charleston-victims (3)You never know when one random occurrence will forever change your world and the collective world around you. These events are rare. When they happen, they leave a mark on you and you’re different, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not.

The barbaric terrorist attack/massacre/hate crime that was perpetrated in Charleston on June 17, 2015 was one such event. The taking of these nine innocent lives, as they were gathered to worship in Jesus’ name, was a sickening nadir in our society.

The modern-day martyrdom suffered by those nine and the extraordinary Christ-likeness demonstrated in the forgiveness expressed by their families have changed all that are “changeable,” for the better.

Rarely, if ever, have we seen the very worst of us responded to by the very best in us in such an immediate way.

Something this stunning series of events shows us is that while we all fall short and are similarly sinful before God, we are not equally culpable when it comes to the evils of our society. Often moral equivalency is thrown out as a term basically saying that we’re all messed up and are equally to blame for where our society is. But that’s not true. Some do evil and some are civil. Some promote hate and some express goodwill. The movement to begin to remove  the flag and monuments of those who fought for the cause of the Confederacy from our national landscape is one example of the latter.

As we’ve witnessed in the past two weeks, there is a right side of history and a wrong side. The condition of one person’s heart does matter, for better or for worse. Finally, the message of Jesus is still the hope of the world because He alone has the power to transform the heart.

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