A man gets drunk and kills an entire family in a car wreck. A mother drowns her five children in the bathtub. Two teenagers take their guns to school and another massacre happens. A lone fanatic bombs a public building killing 168 innocent people. Families are decimated by violence and murder at an alarmingly increasing rate. What is the common thread here? I believe that it is destructive choice with disastrous consequences. When these events occur we want to explain them, explain the unexplainable. How can these things occur in what is supposed to be an enlightened society? But then again how enlightened is this society really?
We live in a climate of entitlement and egocentrism unmatched in the history of mankind. The prevailing thought is that everyone should be able to do what they want, when they want, and the devil take the consequences. Well, that is just what he has done. He has deluded the masses into thinking that they have no moral obligation to consider the consequences of their actions and only the stupid ones who get caught will have to pay the piper as it were. There is a constant clamor for personal rights and entitlements but you hear nothing about the responsibilities that guard whatever rights we may think we are entitled to. On the surface this may sound reasonable to some. After all, even in scripture we are told that he whom the Master sets free is free indeed. But is this freedom unrestrained and abandoned? Does it give license for any activity we choose? Are we under no obligation to consider the consequences of the choices we make and the things we do? Some serious questions for a serious time.
Consider this statement made in the book of Luke:
There seems to be the principle here that to whom a freedom is given, also is given the responsibility to exercise moral judgment and discernment regarding the practice of said freedom. There is no reason to believe that freedom is an 'anything goes' proposition. There is even less reason to believe that freedom in Yahweh is an entitlement to selfish, destructive behavior. And we will find no sympathy for the ones who behave in such destructive ways in scripture at all.
"But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:48).
The propensity of people now to try to rationalize and justify poor and destructive choices borders on the ludicrous at times. The drunk who thinks he should not be held accountable for the deaths he caused because he was drunk is a prime example. This idea has been used as a defense in murder trials where the suspect is a drug addict. The theory is that he was not entirely responsible for his actions because he was under the influence of drugs. What nonsense. At some point everyone makes an active choice as to what path his or her life will take. While frequently events do become out of control, usually the loss of control begins with a poor decision on the part of the individual him/herself. This is not a politically correct idea, I realize, but is supportable by objective observation.
What does this mean for us as Christians/Messianics in this time? How many times have you heard Christians/Messianics excuse or defend their behavior with the “nobody’s perfect” justification? It seems that some think that being under the grace of Yah'shua (Jesus) means that since we have obtained forgiveness of our sins, therefore we can sin at will and He will always forgive for He does not expect better from us. While it is true there is mercy and longsuffering for His people, I find this to be a very dangerous attitude. It is absolutely true that we will remain sinners in need of forgiveness as long as we wear these mortal bodies; we are enjoined in scripture to go and sin no more. That does not mean we will not stumble. But neither does it mean that we may willfully reject and disobey Yahweh’s commandments. There is a difference between stumbling in ignorance and willful disobedience. Willful disobedience is a conscious choice and will have consequences. We are seeing the consequences all around us. The disintegration of families, societies, and moral value structures are ample evidence of them.
A telling indictment on this generation, I think. We are indeed a perverse and crooked generation. How can we be anything but when we have lost all sense of personal responsibility and commitment? When immoral lifestyles are condoned in the name of tolerance and biblical teachings rejected as bigoted and intolerant and people have abrogated their responsibilities to Yahweh, their families, and their communities, there are no more excuses or justifications that will suffice.
"They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation" (Deuteronomy 32:5).
"And refused to obey, neither were mindful of Thy wonders that Thou did among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou are an Elohim (God) ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness and forsookest them not" (Nehemiah 9:17).
He is merciful and gracious to forgive but let us not forget that He is also a just Elohim (God) and there are consequences to our choices. Let us not try His patience but strive to serve Him in obedience with responsibility for all our actions toward Him and our fellow man. For it is at His feet that we will find the peace and freedom that we seek so diligently.