And having called again the crowd, he said to them, Hear me, all [of you], and understand: There is nothing from outside a man entering into him which can defile him; but the things which go out from him, those it is which defile the man. If any one have ears to hear, let him hear. And when he went indoors from the crowd, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. And he says to them, Are ye also thus unintelligent? Do ye not perceive that all that is outside entering into the man cannot defile him, because it does not enter into his heart but into his belly, and goes out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which goes forth out of the man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, go forth evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, deceit, licentiousness, a wicked eye, injurious language, haughtiness, folly; all these wicked things go forth from within and defile the man. [Words of Jesus Christ in Mark 7:14-23 (Darby translation)].
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. [Words of Jesus Christ in John 3:1-3 (King James Version)].
Our republic is again caught up in controversy in the wake of the tragic mass shootings that took place in a church in Charleston SC. The focus of attention is now on the Confederate flag and its removal from public view. The reasoning behind this, at least in part, is the fact that the individual who did the killing at the Emanuel AME Church appeared to have an ongoing love affair with the Confederate flag!
And so, politicians and media people with high profile publicity and a rallying cry, “Get rid of that offensive flag!” have now placed before all of us an agenda that needs to be zealously pursued and consumated! An erroneous assumption is widely shared on this matter – somehow it is falsely believed that if we get rid of that flag which represents “hate” and “bigotry” of the worst kind, then we will have solved our problem in this area and consequently, no more mass shootings.
Bury every single Confederate flag and every article on which its image appears and it won’t change a thing in our culture.
The reason is simple – the vast majority of our citizens, including those in leadership roles, as well as the world population is in an unregenerate spiritual condition. Jesus Christ addressed this problem perfectly and with precision accuracy in identifying the many ways in which unregenerate persons will act. We are born into this world with a nature (inherited from Adam) inclined to defy our Creator and His laws, concentrating on ourselves! And when things do not go the way we think they should, we may even resort to violent acts to reach our goals! We stand at the head of the line – all others are to be subject to our desires, as unholy as they may be much of the time.
God’s revelation is crystal clear on how to establish a sane, serene, sensible, stable, and secure nation.
It begins with an honest confession in words something like this: “I am guilty – I am a sinner and deserve Hell – I take full responsibility for all my transgressions.” Then comes the part wherein one approaches and addresses God, asking His mercy and forgiveness. Proud people cannot ever bring themselves to do such a thing. But in honesty and humility one does this painful thing and then expresses the desire for Jesus Christ to come into his/her life as Savior and Lord. In the book of The Revelation at the close of the 3rd chapter Jesus says that He stands at the door and knocks, and if any person hears His voice and opens the door, He will come in and then the wonderful fellowship begins. He becomes a resident in the life of the person who has repented (turned from) sin! A miracle happens in this experience – the inner nature is transformed so that now there is an intense interest in the things of God, a hunger to know Him and become familiar with His holy Word, and to be obedient in serving Him on a daily basis.
As mentioned previously – you can destroy all the images of the Confederate flag in the entire world, but if there is no genuine repentance from sin, no desire to draw near to God, and no desire to be obedient to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, not only on an individual basis but also on a collective basis, everything will continue as it has in the past. In fact things will get worse as time goes on!
Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. [2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (God’s Word translation)].