This is a heartbreaking time that we live in. We live in a world where we can watch a black man killed by a police officer live on the internet. We live in a world where people respond to injustice by killing innocent police officers who are only trying to protect. We live in a world where terrorists are killing innocents, supposedly in the name of God. The attack in Nice, France yesterday is only one example of what life has become like.
I’m going to respond to this with a surprising source. I’m currently rereading H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Wells was not known for being particularly pro-religion. In the story, the main character encounters a minister who is completely distraught by the Martian attack. He has no way of reconciling what he is seeing with his faith. The main character, after trying to be patient with the minister’s confusion, finally blurts out, “What good is religion if it collapses at calamity?”What good is religion if it collapses at calamity? - H.G. Wells Click To Tweet
The answer is obvious. Such religion is of no value at all.
However, Christianity is a faith that need not and should not collapse at calamity. None of what we see today should be of any surprise to those who know the Bible. The presence of evil, whether racism or terrorism, does not contradict the biblical worldview. Rather, it confirms it.
The Bible teaches that we live in a fallen world, where humanity lives in rebellion against God. This rebellion alienates us both from God and from each other. The natural result is what we are seeing on the news.
So where is God in all of this?
God has acted by providing the means to reconcile us to him (and to each other) through Jesus Christ. God offers hope and truth and life and peace to all of his children.
But that does not mean that God is content to have his little family while the rest of the world falls apart. God is also active through his people.
It would be easy for the Church to become like that minister described H.G. Wells, overcome by grief and confusion over the things we see. However, we need to fight against that and determine to take a stand.
This is the time for the Church to make a difference. It is the time for the Church to proclaim (in word and deed) a message of hope and love. Instead of turning inward out of fear, let us turn outward to the world that needs us now more than ever.