“And So We Grieve, Not As Those Who Have No Hope!”

This past week, tragedy once again struck our state and nation as news of a mass shooting in Parkland, FL captured the national headlines with a newsflash that a dysfunctional 19-year-old, named Nikolas Cruz, had unleashed a flurry of shots in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School taking 17 innocent lives.  Within minutes liberal pundits began blaming guns as the source of the violence and conservatives commenced their defense of the 2nd Amendment “Right to Bear Arms”.  Lost in the debate is a sad reality few are willing to face…as a nation, America has spiritually lost her way.

Our hearts and prayers are with family members, students, teachers, and administrators who bear an incomprehensible grief for their tragic loss.  Like many of you, I follow the news and listen to news reporters and their guests attempting to make sense out of the senseless, and realize what none of them are willing to admit…the root problem is spiritual.

Politicians, educators, psychiatrists, counselors, and so-called experts cannot “fix” the problem of violence in our nation until we are willing to honestly address the root problem of our social ills…Sin!  New laws, superior education, more prescription drugs, and secular counsel cannot bring peace to troubled souls!

There are many like Nikolas Cruz in America’s homes, schools, churches, and communities.  Secular education and Hollywood media has, for a half-century, indoctrinated America’s youth with an ideology that rejects God, denies moral absolutes, and aggrandizes violence.  The effect is a nation whose soul is spiritually desensitized and lost.

America needs what the majority of her churches have rejected for nearly a century…Preachers and Bible believers who will boldly and unapologetically stand in the gap, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine… watch…endure afflictions, [and] do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:2, 5).

By God’s grace, we will fulfill that role and responsibility to our community, state, and nation, even as we pray for those who grieve.

With the heart of a shepherd,

Travis D. Smith

Senior Pastor

pastorsmith@hillsdalebaptist.org

Copyright 2018 – Travis D. Smith