With great power comes great responsibility

great responsibility

Over the past few weeks, I have been the recipient of several pieces of sober news. Sad, scary, shocking, frustrating. These are just a few of the words to express my emotions in response to this series of “apparently” unrelated events that have come to my attention.

  • A friend, a terrific example of success in turning his life around, had a major set-back in recovery.
  • A young mother killed her baby.
  • Friends and family, young and old, are battling cancer.
  • A close relative struggles with her self-worth, her identity, and her relationships.
  • Tragic, violent crimes go unchecked throughout our land.
  • The list goes on…

Together, and even individually, the news of these situations could lead one to despair. The tragic violence in our country is of profound concern.  The mass shooting within our borders make me doubt the nature of man, and through similar circumstances, many have doubted God. What is the answer? What is going on in my world, in our world? I am both bewildered and sad for our community and our nation.

Violent acts, terrorism, has become prevalent within our country. These acts of violence continue to get more severe and go unchecked. Although politicians and civic leaders will proclaim various solutions – stricter gun control, to tighter borders, to larger police forces – these are all just responses to the symptoms and not the root cause. The hearts of men are evil and no shame is placed upon wrong doers either collectively or individually.

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 (ESV)

This observation is still true today as it was in the days of Noah.  Each day there is new evidence of the evil of man wickedness of man and look for answers.  We may look to government, greater education, increasing standards of living, or social institutions as the source of solutions, but we are looking for the answer in the wrong places.

We are a nation with great power. We have wealth. We have unprecedented individual freedoms. We have access to health care, food, water, clothing, shelter, transportation, education, and physical riches never seen before throughout the history of civilization. The wealth and power of the United States in unprecedented. But is it being squandered? Where are we going as a society as a nation?

Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18 (NASB)

Our nation lacks a vision. We have great power, but no overarching purpose. We promote and exalt individual freedom, but not individual responsibility. Our nation promotes individual choice and “self-identification” but where does such freedom lead? Not to order and lawfulness, rather to chaos and lawlessness. We see the evidence every day: unrestrained freedom has opened the door for people with evil intent to do what they please.

The answer is not in gun control. The answer is not in more guns in the hands of individuals. The answer is not a stronger or better equipped police and security forces. The answer is returning to a moral foundation. The answer is returning to the overarching moral concepts and principles that were prevalent at our nation’s founding – that there is a Supreme Being greater than our humanness. That there is an absolute right and wrong. That there are absolute “commandments” for acceptable human behavior and that there are necessary consequences for when individuals or groups of individuals cross the boundaries of accepted behavior.

The words of advice that great cultural sage, Ben Parker gave to his nephew, ring out:

With great power, comes great responsibility.

Has the United States used its power responsibly? No. We need to return to our roots and teach our children right from wrong. We need to remember the vision established by our Declaration of Independence to “establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility” and place limits on acceptable human behavior.  We need to prioritize the value of human life. We need to return to the moral law that God has prescribed.

This is the vision that our people need so we don’t perish.


What do you think? How can we return to rule of law in our country? How can we keep in check the rampant violence in light of the freedoms that we expect and permit in our country? 


About John Forrest