The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished… The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him. (Nahum 1:3; 7)
A horrific tragedy, so close to Christmas, leaves a shocked nation mourning.
The darkness and ugliness of evil has captured America once again. This time, it was a massacre inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a masked gunman took the lives of six adults and twenty children between the ages of 5 – 10. Stories are emerging, and details will continue to be learned about that day about the victims, the heroes, the school, the security of public schools, and the motives and psychology of the killer, Adam Lanza. Debates will continue about how to prevent something like this from happening again.
Many will try to make this a political issue and point to gun control, better security, or safer buildings and classrooms. Few will suggest there is no way to stop someone that is committed and determined to kill. How unthinkable that a person could aim a gun at precious, innocent children and take their young lives. There are reports the twenty year-old killer may have had mental health problems; but how could anyone take so many lives, especially children? He saw them as objects rather than human beings.
Early reports said the killer was a ‘goth kid’ into dark video games. Have we become desensitized to how violent video games have become? They don’t rate many of them ‘M for Mature’ for no reason. Guns have been around for hundreds of years; video games have been around for just over a few decades.
Hollywood continues producing the most violent, sadistic movies, television programs, and morbid video games that glorify graphic violence and killing people. They’re selling like crazy to today’s youth and our entertainment-driven culture. Some kids now have a harder time differentiating between fantasy and real life when it comes to violence. Why don’t more people cite the countless studies that have been done proving violent movies, TV, and video games encourage children to act out and to justify violent behavior?
Why are we reluctant to call this what it truly is? This is a moral issue, and America has all but abandoned God in the public square. Satan is a very real enemy, and the Bible teaches: “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10) Jesus, however, came to lay down His own life for us that we might have access to God the Father and be given eternal life. (John 10:11)
Yes, the Sandy Hook school massacre was a senseless, heart-wrenching tragedy; but we are powerless to completely stop the forces of evil. Pure evil cannot and does not wait; evil respects no one. A shocked America has again been reminded of this present darkness. The answer is not more laws, better security, or thicker windows and walls in public places. The answer is not gun control. (In Israel, female teachers carry guns in school to protect children.)
Are we ready to face the truth about evil? Will we now take some responsibility for how and what we are teaching young people in American schools? The killer had been out of school for less than two years. Almost anything is allowed in government-run public schools that the Bible would consider unwise, harmful (and in many cases, sinful.) Conversely, what has been kicked out of public schools? Prayer, the mention of Jesus Christ, God’s laws, and the Bible itself. How has this been working out for us?
Kids are learning moral relativism, and more Americans are having a hard time discerning good and evil. Our standards of morality and responsibility have dropped dramatically, and we have allowed life itself to be devalued in our ungodly society. We are naïve to think that ignoring the causes of evil will eliminate evil. We need common sense.
American culture devalues life and in the process has all but eradicated God and the Judeo-Christian principles we were founded upon. The tragedy in Connecticut will leave many broken lives, but we can be confident because we know Christ can heal broken hearts. However, too many of us forget the ongoing abortion holocaust in a country that claims to be predominantly pro-life. I’m talking about 55 million babies killed in mother’s wombs since unelected judges legalized abortion in 1973.
A cowardly killer takes the lives of twenty children at a school, and it impacts a nation while complicit killers take the lives of thousands of babies every day in America; and we silently give them permission to use our tax dollars to help fund the slaughter.
Last Friday’s tragedy in Connecticut reminds us that there is a spiritual battle between good and evil; without God, there can be no morality. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Newtown, CT is a very small community about 45 miles from Hartford. If this kind of evil can occur in a small town, it can happen anywhere; but who knows – it may not have happened at all if God had not been blotted out of the public square starting in 1962.
It’s awful it had to happen so close to Christmas, and yet we know God allowed it – so close to Christmas. The only answer is the life, person, and teachings of Jesus Christ, without whom there is no cure, no hope, no solution, no salvation. He was sent to heal the brokenhearted and preach the good news to the poor in spirit. (Isaiah 61:1-2)
This is the message of Christmas: God sent His only Son – because He loves every one of us. In spite of the darkness, wickedness, and our ungodly culture, Jesus is called ‘Immanuel’ (which means: ‘God with us’.) This is the hope we profess. Our God is faithful, His love is everlasting, and His promises are true.
There will always be evil in the world, and what happened in Newtown, CT is a sobering reminder of why we must understand the times and share the Gospel with others who need hope. Let’s not just say ‘our thoughts and prayers go out’ to the hurting; let’s actually pray.
Only God knows the number of our days. While we’re here on earth, we are called to love, to bear one another’s burdens, and “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) Jesus didn’t promise an easy life; but through Him, He did promise an overcoming life! In dark or desperate times, people are more open to the love and life Jesus Christ offers. Though we’re in a spiritual battle with evil all around us, we’re never without hope. Let’s share this message of Christmas today and all year long.
Photo Credit: John H. Wright (Creative Commons)
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