This past weekend a young mother-to-be from a small town in Wake County was shot to death behind the Party City where she worked. Her boyfriend has now been arrested and charged with her murder. So far the baby is surviving.
The day after the arrest, the media interviewed several of her friends from high school (her family is not talking to the media). They talked about her singing in praise band and how much she loved Jesus. So in the back of my mind, I'm thinking "What changed?" The news article in the paper the next day described her as being "very active" in her church and that she was planning to move in with her boyfriend soon. And that little voice in my head is saying "It's not a Bible-believing church."
Today, in her obituary in the paper, it listed the name of the church and that she had a "passionate love for Jesus". And the church she attends? It is Bible-believing. Which leaves me asking "How? Why?"
There's some very simple commands and statements made by Jesus Christ:
If you love me, keep my commandments. ~ John 14:15
By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. ~ John 13:35
He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him...If anyone loves me, he will keep My word...He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. ~ John 14:21, 23, 24
and some other descriptions about God's love and us:
For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face. ~ Psalm 11:7
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but He loves one who pursues righteousness. ~ Proverbs 15:9
I am totally baffled how anyone, even someone whose heart has been ripped in pain with such a tragedy, can make such warped statements as "she passionately loved Jesus" when her life's fruit showed the exact opposite. Love Jesus? Okay, I'll just disobey his commands and commit adultery. Love Jesus? Sure, instead of "going and sinning no more" I'll not only commit the sin of adultery but plan to live the life of a wanton woman. I love Jesus so much that even though he commanded his followers to obey his commands (which included the law His Father gave), I'll not only NOT obey his commands, I'll brag to everyone about my disobedient lifestyle.
My heart is breaking for our country if churches who proclaim the saving grace of Jesus Christ and his power to transform lives allow its members to live the exact opposite. I'm reminded of King Josiah (in 2 Kings 22) who was given the "forgotten" book of the law, and when he read it, responded: ...for great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according all that is written concerning us." It is as if we have forgotten God's commands and that they apply to our lives, that if we truly love Him, we'll obey his commands.
My heart hurts for this family. Death is hard. An unexpected, tragedy such as this is even harder. But to turn a blind eye to God's commands and believe a lie, that's to face the wrath of God.
May He have mercy on the American church.