Paris

LEADER TIMES WEEKEND RELIGION ARTICLE FOR

November 21, 2015 by William H. Scarle, Jr.  813-835-0129

Thanksgiving has arrived.  The first Sunday of Advent is November 29.  The Christian world is entering the second most holy season of the Christian year and the world is agonizing over the brutal murder of Parisians and the presence in our world of societies saturated in hate and committed to killing anyone who disagrees with their corrupt and brutal world view.

There are many things that we can be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  As we gather around the table with family and friends most of us will think of our blessing and thank God for them.  What does this contemporary anguish say to us about the things we can be thankful for?  I do not want to dwell on the obvious.  However, there is one thing we may miss in our dismay and despondency over the conditions of our world.  We may miss the fact that most of the world is in fact broken hearted over this act of murderous hatred.

The Prophet Isaiah (5:20) said, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light, and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”  The brazen reversal of everything most people recognize as civilized behavior marks this recent treachery as an act of rebellion against the very fabric of moral order.  And, as such it is a revolt against God who created us after his image to know good and evil.

Can we be thankful that most of the world recognizes evil when it is so blatantly displayed?  Can we be thankful that governments are uniting to rid the world of such atrocities?  There have been times in recent history when such evil was not recognized or when nations chose to ignore its presence.

It is not unusual for individuals and societies to ignore the consequences of evil behavior.  It is not uncommon for humanity to make excuses for immoral conduct.  There are philosophies in the halls of academia that question the very existence of universal moral law.  Nietzsche has become popular in university corridors with his affirmation that since God does not exist everything is permissible.  Some of our recent shifts in moral sensitivities reflect this kind of thinking.  However, an atrocity such as the Paris massacres call us back to understand that God created mankind in his own image, and that there does exist in this world a moral law which is universal and when offended widely will destroy civilization as we know it.

Thanksgiving is an American tradition.  It was established and reinforced in times of crisis, when God’s help was needed and very much appreciated.  Let us thank God that most of the world recognizes this present evil.  Let us pray that this recognition might lead us back to a righteous God, who is ready to help when people humble themselves, and pray and seek his face and turn from their wicked ways.  In such cases God hears, forgives and heals (II Chron. 7:14).

Along with our thanksgiving let us not forget to pray for the suffering of the world.  It goes well beyond Paris.

(Bill Scarle can be contacted at ravscarle@verizon.net).  END-whs

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