A September Note from Pastor Rich

The tragic demise of Robin Williams on August 11, 2014 left countless people wondering why an actor of such success would take his own life. Reports confirmed a struggle with addictions and depression and Williams spoke of these battles in a 2013 interview when he addressed his relapse after two decades of sobriety. He recounted being in a store where he eyed a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, “and then that voice, I call it the ‘lower power,’ goes, ‘Hey, just a taste. Just one.’” That simple exchange led to a drunken stupor and within a week he was back in the abyss of full-blown alcoholism.

The Academy Award winning actor’s assessment of what happened is a very realistic picture of spiritual warfare. Every day, we must continually decide if we are going to listen to the life-giving voice of Christ, often referred to as “The Higher Power,” or submit to the destructive whispers of that “lower power” know as Satan. As Robin Williams’ life attests, such decisions carry the risk of certain death.

You and I live in a world where Satan has redefined morality. Dr. David Jeremiah tells us that “morality is in free fall” in our nation and our culture. Satan is constantly attempting to draw us into the new and acceptable morality in our culture and we are beginning to ask “why not” to things that, just a few years ago, we already knew the answer. Paul told us that there were people, “cross haters,” “whose glory is in their shame.” I wonder if we are in the same place. It seems that we have come to the place where people don’t blush anymore and there is nothing that takes us by surprise.

We must remember two things: (1) The Propensity to sin is not sin. Of course, we all have the propensity to sin, but it does not become sin until we carry it out and actually enter into the sin. This propensity to sin, the sin nature, is certainly something that every one of us has in common with one another. (2) We can choose our sin, but we do not get to choose the consequences of our sin. More often than not, those consequences are going to affect someone we care about and love very much. Of course that is the case with Robbin Williams. His wife, three grown children, other family members, and thousands of fans will suffer because of choices he made.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me?” (Phil. 4:13) We have the very power of God within us to enable us to do His will rather than that of Satan, our culture, or the moral standard of our society. Further, we can be of help to one another. We can share with one another and pray for one another in this whole process. That is what makes the Family of God the greatest benefit in each of our lives.

Oh yes, Robin Williams was one of my favorite actors and perhaps with the exception of Jerry Lewis, was the funniest man in my lifetime. I will miss him.

Serving Christ Together,
Pastor Rich