In light of the recent mass killings in our nation, the most recent of which occurred in the small town of Newtown, Conn., it is appropriate to think about some of the reasons why such events are occurring.
Some will attempt to politicize these situations by blaming guns – or not enough of them. Others will mistakenly point to the race of the individuals, their parents, parenting or lack thereof.
The reality is that none of these issues matter at this time. Some may factor into the equation, but they are merely the symptom of a larger problem. Also, this is not an effort to blame any individual or group. It is simply some food for thought and self-reflection.
Biblically speaking, the root cause is sin. Scripture teaches that our world is cursed because of sin. Wicked men do unimaginable things as a result of sin. Death (both spiritual and physical) is a result of sin. All have been affected by its curse.
Praise be to God that Christ redeemed his people from spiritual death. Yet, until the Lord returns, sin will be present.
Sin should grieve our hearts. I cannot imagine what sorrow the parents who have lost their young children are experiencing tonight. I have worked with young children throughout much of my educational career. Elementary-aged children are exuberant, full of life and joy and love. To see those with a lifetime ahead of them tragically murdered is one of the most horrible circumstances imaginable.
Sin is ugly. Sin is painful. This should serve as a reminder that we cannot afford to wink at depravity or take sin lightly. Sin is an affront to our holy God, and we should hate it also.
As I have been processing the tragedy in Connecticut, a few constructive thoughts come to mind. As mentioned above, we must maintain an awareness of the reality of sin. Second, we must reclaim the sanctity of all human life.
This should not be a political football to be bandied about every few years, but upheld as a major pillar of a civilized society. From the tiny young life of the unborn in his mother’s womb, to the mentally and physically impaired, to the most elderly among us – all of human life should be recognized as a blessing from above. All should be regarded as precious.
There is also a mistaken notion that mankind exists by chance or accident. This flawed worldview has devalued the sanctity of life. When our children are taught that man is but another animal, then we should not be surprised when they behave that way.
If our society is going to lessen the frequency of the heinous crimes that we have experienced of late, then we must boldly proclaim that God is the creator of mankind (Genesis 1:1) and we are accountable to him. Morally and civilly speaking, our only hope as a society is to seek his face (2 Chronicles 7:14).
We must also recommit ourselves to being an active, edifying part of humanity. Our youth spends an inordinate amount of time in virtual worlds engaged in impersonal – and often violent – interactions. Countless hours are wasted being amused with the fantasy world of violence and sexual immorality via television, computer and video games. Many adults have abandoned meaningful relationships and friendships for pornography and social networks.
This should not be so. We must repent and seek those things that are honorable and tangible. In Philippians 4:8-9, the Apostle Paul writes, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
These things are not found in fantasy or in the vast multimedia options available to us today. That which is lovely and of a good report is found in personal, meaningful interactions with God’s children.
I am not saying that all social networks, media, etc., are inherently evil, but we must guard our hearts against allowing such to alienate us from personal contact with our fellow men. When we do so, we unwittingly contribute to the problem that fosters the tragedies that we have witnessed of late. God save us from such!