As I sit down to write my weekly article, I seem to be having a hard time focusing. Why? Just a few moments ago I read the press release from the Gila County Sheriff’s Office that not only has there been another burglary in the area, but this time an elderly woman was assaulted and left for dead. Thankfully, 82-year old Virginia is recovering from the attack. However, it will take some time for her to heal from this ordeal, emotionally, as well as physically. News of this event deeply troubles me.
Is this the new norm for the Globe-Miami area? Should we just learn to expect break-ins and assaults? As I communicate with other area pastors, I learned a few days before this that another local church has been burglarized. From our count, that makes 6 churches that have been broken into and robbed within the span of weeks; not to mention local businesses and homes. The depravity of man rears its ugly head yet again.
You see, that is our problem. Our culture has come to despise the things of God to the extent that basic moral and ethical values have gone out the window. Our culture desires a supposed “freedom” from God but the natural trajectory of such “freedom” is the kind of behavior we are seeing in our local news. This behavior points to the fact that the person apart from Christ has no freedom, but is, in actuality, a slave. How so? We are enslaved to our sinful desires. That is why men, like those who violently assaulted Virginia, do such a things; they are slaves to their sinful desires. The Apostle Peter warns of false teachers saying, “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” (2 Peter 2:19) These men, I can only assume, are enslaved to their use of drugs so much so that they are willing to break into an elderly lady’s home and sacrifice her for their “high.” Their master must be served no matter the cost.
Do you recognize this? Do you recognize this in yourself? What controls you? Who is your master; the “god” that you serve? Every person worships and serves something. Are you a slave to sin or to Christ? (Ephesians 6:6) Do you desire the will of God or the depraved will of man? Until we recognize our root issues we cannot begin to make any progress. The issue is a heart enslaved to sin.
With this in mind, dear Christian, we must take a stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and boldly proclaim the message of hope in the midst of our broken town. We cannot expect secular authorities to wave their wand and change hearts; God is the heart-changer. And it is to Him that we must turn when we are at a loss. I pray that Virginia will heal and feel God’s peace. Finally, I pray that these sinful men would be convicted by God and turn themselves in.
By Pastor Nick Jones
Maranatha Baptist Church
1320 E. Saguaro Dr. Globe, AZ