Dear Reader, this is not short, but I would ask you to take your precious time, which I respect, and read to the end and think deeply with me about this subject. Thank you.
Nearly every American has voiced an opinion this week about this. Why Uvalde? The horror. The tragedy. The unthinkable. And how to stop it? Confront mental health. Gun control. More security. Some compromise, somehow.
With no expression of sarcasm whatsoever, I humbly yet boldly say this, “I know the answers to both of these questions.” But you need to hear this, the answers are not mine. And I am certainly not the only one with this information.
These answers are clear and direct, coming from the only perfect source of information, and that is “A Biblical World View.” Yes, it is in and through the Bible, the very Word of God, the eternal and timeless Word of God, that we can find these answers. We do not necessarily like the answer to the first question, but we certainly are thankful to have the answer to the second question.
Why Uvalde? And tragedies like this, both large and small? The Bible is very clear in Genesis that after the glorious creation of all things by God (which is key in a Biblical World View), humankind fell from perfection and brought imperfection to all creation. Thus, now all humankind carries this Sin and lives in a “fallen world,” a world that is now under the power of sin, death, and the devil, as Martin Luther so well described it.
Yes. This Sin (theologians use the upper case for this over-all fall from grace) separates us from God and puts us at odds with each other. Left unchecked, our Sin would ultimately destroy us and all that exists even for all eternity.
If you are not a person of this understanding at this point, I would challenge you to explain the reality of our world with any other feasible explanation.
There are certainly consequences of this Sin, which become evident everywhere we look. These consequences include, but are not limited to, denial of this Biblical World View, disease, behavioral problems, broken relationships, mental health problems, crimes of all kinds, wars, human chaos of all sorts, human death, etc. Throughout the Bible we see time and time again these consequences of Sin that were evident before us, and now we see through the lenses of Scripture the reason for the presence of all these consequences in our own time. We’ll come back to this.
Sin. Yes, left unchecked would ultimately destroy us. However, and thankfully, Sin was and is not left unchecked. Of the “Two-Point-Truth” of the Bible (the first being Sin), the second is the good part, even called The Good News, even called The Gospel. Yes, fortunately, oh-so-fortunately, God Himself did not leave Sin unchecked. First of all, He made His Holy Promise to send a Savior to take on Sin and conquer it, and thereby “saving” the whole world from these destructive consequences of Sin.
Then, He sent even His own Son, Jesus, to be our Savior. By His perfect life, by His death on the cross to pay the ultimate sacrifice to forgive all sin, and by His conquering even death in His resurrection, Jesus has beaten Sin for all eternity. In reality and in His Perfect Will, God has chosen to leave us in our fallen world at this time, but with these promises. Since Jesus has already defeated sin, death, and the devil, we are now empowered by His Holy Spirit to live our lives meaningfully and faithfully even in the harshness our fallen world; and Jesus will return again at His Perfect Time to bring the “new heaven and new earth” (The Revelation) into eternal existence for all who believe in Him.
The perfection of The Biblical World View is this. The “Law of Scripture” shows us our Sin, it’s consequences in our lives, and our need for a “savior” because we cannot conquer our Sin by ourselves, even with our best human effort. The “Gospel of Scripture” declares to us the Good News that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
However, there is still one more key component in God’s Plan as revealed in His Biblical World View. Jesus gave His disciples The Great Commission right before He ascended into heaven (the event we marked just this past Thursday, 40 days after the resurrection). Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all which I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:19)
So, the perfect Biblical World View has us now taking all that I have just laid out from the Bible to “the world.” That is the Mission of The Church. And here is the way that has played out in history. When The Church has positively influenced governments and societies to live within the Biblical World View, for the most part life for humankind has been better, much better. I cannot go further into world history at this point, and some scholars would certainly disagree with this statement, but I would challenge that a full denial of this is impossible.
So, what about our society? Our government? Our quality of life at this present time? It is sadly clear that in our society today, in the United States of America, that the Biblical World View, upon which our country was founded (yes!), and by which our society lived “for the most part” in previous generations, it is sadly clear that we have drifted and been driven away from the Biblical World View in far too many ways. Argue if you will, but true. I do not believe our society is already doomed and defeated. So much good still lies within us, but warnings have been and must continue to be made concerning this.
Here’s the question: In the absence of The Biblical World View, what takes its place? Many “-isms,” for sure: atheism, hedonism, narcissism, just to name a few. However, I believe there is one that is now more prevalent and perhaps even more dangerous to our society. And that is “nihilism.”
Ever so quickly, nihilism is “nothing-ism.” People believe nothing. People believe nothing is real. People believe they are nothing. People believe their lives mean nothing. People believe nothing is wrong. People believe nothing is contrary to society. People believe nothing is permanent. People believe nothing is of value. And into that nothingness comes the evil of a fallen world.
Combine the reality of mental illness in fallen world with the absence of a Biblical World View, replaced with nihilism, and you get evil rising up and a gunman shooting children! To which we all shout, “Make it stop! Make it stop! Make it stop!”
What will make it stop? Ultimately, only the return of Jesus Christ to bring His Full and Holy Kingdom for eternity. But until then, we of The Church must take up even more vigorously The Mission of bringing the world, our world, our family, our neighbors, into the Biblical World View of the reality of Sin, the need for forgiveness, the saving work of Jesus Christ, His love for us, and our love for one another, even those who may differ from us.
So, to those who put down our faith and our beliefs and our mission; to those of you in our own government who continue to try to shove us Christians and our Biblical World View further and further to the edges of influence in our society; to you I say, “Watch out! Here we come again! We Christians will again become Christian Soldiers, armed not with human weapons, but with the Truth and Love of Jesus our Lord and Savior!” Only this will turn the hearts of the people of our society to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8) And I would certainly add, “And walk with each other in justice, kindness, and humility.”
This is the Ultimate Answer. Amen! And Amen!!
[Kollmeyer, a Fayette County resident for 36 years, is Pastor Emeritus at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. Follow Pastor Scott Ness and this great church at www.princeofpeacefayette.org. Kollmeyer until recently was Interim Pastor at Word of God Lutheran Church in Sharpsburg. Find some of his video recorded sermons at www.woglutheran.org and follow Pastor Jason Dampier and this great church on this site.]