“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;” 2 Peter 2:10-12
Proverbs 13:10 is a clear and concise statement that serves as the ultimate and final answer for all conflict on planet earth. “Only by pride cometh contention.” Whether directly, indirectly, or many layers down, the ultimate source of all tension and trouble is pride, which is the root and fruit of all sin. James the brother of Jesus expounded on this in James 4:1. Where there is sin, there is pride, and where there is pride, eventually and ultimately there will always be trouble. The world has only one problem. Not many problems, just one. It may have a cacophony of symptoms, but there is only one real problem, and of course that problem is sin. All sickness is a result, directly or indirectly, of sin. All sorrow and suffering is a result, directly or indirectly of sin. All insanity of mind, is a result, directly or indirectly of sin.
While the city of Baltimore riots without reason, there is a reason for the rioting, and it is found in the heart, nature, will, and imagination of men.
In second Peter 2, the Apostle speaks first about false teachers and false prophets, but he also speaks about the people who “follow their pernicious ways.” His description of these people are less than flattering, and amazingly frightening. They “walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness”, they “despise government”, they are “presumptuous”, “self-willed,” “not afraid to speak evil of dignities”, and “natural brute beasts.” In short they are the “flesh without a filter”, “men without masks” and utter wickedness in living color. As Peter paints his picture of people who have embraced false teachings, and phony leaders, he describes in minute detail the spirit of an insane people who are beyond the capability to reason or think. Light is not light to them it is heat.
In recent days we have heard from many different community leaders, law enforcement officers, lawyers, journalists, so called religious leaders and television pundits covering a wide spectrum of opinions and thoughts about what has happened in one of our nations dearest cities. One of the common explanations that keeps on recurring and echoing from time to time and person to person, is that these issues are not “black” and “white” issues, but these are “character” and “heart” issues. (Which of course is the truth.) Some of have even driven the nail a little closer to home saying that this is what happens when people follow after liberal leaders, and drink the poisoned kool-aid of socialistic entitlement policies. While all of the verbiage is couched in “legal ease”and “political speak” it has been “false teaching” and “false thinking” that have fertilized the fallen human heart nurturing it to grow into “brute beasts” that “despise government” and are “presumptuous”, “self-willed” and not afraid to “speak evil against dignities.” Authority is evil in the eyes, hearts, and minds, of many of those who have no more sanity than to throw rocks, start fires, burn their own grocery stores, destroy their own support structures, cuss at police officers who are “standing there”, and then rant, rave, and rage at society because their neighborhood is poor and dangerous. It is on par with cutting off your own arm, and then throwing a fit at the doctor because you’re bleeding.
When an injustice occurs in one of our social institutions, such as the police, something needs to be said. If it is found out that Freddie Gay has died as a result of malfeasance or malevolence on the part of the police, there should be clear and convincing actions taken to hold the guilty parties accountable. If they are guilty, something should be said and justice should be done; but nothing should be destroyed.
Failures in the system are not now, have never been, and never will be, a license to come unglued and exercise depravity to the fullest.
Our hearts should go out to the people of Baltimore who are grieved by the behavior of the criminals raging in their streets. The courageous crowd of men and women who stood with their police officers, reprimanded the local thugs, and as one mother did, wrangled her own son back into submission, should be praised, and encouraged.
The primary problem in Baltimore is the primary problem with the whole world. Lost people and lost leaders. The only thing that changes men and women into something different from the way they were born, is the Lord Jesus. Godless people need Gospel preachers to tell them of Christ’s forgiveness of sin, and equipping for life. In and of himself, no man has what is needed to rightly make it in life. With Christ in him, there is nothing in life that can keep him from rightly making it, if he follows the Lord. God’s Word, Christ’s Grace would provide unavoidable changes worth making in the inner city of Baltimore.