Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bless the Beasts and the Children

Here we go again. Another tragic school shooting, this time at a small Ohio school.

When you read about this, you see what seems to be a pretty common theme. A kid who is an outcast. Bullied. Not the best situation at home, etc.

That could have been me in my school years, at least until high school. I was the smallest one in class, usually. I had the big vocabulary and glasses, and got picked on constantly. I got mad and sometimes wanted to fight back. But the difference for me was that I was a Christian, or at least at that time governed by Christian morals and ethics. I knew murder or seriously injuring someone was wrong, and wouldn't have done so. But society was also a bit different back then. Today, the same societal constraints and moral consensus that existed is gone. Today's generation is self-centered and narcissistic, and consumed with the desire for instant gratification. Mix unsupervised firearms into the mix, and we've got the potential (and in this case, reality) of a deadly meltdown.

The gun banners will use this for political reasons, as they always do. But no one wants to attempt to deal with the real problem—the breakdown of the family and the wholesale abandonment of a Judeo-Christian ethic. These kids see virtue get mocked, and the constant message they get from their sources of entertainment is "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die," or complete, hopeless nihilism. There is no hope now, or in the future, so why does doing the right thing matter? "People are in my way or keeping me back from what I want, so I will do whatever it takes to get them out of my way, even if it means killing them."

Some churches will call for "revival." But I am beginning to really dislike that term. "Revive" means something was once alive. Unsaved people are dead in their trespasses and sins. They need to hear the Gospel and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once they have saving faith, they are then regenerated in their spirits and have fellowship with God. Then the discipleship process begins.

We can have "revival" in the church, which means believers re-dedicating and re-committing their lives to Christ, and recapturing their first love, which is the Lord. So maybe we need things in that order. Churches and individual Christians need to get their noses out of their mutual "bless me" clubs and get busy with sharing the Gospel—and making disciples. If we faithfully proclaim the Word of God and the Gospel, the Holy Spirit will do what only He can do and draw people to Himself. Then we will see a regenerated society.

But what about the kids like the alleged school shooter? We can ask a thousand questions. Why didn't someone see this coming? Why didn't someone take his Facebook posts seriously? Why didn't someone reach out to this kid with love and compassion, or did they?

All questions that I cannot answer. But today my heart breaks for this community, the victims, and yes, the alleged perpetrator. His life is now in broken shards because of what he has done. His life obviously was in broken shards before he ever got to the point of pulling the trigger.

Please join me in praying for a great move of God in that school, in that town, and in this country. The Lord Jesus is our only hope of restoration and putting things to rights.

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