McCalla, Alabama, what are you thinking? What are you doing?
Our little suburb has just been hit between the eyes with this dark reality:
Steve Hutcheson stood over his wife and two children and shot them to death, one by one while they slept, before he left his McCalla home and later met up with his girlfriend to drink, do cocaine and have sex, authorities said today. (Al.com)
Dark forces are at work in our community. A member of our community has just shot his wife and two children to death. You might even know these folks. You kids probably went to school with Kimberly and Peyton. Mine did.
Kim and her mom were apparently shot while they were sleeping, but it seems Peyton was aware and knew what his father was intending to do. The article continues:
Peyton, it appears, saw it coming. He was on the couch, and then rolled to floor after having been shot three times, in the neck and face. (Al.com)
That’s right. He shot his 12-year-old boy in the neck and the face. Don’t quit reading yet. McCalla, we need to face this horrible thing. Together. As a community.
After slaughtering his family, Steve Hutcheson decided to get drunk, high, and have a party. This reflects a high level of spiritual darkness, and spiritual darkness is infectious to a community. It is the worst kind of spreading cancer. It is the cancer of the soul.
Do you want to hear the stark and painful truth? There is great darkness in a high percentage of McCalla homes. Perhaps things aren’t quite as dark as Steve Hutcheson’s soul, but the darkness is there nonetheless. And it is thick. It creeps into the homes of normal-looking families (like the Hutchesons), and it can cause absolute chaos very quickly.
The Hutcheson case is the worst kind of scenario. But I know through my ministry work that spiritual darkness plagues our neighborhoods. Alcoholism, drug addiction, adultery, hate, idolatry, contentions, gossip, and slothfulness can be found on almost every street in McCalla.
We are a spiritually dark community.
How many people in McCalla go to church every Sunday? How many people in McCalla get drunk every weekend?
How many people in McCalla can say, “I am filled with the joy of the Lord?” How many people in McCalla would admit that they live in miserable depression?
How many people in McCalla have God-honoring marriages where Jesus is the focus of their family? How many people in McCalla sit on their computers viewing porn multiple times a week?
My heart aches for this community. So many people refuse the only solution to the darkness – a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Most refuse to be even remotely concerned with this glorious truth:
Colossians 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
So many in McCalla are content to sit in the domain of darkness and let it ruin them. Most are content to let greed, envy, sexual immorality, and drunkenness enslave them.
Very few are running to Jesus.
McCalla has some wonderful churches. I praise God for Grace Life, Flint Hill, McCalla Bible, Baptist Church at McCadory, Bellview, Tannehill, Rock Mountain Lakes, and many others (wish I could name them all). But only a minority of the people who live in our community attend these churches or any others in the Birmingham area. The majority of people are simply not interested in the Word of God, the community of God, or anything associated with God. Most seem to be content living in the darkness.
McCalla, a man just murdered his wife and two children in your backyard. Do you see where darkness takes people? Do you see what darkness does? It always leads to death.
The people of McCalla are grieving because of the force of darkness that has struck our community. But the grieving only seems to last a couple of seconds. Do you know why? Well, because Luke Bryan is coming! Who has time to weep over plaguing darkness when a country superstar is coming to party?
And what does Luke Bryan sing about?
You got that sun tan skirt and boots
Waiting on you to look my way and scoot
Your little hot self over here
Girl hand me another beer, yeah!
Steve Hutcheson might have had that one playing while he and his girlfriend partied. Or maybe Steve used his blood-stained hands to hit play on this tune:
Girl, you make my speakers go boom boom
Dancin’ on the tailgate in a full moon
That kinda thing makes a man go mmm hmmm
You’re lookin’ so good in what’s left of those blue jeans
Drip of honey on the money make her gotta be
The best buzz I’m ever gonna find
Hey, I’m a little drunk on you
Look, the people who know me know that I’m not legalistic about secular music. I’m not calling for a CD burning. But I know that when I listen to music like this my mind is not on Jesus. It doesn’t lead me to seek the holiness of the Lord or live my life for the glory of God.
Yet in the wake of a triple homicide,
all I’m reading on Facebook is how everybody can’t wait
for Luke Bryan to come and rock the farm.
Do you honestly think thousands of drunk people in a field is what McCalla needs right now?
What McCalla needs to do right now is hit our knees. We need to call out to God, and we need to hear the Word of God preached with power. We need to pack out the churches seeking a real, life-altering relationship with the Lord of glory. We need to be transferred into his kingdom of light.
Contrast Luke Bryan’s songs with this:
Romans 13:11-12 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Wake up, McCalla! Darkness is killing us! Our children will grow up with even darker hearts than we have. Satan and demonic forces have a strong foothold in our community, and if we do nothing about it, the results will be utterly and eternally disastrous. Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light!
Romans 13:13-14 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
How can you party yourself silly in a field with country-man-superstar when a few miles down the road a woman and two children were murdered in cold blood? Ladies, how can you stare google-eyed at good-looking Luke Bryan when Steve Hutcheson stared google-eyed at his girlfriend after slaughtering his own children?
Don’t you see what darkness does? Don’t you see what life is like apart from Jesus Christ, the Light of the world?
McCalla, Alabama, what are you thinking? What are you doing?
[UPDATE: This post has generated a great deal of feedback. In the next post, I’ve tried to respond to the thoughts of many who agree and disagree with the stance I’ve taken here – McCalla: A Response to Your Feedback]
(Article credit: Carol Robinson — Authorities: McCalla man slaughtered family before all-night party with girlfriend )