LEWISVILLE, TX: Are politicians able to unite for the good of America. To find ways to prevent mass shootings? To find a solution to madmen and gun control? Does the answer lay in Christianity?
From the emergence of the mind of the youngest child to the wistful musings of the elderly, imagination plays a pivotal role in life. It motivates in the boredom of daily living; it excites the world of entertainment, and it peeks into the future. Imagination affects the adopting of a career, forming moral values and developing relationships.
What would modern life be without the influence of creative imagination?
Men and women like Thomas Edison, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, J. K. Rowling, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg have changed our way of life in immeasurable ways.
Lessons of youth found in Flash Gordon
As a child, I watched with intense imagination a black and white science fiction movie serial with Olympian, Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon flying around in a cigar-shaped space ship conquering the universe. The imaginative plots and creative costumes enhanced the thrill of the show.
Each episode ended with a breath-taking tragedy which seemed to bring Gordon’s adventure to an end—only to await an imaginative explanation of the disaster in next week’s edition. Flash Gordon is primitive compared to the accomplishments of today’s creative minds.
A mind that functions without imagination dwells in a self-absorbed, static world, and a life devoid of hope. However, imagination can help us escape the doldrums of everyday routines, brighten our outlook on life, and cope with life’s great tragedies.
Most of us, even the non-religious, wonder about the unknown. How did the universe get started? Where is “heaven”? What is heaven like? Is there life after death? Do the departed interact with the living? Imagination stirs hope and cries out for solutions. The answers depend on you and your authoritative source, whether that be the Bible or the inner-self.
What was Jesus’s life before his baptism?
The Bible does not give us a window into Jesus as a boy or as a young adult. The New Testament records the birth and his appearance at the temple as a pre-teen but nothing else. Which leaves much to our imagination.
- Did Jesus perform miracles as a child?
- Was he mischievous as a child?
- Did he have friends? Did he play with other children?
- Did he ever disobey his parents?
- Did he sin?
- Did he have sexual desire?
- Did he appreciate humor?
In other words, was he like every young Jewish boy of the first century?
Yeshua: The Story of the Young Jesus.
To search for possible answers to these and other imaginative questions, I began writing They Called Him Yeshua: The Story of the Young Jesus. This exercise in imagination offers new insights into the world of Jesus, his family, and events that shaped his ministry.
All leading to a very imaginative question. If imagination and creativity are a hallmark of problem-solving, then why can’t our political leaders use cooperative, creative imagination to solve the mass murder problem?
Why cannot concern for public safety bring the two parties together to consider solutions?
Political partisans wrangling over gun control will not solve the problem. Nor does it offer comfort to the people impacted by evil actions.
Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, is a man whom I once respected. There was hope for him to be the Democrat nominee. Recently Biden let loose the most demeaning hateful speech I have heard. He insisted President Trump “fanned the flames of white supremacy.”
Of course, the implications were that he would not do such a horrible thing. Instead of being an “uniter” and a call for civility it was a hateful, degrading and untrue speech. Even a “news reporter” felt inclined to impugn the President’s condemnation of white supremacy as a mere reading of a teleprompter and not a heartfelt conviction. So much for unity or mutual respect among political ideologies.
By using hateful hyperbole in his speech, Biden lost all credibility. Moreover, the truth was lost. It was merely an attempt to gain political advantage and humiliate his opponent. All while wistfully assuming he will become the nominee.
Intelligent people can argue blame for the shootings in El Paso and Dayton as a need for gun control. Or as an indication of the shooters’ political ideology or mental health. When the political manifesto recording the ramblings of one of the El Paso perpetrator was found, political pundits were gleefully happy.
Now they had an excellent story to continue their narrative of blaming the opposition party of complicity in the crime of racism and hate.
The same issue surfaces every time an incident occurs. However, nothing ever changes because a bonified solution might favor one political party or the other.
Does anyone believe that in the current political climate, an agreement can be reached that addresses the problem, let alone solve it? Both political parties fan the flames of hatred, but the Democrats seem to be more proficient in their use of divisive rhetoric to blame the republicans.
What should a Christian do about gun control?
The most plausible solution for Bible-believing Christians is not an empty, pointless conversation about imaginative proposals. What we need is a new attitude toward changing the moral fiber of America through the historical message of Christianity.
Faith-based Christianity recognizes that evil is in the world. It does not take a mass shooting to convince them of it. However, it does remind believers that evil is alive in the world. To state the obvious, the mentally ill do not perpetrate all mass shootings.
Most acts of violence come from inner evil—the nature of sin.
Legislation of programs to eradicate this kind of violence will fail. To listen to news broadcasts and public figures, one gets the impression that if we restrict gun ownership, or certain types of guns, or create proper background checks and institute new mental health programs the violence will end.
The fear is that the two parties will struggle to find mutually acceptable common ground. Nevertheless, as a free society, we must unite to seek solutions at the political, social, and spiritual levels. While skepticism may taint optimism, perhaps we can curb the violence even if we cannot eradicate it.
However, let us stop the blame game and pray that respect for another’s opinion will prevail and will conquer hate. And the political greed for power and control.
Lead Image: Silhouette of Tree Near Body of Water during Golden Hour – https://www.pexels.com/photo/flight-landscape-nature-sky-36717/