Three times this edict comes from the mouth and throne of God as seen in Romans 1 (vs. 24, 26, & 28). We have seen the effects of the first two play out in America over the last several decades, but with recent events in my home town of Baton Rouge, LA, the third "and God gave them over" has become a stark reality. The horror of last Sunday morning is still very much in play, the shock, disbelief, pain, hurt, anger, confusion, and a thousand other thoughts and emotions still roar. The brief statements given by the wives of two of the slain officers will rip your heart out, it's difficult enough to read the transcript, much less listen to their voice. [As an FYI, over 150 officers from surrounding parishes are here now to augment the three local agencies.]
But all this, as senseless and horrific as it is, should be seen as the outcome of what happens when God gives people over to their own wicked desires. BR is a highly "religious" town, home to Jimmy Swaggart (yeah, he's still at it) and all the other many charismatic types, about 50 SBC/masonic goat barns, and an untold majority of catholics. They all flounder around with their hand holding, 'let's find common ground', cum-bah-yah love fests that last about two seconds after they disband. No one knows the real problem and therefore cannot call for a solution. The real problem is that lost humanity hates God, and will find every way under to sun to show that hatred, especially the religious elites no matter the flavor of "Christianity" they espouse. There is not one of the descriptive terms found in Rom. 1:28-32 that has not been on display here, some more prominent than others. Beginning with "a debased mind" (can't think straight) and "being filled with all unrighteousness" then moving on to "maliciousness" and "murder" "strife" and "deceit" to "backbiters" and "haters of God" to "unloving" "unforgiving" "unmerciful" and perhaps the last straw, they "not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."
There is so much at play here, but the most needed thing is absent: a call to repentance and a plea for mercy from only One who can grant mercy, the Lord Jesus. It seems no one is willing to pray as Daniel prayed (chapter nine); its always the "other guy" who is at fault and must seek the forgiveness of those offended. It's the 'other guy' who must acquiesce to the demands of those who wear the victim T-shirt. This is the mantra we find fueled by the arrogance of a hard heart and a stiff neck, and the product of the debased mind that is the judgment of God. It never enters the mind of these people to think that all their actions, words, and thoughts have offended Almighty God, the One that created them, nor do they consider that consequences await their unforgiven sins. They love only themselves and therefore must hate God. It will continue on for them and grow worse unless and until God intervenes and saves them.
Please remember the wives, children, and loved ones of the slain.
"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan