What I read today;
Galatians 4-5; Mark 16; Ezekiel 32-33; Psalm 134; Job 16; Numbers 23
Over the 1st weekend in May we were in Colorado watching our youngest daughter graduate and spending time with her and our oldest daughter. During the time in which we were driving home another school shooting occurred. This time in Highlands Ranch, CO. Two young people armed with pistols walked into a school and began shooting. If not for the heroic acts of a few students, one who sacrificed himself, a massacre might have ensued. As it is 1 student died, and 8 were injured.
I got into a bit of a Twitter debate about this a couple of days later. I know I shouldn’t, but this problem has become so bad that we just can’t remain silent any longer. As these events continue, I think it’s important to try and understand how we got here and, more importantly, what are we going to do to try and stop it.
First of all, I don’t think taking guns away is the answer. It’s just to simple a solution for such a complex problem.
I saw statistics showing school shootings. From 1962 to 1980 the numbers were relatively flat. From 1980 to 2000 the figures showed a slow and steady increase. After 2000 the numbers skyrocket.
If you look into the individuals who’ve perpetrated these crimes, I believe you’ll find some common threads.
Loners, outcast, bullied individuals who have become alienated and lost. Each of them with some grudge against society or the school they have attacked. Each trying to make a statement about themselves.
In the past 40 years, we’ve seen the advent of Cable TV which has shown more and more violent content to younger and younger audiences. We’ve watched video games that have become more and more violent some now showing torture and killing on levels that 40 years ago would have left people gasping in horror. Today it’s called a game. On the internet, you can find any level of violent content showing rape, murder and other forms of brutality. Today with our smartphones we can now carry all of that with us, wherever we go.
And while all of that has gone on our society has moved away from the Savior of mankind. The church has gotten into petty arguments about doctrine and not reached out to those who are hiding in the shadows. With all of our technological advances, we’ve driven people further and further away from the saving touch of a savior.
Our churches are shrinking in size, and we are at risk of losing an entire generation. The disenfranchised and angry are growing.
Church, we need to begin reaching out to the lost and disenfranchised. We have to start to show the love of Christ to these people. We have to show them that they are indeed loved children of God who have a savior who loves them deeply. We need them to hear words like Galatians 4 vs. 4-7;
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.” NRSV
Each time we hear of these incidents, it breaks my heart to know that mothers and fathers will never see their children again, to see how devastated the survivors are, and to witness another teenager standing in a courtroom.
Now more than ever we need to pray, we need to seek out the lost, and we need to show Christ’s love to a lost and hurting world.