My take on school shootings? It’s a great puzzle; how can stuff that bad happen?
I have a couple comments...
One thing all Christians can take away is an honest look at what sin does to rot out the human heart. We’re all prone to utopian thinking; that we’re all evolving into better and better human beings. As technology evolves, people sort of expect that we’re all getting better, too. You know, we’ve medically managed to manage certain dreadful diseases – the Bubonic plague, the Black Death, tuberculosis, leprosy are no longer the scourges they used to be.
And we have this romantic notion that everything is sort of getting better and better. Our technology makes our lives more comfortable, faster, safer. We travel unbelievable distances in very short times. The amount of experiences you can rack up, or the fact that you can travel … travel all over the country…even if you’re an ordinary working stiff … by the end of your life … is so wildly different from how things used to be, 800 years ago, when people never even got out of their village.
So, we have this notion that we’re all getting better and better. And I think... reality crashes in … and when the devil gets his hooks into someone, deep, the devil lies. He told Eve, “ I’m your friend. Rebelling against God will make you happy.” And then he turned on her and laughed at her, as her life got miserable, and the pain began and the frustration began, and death entered.
When we see people shooting little Amish girls with their ankles tied together, or an assassin walking in and deciding to gun down a principal because he hates all authority figures …that’s like looking at Satan right in the eyes to see what he’s really like. That is what the devil would like to do to us all; to twist us up into ugly, vile and sick creatures, just like him.
This is why we need a savior.
And a second thing that occurs to me is … the evil that twisted up the hearts of these very sad, sick, broken individuals …that same evil lurks within our hearts as well. What Satan is working on us…what might seem like “littlish” temptations….Eve eating a piece of fruit … little temptations lead you down an ugly, sickening path, and we need to resist the sin in ourselves, too, not just think that that’s an aberration.
The sick individuals who acted out their anger ultimately it’s because they gave up on everything. They despair. They hate themselves. They hate their past. They resent and hate other people for seeming to be so happy when they are so miserable. So they lash out at others, and then they kill themselves, the ultimate act of self-hatred. And that’s where all sin leads. And every one of us needs to turn to the wonderful forgiveness of Jesus every day to be washed and cleansed. Because, qualitatively, the same sin …any collaboration with Satan; the same fascination with being like the devil, or doing what the devil wants that drove people to these horrible, ugly crimes falls on us, too. And we need Jesus for forgiveness and we need the power of the Spirit to resist.