I spent two days this week in Sutherland Springs, Texas; the sight of this past Sunday's massacre. I stood there staring at this small church. I simply cannot imagine what these dear saints must have endured. A police officer told me that he knew one of the officers who had responded to the scene. The officer is now somewhat scarred, to say the very least.
I saw a young lady down the street, staring at the ground. I could tell she was somehow connected to the tragedy. I struck up a conversation with her. I soon learned that she had lost an aunt and uncle in the tragedy. She then went on to explain that she was having serious problems with the issue of "faith."
"I don't know if I believe anymore," she said. "This has tested my faith to the extremes."
She made several more comments, speaking through her tears, repeatedly saying that she no longer knew where she stood on matters of faith. Her honesty was refreshing.
Later in the day I called my friend David Works. In December of 2007 David was coming out of his church when met by an angry gunman. David was shot in the stomach, and then to his horror, two of his four daughters were shot to death.
I told David about the girl I had spoken with in Sutherland Springs. I explained to him the doubts she now had concerning faith in God.
David is a real guy. He doesn't hold crazy ideas about the Christian faith. He is firmly convinced that John 16:33 is true: "In this world you will have much tribulation..."
I'll write more on this later, but for now, suffice it to say that much of what we have faith about is simply not grounded in scripture.
We were never promised that we would not be hurt in church. On the contrary, Jesus warned us that violence in the church house is guaranteed (see Matthew 10:17).
We are going to have review what we believe about the Christian faith. We are confident of some things that are not rooted in the faith. We listen too much to TV and radio preachers, and seldom do we investigate the matter for ourselves.
We must learn so that we can help the dear lady of whom I wrote about above. There are a lot of people out there with a lot of quetions. At some point, the church has to give some legit answers...