We Need Sin Control: Sandy Hook Elementary

sincontrolToday brings us another tragic story.  Many children dead.  Adults as well.  And the analysis will be made even before the bodies are cleared.  Groups and individuals will head to the microphones to tell us why this really happened.  Was it the lack of proper mental health care?  Was it the prevalence of violent movies and games?  Was it the lack of gun control?   Let us not miss the forest for the trees.  The cause of this event is sin.

Sin when left unchecked always leads to death.  That is always true but on days like this it is much more clear.  We want to turn our eyes away from such events. However, our eyes must view them from time to time in order that the connection between sin and death is not left abstract in our minds.  Death is the gruesome face of full-grown sin.  We need sin control.  And there is really only two ways sin is controlled. 

First, government must be vigilant in punishing evil.  We must stop giving into the idea that government should let anyone do anything they want.  Government was instituted to punish evil.  Humanity cannot police itself.   That is the government’s vocation and we must support it in doing so.

However, even when government does this work well, it only curbs sin.  It cannot eradicate sin.  And so when we see evil, our main response must be to cry out to the One who does eradicate sin.  We must realize that our culture is becoming so violent because more and more people are removed from Christ.  God has provided only one answer to sin, one way that leads to life.  Sin must be confessed and forgiven.  Sinners must be made saints through absolution and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

That means that we as individuals must take our own sins seriously.  And that means constant confession of such sin.  We must realize if we let sin reign in us freely, death will come quickly behind.  We must flee to Jesus.

And if we truly believe that only Jesus can ultimately deal with the brokenness of our world, we must be ever dedicated to his Church and the work it has been given by God.  We must support in every way the proclamation of the Word within the Church and without.  We must pray for pastors and open our own mouths in the places we have  been called to live. We must offer to our world the only hope we know.  Only as the Spirit does his work in each person can sin be controlled.  Oh no, it will never be perfect here, but as the Spirit does his work, sin’s cruel reign is broken.  Only the Spirit does sin control.  Only through Jesus.  Lord have mercy.

Almighty God, merciful Lord, be gracious to the families of those killed, whose life has been tragically ended and who is now at rest with You. Comfort them in their grief, deliver them from anger, and sustain them with the knowledge that they are upheld by Your everlasting arms. Grant them Your Holy Spirit that they may meet the days to come with steadfastness and patience, and with the hope of the glorious resurrection and a blessed reunion in heaven with those they love who have departed in the faith; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 14th, 2012 at 1:03 pm and is filed under News Clippings, Theology and Practice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “We Need Sin Control: Sandy Hook Elementary”

  1. Chris Says:

    Phil,

    As usual, your faith that government can make things right is totally misplaced. First, you decry humanity’s inability to police itself and then you want government, a human institution, comprised of that very inhumanity you decry to be responsible for checking its own evil impulses. It’s nothing short of inmates running the asylum. Non sequitur.

    Contrary to what you think, as a matter of constitutional principle of this country, the government is NOT responsible for being the moral police. Its job is to secure rights and liberties already granted to us by God. Wrongdoers are punished when one party charges another party with a crime and hands arbitration to the government. Such will happen in this case, even though the wrongdoer is dead (another supsect, however, is in custody; his involvement has yet to be determined). Otherwise, we’d be in a feudal system where vengeance was exacted by individual parties upon one another usually by taking the life of the wrongdoer which inevitably lead to a never-ending cycle of vengeance upon vengeance upon vengeance. Now, you may well disagree with such constitutional principles and that is your right. However, if you want the government to be the arm of your morality, may I suggest to you havens like Saudi Arabia or Iran?

    If you want sin control, you look to the church. That is their job. The Church with Christ as the Head is the only way to control sin in this world. Simply passing it off to government as their responsibility because various churches either no longer define sin as sin or because they feel they’re incapable of doing anything to change sinful behaviors will only exacerbate evil, not expunge it. Unfortunately, too many people think that the cure for sin is just legislation who do not see the underpinnings of what can cause this disease and are even more unwilling to take the necessary action for the cure.

    I would propose that churches have not done as good of a job as they could. They are losing people by the thousands every day. They preach repentance (at least some of them still do) but more and more churches on Sunday are becoming “vent sessions” remedied only by “Read your Bible.” Churches which retain confession and promote it, I would say are probably no better or worse at it, but the abrogation of confession and many other practices of the church catholic before it was torn asunder by individuals and groups who wanted their own way, has certainly not helped.

    Yes, all men are sinners but the salvation from sin rests in Christ AND His Church. Making the government an extension of that mission will only exacerbate the wrong, because government will see itself as Saviour, not Christ. Let government be entrusted to do what it should. But as far as the sickness of mind and soul and even body, the Church is called to safeguard those, no one else.

  2. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Chris, did you read my post? I make quite clear that Christ and the Church is the real answer to sin. It was my main point. You are allowing your politics to get in the way of basic comprehension of what I am saying. Regardless of your interpretation of our constitution, the scriptures remain as a witness against your understanding of government:

    Romans 13:3-4 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

    1 Peter 2:13-14 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.

    And of course as you know, both of these passages were penned in a time with a secular government.

  3. Chris Says:

    My understanding of government? If we are to be subordinate to government as you claim and as you produce Scripture to back you up then should we not adhere also to that model of government which is, at its very foundational level, minimizes government restraint on liberty? St. Paul was not advocating that government, in all of its actions, is good in the sense of a moral good. Rulers are good only for the sake of ensuring that there is a smooth transition of order and that anarchy does not reign. St. Paul would not have said that government, by virtue of its being government, is good and above reproach. If the government was founded on a Christian philosophy, then maybe I could stomach it, but it’s not. THe only system that came close was the Byzantine Theocracy and that had numerous complications which even I would not ahdere to.

    Phil, you may be a good pastor but you are a poor philosopher and an even worse political philosopher with very little understanding of the constitution of this country (which explains why you vote Democratic). I read your post. I understood it very clearly. It can be summed up thus–More government intrusion! More government! More government! We can’t do anything ourselves! With that, Phil, you make government the head and not Christ.

    You stay on your side of the pulpit and I’ll stay on mine.

  4. tom Says:

    Chris,

    Both of your replies reflect a nice straw-man argument.

    And your statement that b/c, in your estimation, Phil understands little of the constitution is why he votes Democratic…is a nice example of the fallacy of defective induction.

    Your whole refutation of Phil’s post is filled with faulty logic to the point of not being a valid post.

    Stick to what Phil is actually saying. You are critizing him for stuff he is not even saying (or even implying!).

  5. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Tom, you are right on on this. I did not reply because the response was ludicrous. I didn’t even know I vote democrat most of the time 🙂

  6. We Need Sin Control: Sandy Hook Elementary « Compendium of Christian Blogs Says:
  7. SUSAN JAMES Says:

    Today, Dec. 18th, the article on Page 4 of the Phila. Inquirer,”Is Killer’s Mental State Really The Point?”, talks about just this: that people are looking for the reason in mental health, etc. It took the media just a few hours to ask about the mental state of Lanza…

    ‘Connecticut Therapist Gary Greenberg, is equally frustrated by the media’s need to diagnose Lanza…Greenberg says that coming up with easy explanations for unthinkable crimes eases our own anxiety…”A few hundred years ago, we may have called this the work of Satan,” he says…’

    Hmmmm…see Pastor Hoppe’s newer post 🙂

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