Summary: We have come to a time in history when there is a concerted attempt to exclude the recognition, & even the very mention of God from our schools, our government, & our public consciousness. And as a country we are paying a terrible price as a result.
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
A. From time to time during the next few months I’m going to draw our attention back to the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis. I think there is a need to do so because some people say that these chapters are myths, fairy tales told by the Children of Israel to each other as they wandered in the wilderness. “They contain interesting stories,” some say, “but they certainly are not to be believed.”
Is that true? Are the Biblical accounts of Creation, of Adam & Eve, of Noah & the flood, just myths? Or are they factual? That’s a good question, & it deserves to be answered.
Now, you need to understand that, as Bible-believing Christians, we believe the whole Bible. We believe that it is the Word of God in that He guided & inspired its writing & preserved it for our use today. And we do believe that these first 11 chapters or so of the Book of Genesis are divinely inspired & factually true.
It is important to understand that because if they’re not true, if there was no Adam & Eve, if there was no flood, then Jesus was a liar because He taught them as truth. Not only would He be a liar, but He would have died for a lie. So that’s one reason, but not the only one, that causes us to believe the Bible to be true.
ILL. G.K. Chesterton said, “It is often supposed that when people stop believing in God, they believe in nothing. Alas, it is worse than that. When they stop believing in God, they can believe in anything.”
APPL. I think that is exactly the situation we find ourselves in today. We have come to a time in history when there is a concerted attempt to exclude the recognition, & even the very mention of God from our schools & our government, & our public consciousness. And I think we, as a country, are paying a terrible price as a result.
B. Let me remind you of the tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, & mention some of the details & comments which you may or may not have heard. I think they are pertinent to our subject today.
ILL. The media coverage has centered on the killers’ hostility toward racial minorities & athletes, but there was another group the pair hated every bit as much, if not more: Christians. At least 8 of the 12 students killed were active, witnessing Christians.
One of them was Cassie Bernall. Eyewitnesses tell of one of the assailants pointing a shotgun at Cassie, taunting her, asking her, “Do you believe in God?” She answered, “Yes, I believe in God.” “Why?”, he demanded. Then shot her dead without giving her a chance to answer.
Of the 21 who were wounded, one of the most critically wounded survivors, with 9 bullet & shrapnel wounds, is Valeen Schnurr. She was in the library crouching under a table with her friend, Lauren Townsend, when the killers entered, throwing a pipe bomb & firing their weapons. One of them fired repeatedly under the tables.
“Oh my God!” Valeen cried as a bullet entered her abdomen. “God?”, the gunman taunted. “Do you believe in God?” “Yes,” Valeen replied. “Why?”, he asked as he paused to reload his gun. Desperately, Valeen tried to crawl away under the tables – but more bullets tore into her body before he moved on to other targets.
On the day of the shootings, a number of ministers & other church workers rushed to the elementary school & the community library where students were being taken to await reunion with their parents. They helped with counseling & keeping order.
Many churches opened their doors for those seeking refuge & prayer & counseling. Several churches reported hundreds staying all night long, & then 1,000 or more showing up the next day & all through the week. “Mostly it was a matter of listening as teens spoke with, consoled, & witnessed to each other,” ministers & youth workers said.
A day after the rampage, the county began sending mental health workers to the churches to be available for counseling. “Frankly,” one minister confided, “some of those people needed help, & our kids ended up counseling them.”
That Sunday, a memorial service organized by the Governor of Colorado was held in a mall parking lot. Despite a chilly mist, 70,000 people came. Billy Graham had been invited to bring the message, but he was unable to come. So his son, Franklin Graham, delivered the sermon instead. In it he urged his listeners to “trust Christ as Savior,” to be like Cassie – “for she was ready to meet Almighty God.”
In his message, even though it was a solemn memorial service, one of his remarks sparked strong applause. He said, “It is time for this nation to recognize that when we empty the public schools of the moral teachings & the standards of our holy God, they are very dangerous places indeed.”