Saturday, April 17, 2010

Farewell and Wake Up

Originally posted at The Desk of Brian,

Coping with the loss of my 27-year-old Stepbrother has been extremely difficult for my parents, understandably. But equally as difficult is the reality of consequences for a lifetime of sinful behavior.

The reckless, sinless world where personal responsibility is often cast aside, basically consumed my brother as he failed to escape.

In the Bible, Paul speaks to these consequences in Romans 1:18-32 (NIV):

18The wrath of God isbeing revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave
thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts
were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and
reptiles. 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual
impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of
God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the
Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
 26Because of this, God gave them over to
shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for
unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were
inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with
other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their
perversion. 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God,
he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of
envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters,
insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they
disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do
these very things but also approve of those who practice them.In moments of crisis and despair we set aside our lives and ask why?

Just as Paul looked out over pagan Rome, we look out over the modern world, especially America where debauchery is king. From Caligula to Nero, Paul had witnessed the Roman onslaught and persecution of Christians as the Emperor led society down the road of wickedness (as he describes)

How is that different than today? What do we need to wake up and see the parallels and therefore, understand the disappointment, frustration and ultimately, anger from our Creator.

My Stepbrother was always a good-willed kid, but seemed to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time with the "bad kids". Time and punishment never resolved his judgments and it ultimately cost him his life.

He made his decisions, will we learn from his mistakes and heed Paul's warnings?

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