Archives for December 20, 2012

When People Shoot Each Other

After researching about the Newtown, Connecticut shooting yesterday morning, I clicked on a link that led me to “attacks on primary schools that have occurred since the 1800’s.” I scrolled through a list of schools all around the world who have experienced tragic incidences like the one that 20 year old, Adam Lanza brought upon Sandy Hook Elementary School.

We always hear about the horrors that happen in the United States. But, a number of brutal killings occurred in China, too. These are even more appalling because the perpetrators used knives to slash or cut up children and faculty.

Who really knows what drives these killers to such levels of atrocity? No matter how we try to psychoanalyze the reasons and circumstances that birth this kind of unimaginable evil, the reality is that we all have the propensity to inflict pain on others. Maybe not all of us do it to the degree that turns into a headline like Adam Lanza did. But we are sinful, fallen. Apart from God’s grace, we would not choose to love selflessly. We would not choose righteousness.

In 3 John 1:11 it says “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.”

As I watched CNN’s coverage of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I was troubled by the comments that psychologists gave as they were being interviewed by one of the anchors. They were saying things like let’s not jump to conclusions about the why behind the perpetrator’s (Adam Lanza) actions. We don’t understand what was going on in his mind. We have to understand his actions from a sympathetic standpoint because he may have had a mental illness.

We may not know all the facts behind Lanza’s killing spree to give an accurate assessment of his motivations, but we can judge ourselves. Most societies in the world today have made it clear that they don’t want God.

We have sought to remove God. We don’t want to follow his principles or his word. We want to lead ourselves, to determine our own truth apart from him. We want to choose our own morality. So is it such a surprise that the nature inherent to man surfaces? Is it such a surprise that society is full of people whose sense of morality is to hurt, kill, and destroy?

Might we consider that the real issue is we have become a spiritually sick society? We have gotten so lost without a compass, we can no longer identify our beginning or our end.

We were created by God — that is our beginning. We were created for God – that is our purpose. We were created to glorify him – that is our end. Unless we understand this we will desire purpose but grope for it in futility. This is a maddening way to live. There is no peace in this sort of madness. No matter how we try to defend our choices, rationalize, or stand by our beliefs, truth does not accommodate us. We must accommodate truth. We must choose to follow it.

And what is true? God loves you. He loves me. He has a wonderful plan for your life. He never intended for children to grow up to become mass murderers. He never intended for young children to die by the hand of mass murderers. Jesus said, “the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I (Jesus) came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

God proved his love when he gave his son, Jesus, to die in our place, to pay the penalty of our sins…His life for ours. This is not fiction. If it is then why is the resurrection of Jesus one of the most compelling facts in history?

“The evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”[1] Sir Lionel Luckhoo (acknowledged by The Guinness Book of World Records for 245 consecutive defense murder trial acquittals. He once sought to disprove the resurrection but ended up becoming a believer of Jesus Christ.)

And if the resurrection is true, then what keeps us from giving our entire lives to God?

God doesn’t want our religion. He wants us to have a relationship with him – a relationship made possible through Jesus. He wants to give us the power to live a life that pleases him, a life of meaning, of purpose, free from the shackles of sin. He wants us to experience his love and be motivated by his love to love him and others. He wants us to pass this on to our children.

My heartache as a mother, upon hearing the news about the killings, is the sobering reality that we can be responsible for many children who turn out to be just like Adam Lanza. Adam was not an exception to the norm. He represents what could be the destiny of many other children, even our own.

And while we cannot completely comfort those who have lost their children, friends, or family because of the Connecticut tragedy, we can do our part to prevent tragedies such as these by addressing the real problem. Gun control is a superficial fix to a deeper spiritual need. That’s not really the solution. Yes, the mentally impaired should not have access to guns. That’s obvious. But it is not just the mentally impaired who hurt, kill, and destroy. It’s any one of us who thinks we can survive without God. WE NEED GOD to redeem us. We need God in our hearts and the hearts of our children. We need God in our society to heal it.

“For the grace of God has appeared, brining salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:11 – 14)

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[1] see www.gotquestions.org/why-believe-resurrection.html for evidences of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.