The CT massacre:
As of this blog writing, this is all I know. Children are dead. Adults are dead. A tragedy has been placed at the doorsteps of, what is supposed to be, one of our safest places - a school. Each day parents drop their children off at school believing the school to be a safe environment for their children to learn. Today that did not happen. Today in Connecticut murder took place; and of a far worse kind than we can imagine.
And lest we forget two others' are dead in Oregon as a shooter walked into a shopping mall and committed murder. This sad tale only continues.
People are going to ask why. Already on various Facebook posts people are asking, "how can this happen in our country!" We try and find reasons for this tragedy - what is happening in our culture to precipitate such heinous acts? Is it movies, video games, guns, etc....and if we stop the conversation there we will be attempting to fix this problem simply by trimming the tree of evil - without attacking the root problem. The root problem of this evil is sin.
I would like to quote from James 1:13-15, "When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." I do not know the motivation of the shooter(s). I do not need to know. I know that they allowed sin to go unchecked in their heart and motivations and it ended with death. That is what sin does. It begins with a seed of hate, lust, anger, distrust, fear, etc...and if not dealt with it grows. It grows into something terrible and ugly - and all sin leads to death. All of it.
This is not a simple trite blog saying, "we need to bring prayer back in schools..." or, "we better not take God out of the Pledge..." No, we must be more serious than that. This tragedy is not a time to score political points. Mothers and fathers are grieving a type of grief I do not want to imagine - indeed I cannot imagine it. Now is not the time to be trite. Now is the time to be repentant.
God aches over sin. He mourns over it. He grieves deeper than we do over what happened today. And God is the only One who can, and has, offered a solution and hope to those who are grieving. He has given us Jesus. He is not trite. This is no simple answer. People may ask in the midst of their pain, "where was God when these children were dying?" The answer is He was where He was when His Son died. His seeming silence is not inaction. God has solved this problem of sin and He has solved it by giving His Son to die for us. But we must acknowledge our sins. We must not let sin go unchecked in our hearts. We must see sin for what it is. We must see ugliness for what it is; and like Ezekiel we must become watchmen - telling others in our culture, our communities, our jobs, our schools, and our churches that we must turn from sin. We can excuse it no longer. It must be checked.
The only cure for our culture is Jesus. I mean it. Simply taking away violent video games, guns, etc...won't do it. It won't. Pruning the tree may curb its growth - but the tree will still grow. Sin must be dealt with at the root - and the root can only be dealt with by confessing it. Admitting it. Seeking help at the foot of the cross. And for people to know this is what is needed, they must be told. We must tell others. We simply must. Forgive us God. amen.