Monday, July 23, 2012

R-Rated World

In his video, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, philosopher and poet N. D. Wilson reminds us that we live in an R-rated world.  As much as we would like to protect ourselves and our children from the cruelties of human existence, our world is violent and unfair.

The world is also full of beauty, joy, pleasure, and happiness.  All around us we see the wonders of creation.  We like to celebrate the good stuff.  And we should.

We don't need to celebrate the bad stuff.  Sometimes evil happens because someone wants attention--any kind of attention.  (At sporting events, the "streakers" used to get a moment of fame, until the TV directors learned to turn the cameras away, minimizing whatever attention the perpetrator might get.)

But without celebrating evil and suffering, we have to acknowledge that it exists.  The shootings in Colorado last Friday were a chilling reminder that evil people are in our midst.  Massacres have happened ever since Abel's brother committed the first murder.  Accounts in ancient history--even in the Bible--are gruesome.  In times of war and times of peace, there have been sickos who delight in violence.

Today we hear about them from all over the world, almost in real time.

There is a spiritual enemy who uses people to destroy lives.  He comes only to steal, kill and destroy.  His weapons are lies and hate.  He whispers lies into the minds of his prey, distorting their thoughts, turning them against God and people.  Whenever I hear about these horrible crimes, I know the devil has been at work.

Jesus came to give life.  This world may be R-rated, but Jesus is the ultimate Director, and this story ultimately shows that he loves this world.