A news headline from Fox News Monday read, “California Dems Decry ‘Bullying,’ Death Threats From the Left After Shelving Health Bill.” According to the article, California’s Democratic lawmakers issued a written statement saying they had “become alarmed and disheartened by bullying tactics, threats of violence, and death threats” over the postponement of a vote on a “single-payer health care bill.” What in the world is going on when the Left begins to turn on itself?
Since President Trump’s election, the Left has become angrier and violent in their rhetoric and in their actions toward Republicans. In a way, I understand that—they lost an election they thought they would win to a man they despise.
But when the Left turned on itself, I had to pause and ask, “Why would the Left start moving in a violent direction against the people most likely to advance their agenda?” That didn’t seem to make sense to me.
As I pondered this, however, I began to think of all the other acts of senseless violence that seem to be taking place. I thought about the seeming increase in road rage violence. I thought about the number of other senseless murders that appear to be on the increase. Just yesterday, a woman was accused of stabbing her four children and husband to death inside their Georgia home.
I began to wonder if we weren’t just descending into a culture of violence in which every group will begin turning violent against every other group and more and more individuals will turn violent against other individuals.
Am I the only one who wonders if we’re not in the process of going mad? What in the world is going on?
In thinking about this, something Jesus said came to mind: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12 NKJV).
Certainly, love seems to be growing cold among an increasing number of us, and, according to Jesus, there is a connection between our love for others and lawlessness. But what’s interesting about what Jesus said is that it’s not the lack of love—love “growing cold”—that leads to lawlessness, but the other way around.
What could Jesus have meant and how might it apply to the loveless violence increasing around us? We certainly don’t lack for laws in our country. Congress and our state governments churn out more laws all the time.
Even in Jesus’ day, how could He have spoken of lawlessness to a Jewish audience that was saddled with more laws than all but the best of the Pharisees could shake a stick at? Certainly, His was not a “lawless” culture.
My first inclination was to think that Jesus was referring to a culture that forgets and turns against the basic moral law reflected in the Ten Commandments. Maybe. But I think He was referring to something more than that.
I think He was referring to a culture that turns away from the God behind those Ten Commandments. Scripture often refers to those who are in rebellion against God as those who have turned from their “lawless” deeds. (See Titus 2:14; Hebrews 8:12 and 10:17; 2 Peter 2:8).
When we turn away from God, as we have done in this country, we become, in the words of Jesus, lawless in God’s sight. And apart from God, who is Love, and the moral law that corresponds to His nature, love will grow cold. Turning from God disconnects us from the One who is the source of and basis for real Love. When that disconnection happens, I think it’s fair to say we can expect an increase in violence.
A few weeks ago, I quoted a non-Christian law professor from Yale who admitted in a Duke Law Journal article that, without the God of the Bible, there is no basis for a legal system or an exercise of civil government authority that should be binding anyone’s conscience. Absent a ruling model grounded in God, he concluded that “the ruling model is Cain and Abel.”
And we know how that turned out.
David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.
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