A deepening sense of sadness is growing within me this week. It is a sadness which is welling from my spirit for the families who are heart-broken by Friday’s shooting. The grief and loss they are dealing with is beyond expression.
I am also saddened by some of the foolishness being seen on social media. Amidst the heartfelt sympathies, there are glib comments, arguing over silly issues, and a hardness shown by those with a point to make that is disturbing (both liberal and conservative.)
I am saddened for our country. How can we live in a land where these things happen? As a pastor, I know the spiritual reason. But really, how does someone murder 27 people after breakfast? How do we have a society where such an act can happen? I mean – the building was secure, safety procedures were being followed. But this young man was so intent on slaughtering children that he blasted his way through a door and window to begin the killing spree. Why?
It would be so easy for me to slip into my “preacher-mode” here; and, in a sense, that would be appropriate. And to some extent, that is what I’m doing.
But would you please think with me…
Is it guns?
Is it video games?
Is it the fervency to remove God from anything “public”?
Is it a lack of education?
Is it liberal fanatics? Or conservative?
If all of these were “fixed” to the degree society found acceptable, would that prevent further massacres? Would it?
I don’t think so. In fact, I know it wouldn’t. No, definitely No. No matter how much I wish the solution was that easy, fixing those things is not the answer.
Our problem is not a lack of education or social civility. It is not a lack of police or the proliferation of weapons. It is not entrenched political beliefs at either end of the spectrum. It is also not a biological problem that can be fixed with chemicals.
If every gun, machete, axe, hunting knife, and common steak knife were removed from the homes of America, people would still strangle each other in the night. But, we would feel better about it, because the carnage would be less.
The problem is much deeper and more pervasive than any of those listed above.
It is a problem which causes our universe to groan, both the human and the physical aspects of it. There is something fundamentally scarred within the human spirit. This scar extends to every molecule and atom in existence.
It is rebellion against our Maker and it started in Eden. Don’t like that answer? Just look around you, the evidence is overwhelming. A rebellious creation groans under the consequences of shaking our fist in the face of God.
I am sad.
I am sad because the solutions that will be offered to prevent this carnage will not address this fundamental problem. I am sad because the voices with the solution will be suppressed by the powers-to-be.
I am sad because the solution has already been found, offered, and is still available. But most will reject it.
The solution is before our eyes.
In the midst of Christmas marketing schemes, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Santa Claus, Tinsel, and trees – the solution is hidden in a manger. Most will miss Him.
The solution to mankind’s shaking our collective fist in the face of God; was for him to offer a perfect God-man, born to a virgin, in the lowest of conditions: an animal enclosure.
He is the solution. But we must remember that Christmas was only part of the solution to this scar. The manger of Christmas is connected to the cross of Calvary. Don’t like that answer either?
Then keep relying on police, social programs, education reform, disarming the public, and chemical fixes. Let’s see where that gets us – so far it hasn’t worked. What we need is not “reform” but a “rebirth” from within.
So, America and the world, when you tire of those Band-Aid solutions to the bloodletting, consider again the solution found in the person and work of Jesus Christ as revealed in the pages of Scripture…
…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God, (1 Peter 1:18-21 NKJV).