Christmas means that God IS fixing this

“God is not fixing this” is the headline at The New York Daily News in the wake of the horrific shootings in San Bernardino yesterday. The message reflects an unfolding social media dispute about gun control laws. Several Republican candidates for president had tweeted that their “thoughts and prayers” were with victims and families of the shooting.

A backlash against such prayer followed. The backlash basically consisted of the idea that prayer is not enough. One must do something if one really cares about gun violence. And that something is to publicly support gun control legislation. Since “God is not fixing this” in response to our prayers, we have to fix it through government regulation.

I commend to you what Russell Moore and Albert Mohler have said in response to the “God is not fixing this headline.” Their remarks are spot-on. You can read Moore’s take at The Washington Post. You can listen to Mohler’s here.

I want to comment briefly on the irony of the headline “God is not fixing this” in light of the Christmas season. The idea that we have to do what God has failed to do is at best out of step with Christmas and is at worst blasphemous. Christmas is the one time of year that is supposed to remind us that God is fixing this. As the prophet Isaiah foretold:

The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them…
For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
-Isaiah 9:2-7

I understand that the people complaining that “God isn’t fixing this” are focused rather narrowly on gun violence. But that narrow focus should not be used to make sweeping indictments about God—that He is somehow indifferent to a world in sin and error pining. That narrow perspective ignores the cosmic drama unfolding around us in which God is in fact saving the world.

And it is a salvation that from beginning to end is the work of the world’s true King and Ruler Jesus of Nazareth. In his first advent, He provided salvation from the penalty and power of sin. In his second advent—the one we sing about in “Joy to the World”—he will save the world once and for all from the presence of sin. He will wipe every tear away and will make all things new (Rev. 21:4-5). And He will once and for all banish all evil—from cynical social media recriminations to mass shootings.

And that is why “God is not fixing this” is fundamentally at odds with advent season. God is fixing this. The new world order has already begun through the coming of Christ, and we are awaiting its consummation when He returns. In the meantime, we live between two worlds—between what the world is and what it can and will be. And we weep and grieve and labor and strive in patient hope.

I do not mean to minimize the immediate problem of gun violence. Let us weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). Let reasonable people come together and figure out how to end gun violence. I am all for that. But God forbid sweeping theological statements about God’s disinterest in His world based on this latest horror. God is not indifferent. He loves the world and is on a rescue mission even now. He will one day make all the sad things come untrue. And this is the one time of year that we ought to remember that.

15 Responses to Christmas means that God IS fixing this

  1. Ian Shaw December 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

    Denny,

    Thank you for this. We also have to understand and recognize that lost people will easily “prayer shame” people and easily blame God for things of this nature when they occur. We have to understand that they react as such because they believe that human beings at their core are good people. When acts of violence happen like this, it shakes them to their core. How could people do something like this? And when people are rocked to their core, they will lash out and look for anything or anyone to blame, rather than perhaps have some introspection and look at the mirror.

    The answer for that is much simpler for believers. We believe people at their core are not good, but enemies of their creator and seek to wage war against Him. However, the only thing that separates us from the same evil is His grace. And everyone is graced differently. We are saddened when things like this happen, but our world is not shaken like a lost person’s is.

    Our deliverer is coming.

  2. allensmith December 3, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    Timely word for a distraught America

  3. Peggy Summers December 3, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

    Thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift!
    Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

  4. Brian Holland December 4, 2015 at 8:39 am #

    Thanks Denny! Great insight, and great reminder of what Christmas is really all about. To go back to the original issue that was raised by the NY Daily News, it’s not about gun violence at all. About 1/3 of American households own legal guns, and the overwhelming majority of them are responsible and make their neighborhoods safer. This is about Islamic terrorism, plain and simple. It was also about this guy’s neighbors who were suspicious, but were afraid to say anything for fear of “racial profiling.” This is further evidence of the almost incalculable damage the Left has done to this country. I’m actually glad that more and more of the masks of the left-wing so called mainstream media are coming off, and they are being exposed for who they really are at their core. It provides further clarity, and I think ultimately helps divide the wheat from the tares.

    I think this is also further evidence that we ought not be accepting Syrian refugees into this country right now until we have a reliable way to vet them, and I assure you we don’t. If only 1% of them are radicalized or ISIS sympathizers (and that an extremely generous assumption) then it’s irresponsible to our neighbors to risk this happening again. We are now in WW3, and we need a commander in chief who is not afraid to fight against Islamic terrorism, let alone utter the words.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Check out | HeadHeartHand Blog - December 4, 2015

    […] Christmas means that God IS fixing this | Denny Burk “I want to comment briefly on the irony of the headline “God is not fixing this” in light of the Christmas season. The idea that we have to do what God has failed to do is at best out of step with Christmas and is at worst blasphemous. Christmas is the one time of year that is supposed to remind us that God is fixing this.” […]

  2. Culture Charcuterie 12.4.15 | Jeremy Lucarelli - December 4, 2015

    […] CHRISTMAS MEANS GOD IS FIXING THIS – Same horrific topic, but from the perspective of Denny Burk. It depicts the intersection of tragedy and redemption. […]

  3. Ignore the Shaming, Keep on Praying! | Coram Deo - December 4, 2015

    […] are a couple of pieces on the same topic, written by Joel Miller, and Denny Burk. Ignore the shaming, keep on […]

  4. This and That | The Thompsonian Times - December 5, 2015

    […] Christmas means that God IS fixing this – I do not mean to minimize the immediate problem of gun violence. Let us weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). Let reasonable people come together and figure out how to end gun violence. I am all for that. But God forbid sweeping theological statements about God’s disinterest in His world based on this latest horror. God is not indifferent. He loves the world and is on a rescue mission even now. He will one day make all the sad things come untrue. And this is the one time of year that we ought to remember that. – Denny Burk […]

  5. Good Things (12/5/15)—Recommendations from the Web | Glory Focus - December 5, 2015

    […] Christmas means that God IS fixing this by Denny burk […]

  6. Christ is the Solution - First Baptist Church of Howland - December 6, 2015

    […] http://www.dennyburk.com/christmas-is-for-people-who-believe-that-god-is-fixing-this/ […]

  7. Christmas Means that God IS Fixing This - December 7, 2015

    […] and Dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This article first appeared on his blog and is used with […]

  8. “Your Mom Isn’t A Man”, Episode 80 of The Gospel Friends | The Gospel Friends - December 7, 2015

    […] Denny Burk, Christmas Means God IS Fixing This http://www.dennyburk.com/christmas-is-for-people-who-believe-that-god-is-fixing-this/ […]

  9. Wednesday Links | Forward Progress - December 9, 2015

    […] 3. Christmas Means God IS Fixing This […]

  10. Dear Disciple, (12/10/15) | For His Glory - December 10, 2015

    […] Christmas means that God IS fixing this […]

  11. Links To Go (December 11, 2015) | Tim Archer's Kitchen of Half-Baked Thoughts - December 11, 2015

    […] Christmas means that God IS fixing this […]

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes