This morning as I was watching the news, there came an update regarding a murder that happened near where we used to live in the Bay Area (read story). It involved a 16-year-old suspect who beat a woman to death, carved satanic symbols on her back, and then used her shower to clean himself up. The story was so gruesome it even appeared to impact one of the reporters — which is no small feat these days.
The other story involved a mother who threw her three small children into the Bay because the voices in her head told to. A passerby saw what happened and called 911; the San Francisco Fire Department was there within four minutes. The children were no where to be found. Later two bodies were recovered and they are still searching for the third child.
We live in a dark, fallen world. The San Francisco area is a good example of what happens when the church retreats from her mission. Whenever God’s people give ground, the enemy is there to occupy it.
Too often the church assumes a defensive posture when it should be on the offensive. Jesus told Peter that he would build the church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:17-19). Gates are not offensive weapons but defensive positions. In other words, when the church storms the gates of hell to fight back the powers of darkness, hell cannot hold it back.
That is why Jesus taught about how light dispels darkness. God help us to shine our lights.