Amendment 2 resurfaces issue of good vs. evil
“Then Job replied to the Lord; I know that you can do anything and no plan of Yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this who conceals My counsel with ignorance?’ Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak. When I question you, you will inform Me.’ I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen You. Therefore I take back my words and repent in dust and ashes.”
I do not know why Missourians voted taxpayer-funded cloning into our Constitution.
The most often used excuses by those like me who opposed the measure included: The deceptive wording of the amendment confused voters; those supporting Amendment 2 outspent those opposing it by more than 10-1, much of it in misleading advertising; the secular, pro-cloning media in Kansas City, St, Louis and Columbia were biased in its coverage. It is reasonable to point to all of these as factors in light of the passage of this evil that now enslaves our state.
As a Christian journalist, these are legitimate considerations that may be examined. While they may offer in human terms some explanation for the whirlwind our state and nation could reap, they are superficial in light of the greater struggle that continues between good and evil. As a theologian, I am once again left to ponder the spiritual aspects of this potential calamity: Did we pray enough? Did we pray correctly? Did God’s pastors faithfully preach the truth from the pulpit, even in the face of criticism from those in the pews who heretically disagreed? Did believers place a misguided view of “separation of church and state” over being “salt and light?”
I believed with all my heart God would give us victory, but He did not — at least for now. He could have. I believe Missouri Southern Baptists overwhelmingly claimed 2 Chronicles 7:14. We need to continue to do that.
We know God is love; God is holy, indeed perfect in every one of His attributes. He is also sovereign. According to God’s Word, neither the world nor humankind was made in a state of corrupted evil. God created everything and declared it to be “very good.” We know God is not the source of evil, humans are. Evil surfaces because of our choices made possible by God creating us with the ability to make moral and immoral decisions. God made evil possible in doing so, but people made evil actual.
God is omniscient, so He knew all along that people would sometimes choose an evil like cloning. Since God is morally perfect and benevolent, He must have a good reason for permitting such malevolence. This is all we need to know. Perhaps someday He will tell us more, but it will no longer matter once we are in His glorious presence.
For nearly one year The Pathway did its best to warn Missouri Southern Baptists about the deceptive danger of Amendment 2. God will judge us, as He will everyone someday, as to whether our efforts were sufficient in His eyes. I have asked God to forgive us if we failed to do something that we did not do and I have pledged to Him that we will continue to resist this evil that has come upon our land. This is not about politics. It is about righteousness and truth. The Pathway staff has strived to educate our readers and I hope I have assuaged their disappointment over Amendment 2 by reminding them of God’s sovereignty and that for us, the issue is not winning or losing, but being obedient to our God and King so that people may see His love, truth and grace and that He be glorified through our meager efforts. This is what has – and will continue to – sustain us and I pray it will each of you as well.
The six verses from the book of Job are appropriate in view of Amendment 2 becoming law. They serve as a reminder that God is infinite and we are finite. God is all-knowing, but we have limitations on our knowledge so we often do not understand why bad things happen in this world, but we must press onward, recognizing and confessing our inadequacy and pledging our absolute dependence on God’s grace and Him working His perfect will through our lives. Job’s confession should be ours. For in the end, God blessed Job and perhaps, if we remain obedient and reliant upon Him, God will again bless us – and our state.
Now is not the time for boasting about the future. It is a time to be prostrate before our Creator. As believers we have witnessed the power of deceit. Yet in the midst of defeat, we know how it will all end — in victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So Missouri has embraced death, but Jesus has overcome death and through Him, we who have placed our faith in Him, shall also overcome death. Perhaps it is appropriate for us to look at our loss on Amendment 2 metaphorically as death, for it will certainly bring about death. Thus we must “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Even as we seek God’s face let us not shirk our responsibility. The church must not retreat from the public arena, for that would concede to the pagan what only God has ordained. As Edmund Burke’s famous words remind us: “The only necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Let us continue to be “salt and light” as we humbly acknowledge our trust in God, clinging to our faith in Him, knowing that He is in control.