Normally I like to put up photographs to illustrate the point of my posts, and this one was no different . . . except for some last-minute scruples. The picture I saw from the Palm Beach Times was perfect. They called it their best shot of the day. I call it horrific and tragic.
What was it? A picture of a little boy -- probably no older than three or four -- flipping off someone while screaming. It looked like he was in a crowd of people, but you couldn't tell for sure. I really wanted to post it, but figured that there would be some who would be so outraged that I posted a pic of the middle finger that they'd miss the point of what I wanted to say in the post. Oh, well.
With that explanation of the photoless post, here I go.
I've been saddened at the growing number of stories where younger and younger children are getting mixed up in a host of crimes. Rapes, robberies, and even murders. We had the case out in Arizona where an 8-year-old shot his father and the father's roommate to death. This morning, the news broke of an 11-year-old boy in Pennsylvania shooting a pregnant woman and her unborn child to death. It's not clear what their relationship was. In Britain, we have the possibly bogus story of a 13-year-old boy fathering a child with a 15-year-old girl, where the parents let the kids sleep together. The boy looks more like he's seven rather than 13 -- but as I said, subsequent reports lead me to think someone else might have been the father. Even if that's the case, it's still a horrible situation.
Lest you think I'm picking on the kids, it's not just the children -- there's a whole host of adults to earn censure out there. Who are the children learning from?
What on earth is going on?
I can't help think of what the Apostle Paul said to Timothy about what would happen in the world as the sands of the hourglass begin winding down . . .
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith (2 Timothy 3:1-8)
The King James Version of Scripture uses the term "without natural affection." What an apt description of what seems to be a group of people who are more like animals than they are human beings. But then again, without hearing and believing the Gospel, and the regeneration by the Holy Spirit that accompanies saving faith, bestial behavior bubbles beneath the surface of every man, woman and child.
These days in Western culture, it seems like the Gospel is the last thing people want to hear. And tragically -- for a growing number of churches -- it seems like the Gospel is the last thing they want to preach.