- Special Sections
- Public Notices
The suspicions of conspiracy theorists seem to have been confirmed in recent weeks with the revelation that the IRS has been targeting specific groups and individuals for stricter scrutiny, such as members of the tea party movement, religious groups and other so-called conservative entities; it seems that even some families who have adopted were placed under their microscope.
To add fuel to the fire, it now seems that the NSA has been collecting surveillance data from United States citizens through the monitoring of phone calls and e-mails.
It seems that we may indeed have an ostensible “Big Brother” in Washington, DC, and I don’t think he wants to give us a light-hearted “noogie.”
This has been a long time coming, and it didn’t start with this administration; it does seem, however, that the dragnet has been cast wider than it once was.
Our president has said that we can’t have “100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience … We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.” There is some truth in that statement; and we can debate the advantages and disadvantages of these practices. Our national security may be the end result of such efforts; but who the enemy is seems to be a matter of conjecture.
We may feel uncomfortable with the notion that federal officials are monitoring our whereabouts; we may be uneasy with the thought that grandma may not be the only one on the phone with us; we may think twice before we click “send” on our e-mail, wondering who else might read it. These seem to be growing concerns in our day and age.
But what if I told you that not even your thoughts are known only to you? No, I’m not talking about a bad episode of the Twilight Zone; I’m referring to the one who knows all things, the one to whom nothing is hidden. King David sung of this reality when he composed, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:1-6).
God isn’t invading our privacy; the earth and everything in it belongs to him (1 Cor. 10:26). We are on his turf, and we operate according to the natural laws he governs. He knows us better than we know ourselves; this is why he provided a way to know him in a personal way.
God sees past the appearances we work so hard at putting on. He sees through the designer clothing and gets right to the heart of the matter. He sees a heart that John Calvin called a “factory of idols” that puts out more false gods than we have time to worship. He sees past our religious attempts to justify ourselves apart from grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
He sees our lives for the messes they are and he stands ready to save any and all who call out to him in repentance and faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are concerns about actions of our government warranted? Absolutely; but until our hearts have been changed by the grace of God in Christ, what the government has on us pales in comparison to what the God of the universe has against us. I ask you, who do you fear the most?
Brian Owens is an associate pastor with youth and children emphasis at Farmdale Baptist Church. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.