I want to applaud the letters to the editor last Sunday — Jim Garvey’s, Dee Arm-strong’s, Grant Kier’s — as well as Frank Miele’s excellent column. They were well done — each suggesting good reasons and solutions to the violence exhibited in our schools. I simply want to add something else.
We have been putting a Band-Aid on the problems — more police on the streets, metal detectors in our schools, more restrictive gun laws and a host of other ideas — that do not effectively cure the problems.
What is left out so often and I missed it in Wednesday’s “Listening Session” at the White house as well — that is “Our God, our Creator, has been replaced by other gods!” Little by little God has been removed from our society and replaced with what we consider a higher good.
I realize that there are many reasons for the downward spiral of our culture, but from my perspective the television-movie-video industry has done the most damage to our society. These things have become a “baby sitter” to impressionable children’s minds.
There is no longer a “fear of God” because so many people have no personal relationship with God. Martin Luther, in explaining each of the Ten Commandments, begins with “We should fear and love God so that...” But we can’t have a healthy fear of God or an honorable love for God unless we are taught about God from His Unchanging Word. That is what is missing in our homes!
Remove the fear and love of God from the human heart, whitewash the reality that, sooner or later, all of us will answer to a Creator, eliminate the concept that He demands adherence to His laws, and it is but a short step to the deterioration of the cornerstone of society — the family. Without the fear of God, there is no longer any reason to treat the marriage vows as sacred or provide godly discipline to our children.
Violent crime, suicide, drugs, pornography and alcohol abuse are the very logical fruits of a society that has forgotten and replaced God with something else.
In many homes there is no teaching about God — so the children grow up God-less. The home today is where one sleeps and sometimes eats, then each go their own way with their sports activities or spending time gazing at a phone. Is it any wonder that kids are packing guns to school?
Only by our homes teaching God to the children will we ever free ourselves of the mess that we are in.
An example: Many years ago, two men, Max Jukes and Jonathan Edwards, lived in the same state. Of the 1,206 descendants of Jukes some 300 spent time in prison, 190 were prostitutes, and 860 were alcoholics. Of 929 descendants of Edwards, 439 became ministers, 86 were university professors, 13 wrote books, seven became politicians, and one became vice president of our nation. What made the difference? Jukes knew nothing of the love and fear of God and refused to take his children to church. Edwards understood the love and fear of God and took his family to church every Sunday, and he served God to the best of his ability. God makes the difference!
Darold Reiner, of Kalispell, is a long-time Lutheran pastor.