Antidotes For Crime And Violence

October 23, 2014

  Antidotes For Crime And Violence

            An antidote is something that corrects or counteracts.  Antidotes are used to correct and counteract that which is adverse or unwanted.  Most everyone would agree that we need   antidotes for crime and violence.

In reality, we already have two antidotes for crime and violence.  One is a negative antidote and the other is positive.  The negative antidote is to make laws against it.  That we have already done, but it is highly ineffective.  If laws, in themselves, were adequate we wouldn’t have any crime and violence.  The fact that our prisons are full and that we are constantly building more testifies to the fact that laws, in themselves, aren’t all we need.

However, if there were no laws and no punishment, there would be much more crime and violence.  We should be thankful for our peace officers who sometimes risk their lives to apprehend law breakers.  It is a comfort to us to know that many violent criminals are behind bars.

The positive antidote to crime and violence is that of putting forth a concerted effort to bring about a change in the moral nature of people.  Laws cause people to say “I better not do wrong because I’ll suffer for it.”  However, if a man has a change in his moral nature, he will say “I have no desire to do wrong.” Crime and violence will decrease if we add to the number of those who think in terms of righteousness and justice.

The fact that crime is increasing is an indication that we are negligent in our duty to instil in the minds of people the need of taking into consideration the well-being of others.  Romans 14:7 says, “None of us liveth to himself.”  What we do, or don’t do, affects those around us.  Selfishness is part of the sin nature of man.  The word “selfishness” isn’t found in the Bible, but we see clear evidence of it.  The closest word to it is the word “sellfwilled” found in II Peter 2:10.  Selfishness manifests itself in children.  Their parents need to teach them to be kind, share their toys, and think of the well-being of others.  If not, they may grow up to be law breakers.

When God is pushed out, culture and society gravitate toward selfishness.     More and more people begin thinking; “What can I get?” For them, that is of much greater concern than “What can I contribute?” There are people in our society who are making a concerted effort to erase all thought of God from the minds of people.  Some of them are in our public schools.   They are seeking to obliterate divine truth from the minds of our children. It is replaced   with secular humanism.  We don’t expect our schools to teach Bible classes.  Neither do we   want them to destroy our children’s faith in God.

Another problem that is contributing to the breakdown of law and order is the public’s excessive preoccupation with entertainment.  Sports are amoral, but much of what comes from Hollywood is immoral.  We need to get people to see that life isn’t just fun and games.

For God’s people, the best way of introducing the positive antidote is by sharing the gospel with friends and neighbors.  Love for, respect for, and the fear of God will fill our churches with people who are concerned about the well-being of others.   If people are genuinely converted, their thinking and attitude will be transformed.  II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.´

We need to take advantage of the opportunity to work alongside of the negative antidote, which is law and order.  Those who have been incarcerated for crimes they have committed are experiencing the adversity that results from lawlessness.  To incarcerate a criminal, however, is no guarantee that his or her heart and mind will be changed.  They have time to reflect.  Many are lonely and feel rejected and abandoned by loved ones and friends.  They appreciate attention shown to them.  Some are bitter and angry, but with persistence, they can sometimes be reached.  Christian workers can introduce them to Christ who has the power to transform their lives.  When that happens, when they regain their liberty, they will be useful, productive citizens.

In our day we suffer not only from crime, but also from violence.  It will increase more and more unless we confront it with the two antidotes of law and love.  Some of our precious young people are being recruited to participate in violence in the name of religion.  There are religions that perpetuate their beliefs by means of violence.  God does his work by means of love.  II Timothy 2:24 says, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.”

We need to put into practice what it says in Hebrews 12:14.  “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” We need to encourage all men to do the same.  Be a positive antidote to counteract crime and violence.

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