock down. Correlation or no correlation, there is something very bad happening.
The really sad thing is that our culture doesn't even want to consider the possibility of a correlation. That's because in the culture of unbelief there can be no such thing as evil. Try debating with an atheist, and you'll soon find that out. If they admit the existence of evil, they would have to admit to the existence of the spiritual. This is something they cannot tolerate.
Will America consider the possibility that there might indeed be a rising tide of evil? Will you? What can be done about it?
I spoke about this in my Reformation sermon on October 28, 2012. In that sermon I pointed out that the world has witnessed rising tides of unbelief and evil before. God has given us a response, and that is the response of the Gospel. The only thing that can stand up to evil is the truth of God's Law and Gospel. God help us to hold to it ourselves, and God help us to proclaim it to the world around us.
I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me