Police in the U.S. are looking for a man caught on surveillance video who they say is responsible for vandalism at churches in the Lakewood, Colorado area.
Some congregations say their church buildings have targeted by the man multiple times since February, but police in Colorado say the first reports came in February 2021. Congregations who have filed reports include the Self Realization Church, St Paul’s Community Church, Lakewood United Methodist Church, Lakewood First Church, and New Life in Christ Church.
Police have not released a possible motive behind the vandalism.
Second Kings tells us God’s people had many warnings not to create idols. They knew God had driven out people who opposed them. They had seen the power of God and had been warned against building shrines to pagan gods and worshiping idols but did the exact things God had forbidden them to do. How could they do that?
I believe they’re not that much different than people today. God had warned them that they would be driven out of their own land if they acted in this manner, but he didn’t tell them for how long He would allow them to backslide before doing so. He didn’t lay out some ratio by which once a certain number of His people did these things, He would act. He just told them not to do it. I think this is what makes it understandable. Doesn’t this open the door to doubt?
Someone had to be the first to make an idol, and others watching that individual noticed that nothing bad seemed to happen. Eventually other followed. The Bible says they did so; “secretly.” I’ve been told in this context secretly implies hypocritically. It’s something I think went on for quite a while because 2 Kings also tells us they rejected statutes and the covenant made with their fathers.
The young saw people doing the exact thing God forbad but did not see the bad things they heard would be the result. As a people, more and more began to doubt God would follow through with punishment. Some may have continued to talk the talk, but hypocritically they violated God’s law. Eventually, God’s people learned that they should have heeded the warnings.
Are they so much different than people today who watch on as others commit adultery, blaspheme God’s Word and do all manner of things that God forbad us to do with seemingly having no ill effects? How many of God’s people have fallen, or will fall, because they see the sin but not the downside?
UPDATE: Media in the U.S. report an arrest has been made in this case. CLICK HERE for an update from The Washington Post.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED AUGUST 16, 2022:
A Catholic school in the United States has been targeted by vandals twice in the same week.
The latest vandalism at St. Anthony Catholic School in Washington D.C. was discovered Friday. Police in the U.S. say someone ransacked the principal’s office and stole an amount of cash. Statues at the school were destroyed as well. The same school received damage from Criminals on Sunday who damaged a statue of St. Anthony and shattered a window.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for the damaged caused by the criminals. The organizer described the damage, Our beautiful St. Anthony statue was knocked down and broken, the nearby concrete windowsill was broken, and the statue’s head is missing. Our three playground benches were also pulled out of the ground and damaged. This desecration is a hate-crime and was reported to the police.”
Reading atheist articles and listening to the lectures of atheist apostles like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens may seem like an odd thing for a Christian to do, but I do it quite often. Not because I have doubt in my faith, but because I find it makes me dig into the scripture with questions I might not otherwise have asked. I find it also makes it easier to answer questions posed by those seeking truth about God who are held back by their own intellect clouded by the mischaracterizing of Christianity by those who hate all religion.
I read an article from one atheist writer who critiqued the musings of the two atheists I’ve mentioned above saying both were bigoted and ignorant and possessed the very qualities they deplored in religion. He said they lacked open-mildness and were dogmatic, and had no evidence for their claim that there is no God. While he made it clear he is still an atheist, even referring to belief in God as ‘silly,’ it was refreshing to see an apparent open-mindedness on “the other side,” so to speak. By the way, I’m not insinuating he’s the only open-minded atheist, only that it’s not atheists like him who are often quoted. And hopefully, he will come to know our savior and accept His gift one day. But why are some atheists, as he pointed out, so dogmatic in their non-belief?
I think the problem most hard-core atheists have stems from the false idea that any knowledge reached by anything other than reasoning and our ability to comprehend, is of no value. I say this based on atheist writings I’ve read. This position rejects the idea of faith given to us as a Gift from God, not of our own ability so that no one can boast. And it does so without first demonstrating that there is no God to give us such a gift. While accusing Christians of leaning on faith (and we do lean on Biblical faith) Atheists often lean on atheist faith that requires one to pre-suppose there is no God.
I believe a saving faith doesn’t come from our own effort to find God, it starts when we stop resisting His call.
There are people today who confuse love and hate. The idea of confusing the two may seem odd, but bias and prejudice lead to this kind of confusion and it’s something we see happening more often as society strays away from God’s word. Let’s consider an example.
When a doctor tells a patient that they risk lung cancer if they smoke, or heart attack if they overeat, it’s generally understood that telling a patient these things is an act of concern for the patient. But isn’t it interesting when a Christian tells someone they risk eternal separation from God if they engage in something forbidden in God’s word, it’s often portrayed as an act of hate? The doctor and the preacher are both warning people about the harmful effects of their actions. But since some sins have not only become accepted by society, and even praised by modern society, there are those who will project hate onto anyone who speaks out against them.
Let me say that another way. Some people so firmly believe that specific sins are a good thing, they conclude that hate is the only reason you would want them to avoid it. Their belief is so strong, it blinds them to their own intolerance, even to the point that the see an act of love as an act of hate.
Could this be the god of this age blinding the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel?