The last month has to be one of the bloodies months I can remember in a long time. Sure, there have been single events that more people died in (9-11, OKC bombing). However, it seems that every time I turned on the news or every time I went online to see what was going on I watched bloodshed appear over and over again.
Sadly, as a result of these shootings in Kansas City, Oregon, Connecticut (among others)Ö not to mention the threats of such things happening (bomb scare in that same town in Connecticut) people have used this to start political commentary. Gun Control, Big Pharmacy, Mental Health Care, and other such arguments are being debated across the board. Both sides are offering much more than there two cents worth and as a result what should be deemed as a tragedy and a time of comfort for these families jettisoned into policies and political meandering. Without getting on too much of a soapbox, these families, these children deserve more.
As a Christian, I should really care less about gun control. Guns do not have the power to save a person eternally. Truth is, if you converted someone using a gun, you certainly did not convert them to Christ. Whether you own no guns or an small arsenal, to a Christian it should make no difference. But in the same breath, guns are not the reasons these tragedies happen. There were no guns used by Timothy McVeigh. The Islamic terrorists didnít use guns when they hijacked those planes on 9-11. Wicked people caused these things to happen. The young man (whose name I simply refuse to learn) who took the lives of 20 children in Connecticut may have had some chemical imbalance in his system. His mother may have made a mistake teaching an imbalanced person how to use a gun, but the real issue here is that in his heart wickedness lived. The police are now informing us that based upon the amount of ammunition this young man had on his person, he intended on inflicting much more pain and suffering than what he accomplished. (If that be the case, praise that no more families were morning the loss of their children, moms, and wives).
Now, in times like these the real questions we need to be asking have nothing to do with politics. The real questions we need to be asking are as Christians how are we supposed to view such tragedies? How do we talk to others about Christ and God when things like this happen making it appear as if God is nowhere around? How do we respond to others when they ask how can God do this or allow this to happen? These are not easy questions. Answering question amid tragedy never is easy.
We must remember that there is just no way we can actually know the will of God. That even in the midst of tragedy God can use it to bring about repentance. God used wicked nations and men alike to help Israel understand that repentance was needed. In a nation that resembles a godless Israel more and more each year perhaps we would do ourselves a service to listen to the message of the prophets. God sent warnings to Israel, they just failed to listen.
Second of all, we must also remember that wicked men do wicked things. God did not create wickedness. When he created Adam he did not create a volatile drunkard who at any movement could fly off the handle beat his wife and children and shoot the person that cut him off on the street corner. When God created Eve he did not create an evil vindictive woman bent on ruining her husbandís life because he was a man. He created two perfectly righteous people. Adam and Eve chose to sin. They chose wickedness and since then, billions of persons have made the same choice. As James teaches, God does not tempt anyone. Man gives into his own lusts and that is how these great tragedies happen (James 1:13-15). What this young man did is on him. While God can use him to work his glory it was his choice to murder those children, not Godís
Finally, we need a better understanding of what evil really is. In our society today we have mistaken what is tragic for what is evil. A person dying is not evil. Tragic yes, but not evil. People die every day, every minute in this world of natural causes, these are tragedies. The loss of 20 precious children is a tragedy. The act of murder was what was evil. Let us not forget that. These children have been spared the pain and suffering that the rest of us endure. They wonít know the pain of losing a parent, a spouse, a child. They wonít know the turmoil that comes with knowing guilt. They never have to worry about what happens when they die (whether they go to heaven or not). Their future is sealed. God protected their souls that day and that my friends is a far more important to protect than an earthly body that would have eventually died some day. No, this is not a cold way of viewing this tragedy. This is a way of viewing it with hope. You see if they are in heaven, they are not suffering and God has provided each of their parents with an incentive to get there. Only in Heaven will they again see their children.
Grinnell church of Christ
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When Tragedy Strikes
Volume 4 Issue 5 December 30, 2012