Seeking a quick break, I scan old faithful (Drudge Report) and stop short at the latest headlines:
-- Abortion doc gunned down at church
-- Man in custody
-- Abortion foes fear backlash
George Tiller, the man tagged as "Tiller the Killer" has been murdered.
It is [most probably] assumed that I, along with a multitude of other devout pro-lifers, are rejoicing in this mans violent death, but I/we am not. Even though Tiller's fame was attributed to his countless late-term abortions, I am deeply saddened by this act and I mourn. I mourn for the insanity of the murderer and, most importantly, I mourn for Tiller's soul.
Murder is never a solution and Tiller's fate, as well as all who are like him, is for God to handle; not man.
Not knowing the full extent of the situation, I can only assume that the murderer is insane but, unfortunately, many who are dedicated in protecting the lives of all unborn babies will be unjustly linked with this tragedy.
I didn't know Tiller but I imagine that he became desensitized to the realities of Truth over a period of time. Is he unique? No, if we are to be honest, we all have a little 'Tiller the Killer' in us but what matters most in our lives is in the choices we choose to make.
I believe that Christianity is a choice. The dividing line to madness is within all of us and, without the anointment of the Holy Spirit, we are all capable of the most heinous acts and crimes.
Like Tiller, America has become desensitized to what is evil and has unadmittably chosen to be a God- less society. As I've written in countless articles, America has quickly transformed into "an anything goes society" with many Christians compromising on the Truth.
Man might be fickle, but God is not.
[Jesus said:] What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, Son, go and work in the vineyard today. He answered, I will not; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, I go, sir; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said, The first. (Matthew 21:28-31)
Most of us have, at some point in our life, made a decision to serve God. Such moments of decision and commitment made a marked difference in our lives. We felt somehow new; we became aware of a new power, a new freedom, a new joy. Problems that had been bothering us for years disappeared; we sensed the operation of grace in us. It seemed as if our previous life had been but a preparation for this moment, and that our subsequent life would be merely a living out of our new consciousness of ourselves as Christians.
We soon discovered that euphoria was not a fruit of the Spirit; that although some problems had disappeared, other problems remained, that it still took our own effort, as well as the winds of grace, to move us along the road of salvation. So we settled in for the long haul and set about living out our life as Christians. We realized that the moment of decision was only a moment, and that we could not dwell within it forever.
There is both wisdom and danger in this realization. For with it comes a turning point in which we can continue to persevere as Christians or return to our former way of life. We can become like the second son who willingly said yes to his father but did not live out his yes. Chances are that this son was sincere when he told his father that he would work in the vineyard. He may well have meant to go but somehow got sidetracked. He may even have set out for the vineyard with fervor, but for one reason or another, never arrived.
We too can set out to serve the Lord with fervor but slowly, step by step, change our direction. We can abandon everything into the hands of God, only to gradually and imperceptibly take it back into our own hands again. We can invite Jesus into our lives as Lord and Savior, but over a period of time, reassert ourselves as lord of our own lives and come once again to rely on our own strength to save us.
Such a pattern is not inevitable, but there are precedents for it in Scripture. Did not the disciples leave all to follow Jesus, only to argue about whom was going to have the highest place (surely an exercise in self-assertion)? Did not one of the chosen twelve betray Jesus and another deny knowing Him? Because of the danger of saying one thing and doing another, Jesus issued this warning,
Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
It is not enough to have once cried out to Jesus, 'You are my Lord': - we must choose to make this our decision and prayer every day. It is not enough to have once placed everything in the hands of God; we must again place in His hands anything we've taken back from Him.
For Catholics, yesterday was Pentecost Sunday; the day God gave us His Holy Spirit.
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Now there were devout Jews
from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confusedbecause each one
heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
"Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,inhabitants of Mesopotamia,
Judea and Cappadocia,Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and
Pamphylia,Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism,
Cretans and Arabs,yet we hear them speaking
in our own tonguesof the mighty acts of God." (Acts 2:1-11)
What does this mean for us?
Simply put, Pentecost is about how God has come to live in human hearts, making ordinary people into extraordinary saints.
If we really want to see the restoration of our America [and world], it is time to get out of God's way and allow Him to take charge. Jesus is simple yet it is man who has complicated and distorted Christianity.
The time is now. Right now. Let's stop for a moment and take a few deep breaths. In our mind, let us imagine ourselves breathing in the Spirit and breathing out our sins. Let us envision ourselves accepting the Lord and h is plans while letting go of our own plans and visions.
Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.(Psalm 104)