Sylvia Allen, an Arizona lawmaker, is both right and wrong about gun violence and church attendance:
Put on your Sunday clothes because an Arizona lawmaker wants to make church mandatory. The legislature’s debate to expand a gun owner’s right to carry took a pious turn when state Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, suggested the real problem behind gun violence was corrupted souls. “It is the soul that is corrupt and how we get back to a moral rebirth in this country, I don’t know,” Allen told the state’s appropriations committee on Tuesday. [http://www.nydailynews.com]
Sylvia Allen Is Right
The problem with sin (including gun violence), is the HEART of man or the corrupt soul, as Sylvia Allen calls it. People who are wicked need salvation of the soul more than their next breath! When that occurs the heart is changed for the good. Hate vanishes and it is replaced with love for people. Of course, people can afterwards backslide and be overtaken by sin again (2 Peter 2:20-22), but as long as a person is following Jesus, he isn’t going to rob, rape or kill people. His new life in Christ will benefit society and not take away from it.
Sylvia Allen is Wrong
Just going to a church, especially in our apostate day, isn’t going to do anything to resolve the corrupt soul problem! People need to know the truth of God. They need the pure unadulterated gospel magnifying repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Many “churches” are counterfeit (like Roman Catholicism, etc.) and liberal (like eternal security teaching Baptist, etc.) and others are blatantly anti-gospel, like Islam and Hinduism. All of those are anti-truth and won’t help one’s soul in the slightest.
Furthermore, religious meetings can actually do MORE HARM THAN GOOD! Sad, but true! For example, if a new Christian went to a Catholic church and heard them praying that Mary is “our life, sweetness and hope” (which is often done with the Rosary), he could become deceived and die spiritually by such doctrinal poison. True Christians can apostatize. Such horrible departures from the faith and related warnings are all through the Bible. Hence, just going inside a church, any church, certainly is no guarantee that anything good will result!
Finally, even if a corrupt soul hears the true gospel, he then has free will to wisely accept it or foolishly reject it. Just hearing the truth is not the remedy either, even though one must hear the truth before he can change for the good. Many heard the pure truth from the Lord Jesus’ lips and walked away with a corrupt soul!
Our day is perilous (2 Tim. 3:1-5) because of SIN. SIN is the issue, as it has always been that way, even since Jesus died on the cross! That doesn’t take away from his infinite and redemptive death or his precious blood. It is to repeat the message of scripture after his death. People need JESUS and the eternal life, which is only available in him (1 John 5:12), but are too easily misled and distracted in other pursuits, including temporal ones. The devil has done a good job deceiving people, but he can be resisted! You can’t legislate morality. Sylvia Allen is right that corrupt souls are the problem!
Why Doesn’t Sylvia Allen Know?
Why did Sylvia Allen say how we get back to a moral rebirth in this country, I don’t know? The answer is: we need bold John the Baptist type preaching, where the preachers care more for souls than if they are accepted or rejected by their audience! The spiritual leaders have ruined the vineyard (Isa. 3:14)! Our day is filled with false teachers and false prophets. The majority of pastors and evangelists are NOT qualified to be in their influential position. Such religious leaders have made merchandise out of souls seeking God! It is terrible, but true, and some corrupt souls are doing worthless and powerless religious things to change their spiritual identity. That extends from infant baptism to bathing in the Gange River for forgiveness to kissing the black stone of the Kaaba. Mandatory church attendance is NOT the cure-all for gun violence, as Sylvia Allen might be suggesting.