Wednesday, June 15, 2016
After the deadly shooting in Orlando this past Sunday, Texas lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, sent out his customary Sunday morning scripture verse on his website which happened to be Galatians 6:7 which reads: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Now, both the lieutenant governor and his staff insisted that the verse was scheduled the previous Thursday and was in no way intended to be a response to the Orlando gay night club shooting, but was just coincidental. Although Patrick is known for his ultra conservative views, I’ll take him and his staff at their word. This blog is not directly about that particular incident but rather about the incorrect and sometimes untimely usage of God’s Word. Just the past Sunday, my Spanish sermon was about that very issue. I cited Paul’s instructions to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2: where he advised the young church overseer to “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, one who rightly divides (interprets correctly) the Word of truth.” (vs.15)
The Word of God is like a powerful weapon. (see Hebrews 4:12) It is intended to be a benefit for all who read it, but in the hands of those who don’t really know or understand it, it can do more harm than good. That appeared to be the case regarding our lieutenant governor’s gaffe; more people were outraged than happy with it. The Word of God should not to be used to accuse, belittle, disparage, criticize, or condemn those who are not in line with it. It should rather be used to point out people’s sins and show and offer them God’s remedy, the gospel. If Jesus won over the sinful, and adulterous Samaritan woman by befriending her first, should that not be the pattern for us to follow when dealing with those we feel are in danger of missing out on Heaven? Unfortunately, pastors in many places use their pulpit for that verything and they end up driving sinners away instead of drawing them to Christ. In other words, they lose them before they win them.
The majority of folks who commented on Patrick’s Sunday morning’s biblical verse got the impression that he was happy that these who died got exactly what they deserved. Perhaps this was just an instance of bad timing because the verse in question, when used at the proper time, has been used to bring many souls to Christ. We may not agree with or condone people’s sins or chosen lifestyles, but we don’t have to hate them for it, hope they die, or hope that God punishes them. If God is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance, should we not want the same? (See 2 Peter 3:9)
Memory verse for the week: (Joshua 1:7) “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”