I have intentionally held off this afternoon and evening commenting formally on the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. One reason is that I needed to have time to pray about it and to give authorities time to make sure things were clear and victims being taken care of. Also, to give others plenty of time to speak up and respond. Further, my desire was and is to not overly politicize this tragedy. Many already are trying to use this shooting as yet another foundation to push their own misguided political agenda.
I was pleased to read President Trump’s quick and measured Tweet:
My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
But was further saddened to see the immediate responses by many who’s ugly and vile response to the President’s message betrayed the core of why I believe we are seeing these horrible acts of violence.
Let me begin by saying – we are seeing ugliness in this nation – acts of violence including mass shootings, we are seeing increases in all sorts of crimes, and at the same time we are watching an entire generation appear to collectively lose their minds (demonstrated by such acts as the recreational “eating” of Tide Pods!). We see cities like Philadelphia celebrate their professional football team’s Super Bowl victory by taking to the streets and systematically causing as much destruction as they can, while simultaneously looting businesses of their merchandise and other property. You see – these are all symptoms (and some may say – “signs”) of both the times we live in and the absolute corruption spreading in the hearts of mankind in our nation.
The horrible and deranged acts of madmen shooting up concerns venues, night clubs, movie theaters, schools, and more, are all the product, not of WHO the President of the United States is, it isn’t the result of the “NRA” and any undue influence or money they seem to exercise towards politicians. These acts that so shock us are not the product of a vast Right Wing Conspiracy, or of racism. They are not the product of “white privilege” or the desperation of the poor in the “inner city”. Every one of these acts are the direct result of unregenerate hearts.
Mankind has been carrying out violent acts and murder against man since soon after the creation of the world. Cain killed Abel because of self-pride and a corrupt heart. Joseph’s brothers beat him, cast him into a hole, then sold him into slavery out fo pride and a real hatred for their own brother.
Jesus Christ, the very Son of God was murdered – put to death, though innocent of any sin or violation of the law Himself – because of jealousy and sinful pride of the religious leaders of His day and the willing, unregenerate population of Jerusalem.
Even in “church” history – the sad reality is – many have killed in the name of Jesus – but out of their own hate and pride or who was “right”.
Violence has been a part of this creation since the fall of man in the Garden. It is one fo the many symptoms of the who don’t know the Lord our God, and instead “turn each one their own way” doing “what was right in his own eye”.
Within minutes of today’s shooting, and on the heels (and in reply to the President’s prayerful Tweet posted above), very real hate, vitriol, and total heart corruption was put on display. Hearts that are every bit as corrupt before a totally righteous God spewed fowl language at the President, mocked not only the President but all Christians for their “useless” prayers. Posts and Tweets across social media mocking God in particular –
And I say this – every one of them serve as a vivid reminder of just WHY God ALLOWS these horrific events to happen. The answer is quite obvious to anyone who has ever spent any effort to read the Bible. Just take a look at what has happened to every nation that rejects God – that turns from God (in the case of Israel/Judah). When a people functionally kick God out – turning to their own idols and pride – God has regularly allowed judgement to come in the form of unholy leaders, oppression, violence, suffering and much more.
While the context is not the modern USA (in context, God was speaking to nation Israel in a specific time and set of circumstances), the message still rings loudly –
My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ~2 Chronicles 7:14
Or the words God spoke to Isaiah:
“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.” ~Isaiah 1:15
You see – all we really need to do to face the horrible things we see unfold before us and begin finding solutions, is to see that we – a nation that at one time really was known as a “Christian nation”, has blood on its collective hands. We have sat idle by (either literally, or functionally) and watched as 60 million babies have been murdered, depriving them of the most basic and fundamental right of man – the right to LIFE.
We have, as a nation, systematically torn down the institutions that God instituted from Creation – redefining those institutions to suit our own fancy, instead of honoring the God-ordained order.
We have decided that gender is an artificial construct and not set by any standard by your own “feelings”. Need mind that even at our very biological core – the DNA specifically identifies our gender.
We have not only thumbed our noses at God’s ordained patterns and systems, we have also collectively told God to “take a hike” – shoving all mentions of the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit from the public square. We have wedged in definitions of the founding Father’s choice of guaranteeing the freedom of religion to be free FROM all religion that includes the biblical God (but amazingly have tolerated or even promoted the false “god” of Islam and other pagan religions, ultimately setting up a national religion (specifically prohibited by the Constitution) of Secular Humanism.
No – it isn’t “the guns” that are responsible for these killings (in fact, I have never seen a gun load and fire itself at anyone). It isn’t because some people actually understand the Constitution and the reasons for the Amendments wisely included. It is the corrupt hearts of man – that will continue to kill and hurt others until Jesus Christ returns and sets things straight.
NO amount of finger-pointing at Presidents or politicians, organizations, or inanimate objects is going to fix the corrupt hearts of men.
Might I suggest we begin by humbling ourselves before God, repenting of our hard hearts – confessing that we have failed to speak up, failed to witness to the saving power of Jesus Christ (in words OR in our actions). Might I suggest inviting God back in to this nation as a welcome King? Might I urge the reader to not just let this latest horrible event just add to your hate and anger – but instead to turn your eyes upon Jesus…
Are there major problems in our society? Of course. And yes, we have a responsibility to act responsibly – but we must begin in the strongest position of all in this world – on our knees before a Holy and Righteous God –
“The Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.”
“The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
Noah Webster, (author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary)