The whole country is mourning the loss of the 20 children and 7 adults who were brutally murdered in Connecticut last Friday when a man went on a shooting rampage, apparently for no good reason. I have mourned, cried, and just sat on my couch in silent identification with those who lost loved ones, looking at the horror on the faces of those who were informed of such deaths and the little faces who died. I wanted the perpetrator to be alive so we could make him suffer, but then the Lord God of wrath will take care of that far beyond what I could do. Vengeance is His; therefore, no one ever gets away with anything, ever.
As I looked at the slain, I felt the pit of my stomach fluttering, my body tense, tears in my eyes, and tempted to say, “Why these, Lord Jesus, why these little ones?” As a theologian, I know why, but still the pain is excruciating, even at a distance. For years I’ve prayed, if not every day at least every week, “Lord, protect my children and grandchildren.” Now is the time to mourn with those who have suffered such great loss, and some would add, we must not preach. There is a point to that.
But we must preach, for there are answers, though people do not want to accept them. We have a crisis in authority in the USA, both in the culture as a whole and in the Church. The culture ignores basic morality and adopts what is politically correct, and the Church has taken tolerance to the point of approving the worst immoralities conceivable, killing pre-born children and approving same gender relationships. There is a vacuum of authority, created by the Church, and nature abhors a vacuum even in ethics, so moral darkness has come in. No one knows what is right and wrong anymore, even worse, no one cares, and despite Bernie Goldberg’s angry diatribe on Bill O’Neill last night (17 Dec 2012) against anyone who would offer a solution, we do so. The solution is given in Holy Scripture, the only authority that really matters, and the solution is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I don’t meant the Mormon false gospel with its many gods.
First, as horrible as those senseless deaths are, for the Christian there is enormous hope, for God’s word says “absent from the body, present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). Death is not the end of life, but the beginning of eternal life for those who know Him. We can truly say, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Thus, our death is precious to Him as He takes us home (Ps. 116:15). We Christians have victory over death; it is not our master. As much as it hurts to lose a loved one, especially one so young and for no good reason that we know (God has a reason), yet for Christians death is the beginning of eternal life with Jesus, the one who loved us and gave Himself for us. Death is not the final enemy; the wrath of God is.
I can hear the liberals now: “How dare you bring up that pie in the sky when you die. You are not living in the real world.” So what is the real world? Is it that we came from chaos, that random chance spawned us so that we came from molecules in motion and are returning to the same? What is your solution, Mr. liberal? Is it to keep a stiff upper lip in the face of tragedy, to tell the mothers that their evolved blobs are gone forever, that they will never see them again, that it really doesn’t matter for we are all returning to nothing? You remove the only hope we have when facing the grave, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, even though it is historically easy to prove. You are the problem, Mr. liberal, but so is the Church, who has adopted many of the liberal beliefs.
I saw on the news today that someone is bringing in golden retrievers to help people process the grief. I have few words for this, for it is so preposterous to leave the Lord Jesus and His resurrection out but to bring in dogs to solve the grief problem, that one hardly knows what to say. What does rubbing fur have to do with hope beyond the grave? For these people, it is processing grief that is important, not a solution to grief.
I can hear those who hate the Triune God respond to my comments: “How dare you upset those who have lost their children.” But Christ is the only hope. What hope do you give as you stand silent and defeated at the dominion of death? I would venture to say that those little children, who were not mature enough to consider the claims of Christ, went to be with Christ. The parents would be reunited with them if they knew Him, for they were mature enough to decide. But some might say to me, “Your tone is one of anger,” to which I respond, “I’m glad you noticed. It is not anger at those who lost loved ones, or at the little children, but righteous indignation at the incredible hypocrisy of those who are so concerned (and rightly so) over the deaths of 20 innocent children and so unconcerned over the deaths of millions―I say millions―of innocent children who are chopped to pieces, thrown in the garbage, and if any survive the procedure, are left to starve to death outside the womb, lying on a table. How dare you be angry at me!
Second, Bernie was livid at those who would say, like Mike Huckaby did say very well, when people asked where God was, that our culture had run Him off. Bernie’s solution was to leave God out. But the fact is that we don’t want Him in our public schools, the ACLU is trying to remove any public vestige of His presence, the Ten Commandments have been removed, the courts are making us an atheistic society, and our children are told in public schools that there is no morality except what each one chooses for himself.
I repeat myself. Every symbol, every gracious command from His Book, has been or is being removed from the public schools and from society. When our children are taught that any morality they choose is ok, when the Ten Commandments are removed from the schools, when “thou shalt not commit adultery” and “thou shalt not murder” are taken away, and when our children are taught evolution, that we came from molecules in motion and are returning to such, that murdering babies before birth or just after birth is moral, is it any wonder that graduates of public schools act out what they have been taught? Is it not hypocritical to mourn for one set of children and not for the others? Please do not misunderstand; we must mourn for those murdered who were shot last week, but we must also mourn for those murdered before they are born or right after birth. The Triune God loves both.
Third, Here is what the Lord God says about having His written word in public:
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
but happy is he who keeps the law (Proverbs 29:18).
When God’s law is kept before people, it trains the conscience and produces restraint. We can’t say for sure that the shooting would not have happened if the Ten Commandments had been posted or biblical morality taught in our public schools, but we can say that such did not happen in our schools 50 years ago when we were more biblicaly based. Now that the Triune God is gone, the darkness has come in. That is what God said would happen, for He said that all those who hate Him (who is light) would love darkness (Proverbs 8:36; see also John 3:17-20). What is so incredible is that we remove morality and then we are shocked when we are confronted with evil face to face.
We do not recognize wickedness, and I’m sure that others will be blamed for the murderer’s deeds. Society will be blamed, the school he attended blamed, perhaps his parents, but I doubt that every person who acts out such wickedness is insane; they are wicked. Serial murderers often say they enjoy it. So why did this happen? I can’t give a definitive answer, but I can at least say that it is because we have left the Triune God out of culture, because evil objectively exists, not only as acts but as persons, because there is such a thing as national guilt before God, and when a whole culture rejects Him, as we have, the innocent (20 children) suffer along with the guilty. God allows us to choose; otherwise, we would be robots without brains. He allows us to make a mess of things and to suffer the consequences of our choices. And only He can salvage things.
But the One who has suffered the most, so to speak, from sin, is the One who came to die on the cross for our sins, who was imminently innocent even from original sin. Only He can forgive our sins, restore our hope, rebuild our lives, and give us the assurance of seeing our loved ones again. But the secular media and liberals hate Him with an unholy passion, because they love their sin, which He condemns. Thus, they suppress the truth (Romans 1:18) about who the Triune God is, who they are, and what true morality is. Like the devil said to Eve, they think they can make up their own morality and not suffer the consequences of their choices. But when they do suffer the consequences, they try to find someone else to blame or some other explanation, and they lash out in rage against anyone who would remind them that they can’t disobey without facing what the Lord God said would happen. It is not possible to live in this world of sin without consequences, for this is God’s world, and the Ten Commandments are a revelation of His own holy character.
Again, why should our students from public schools have a conscience about killing 6 and 7 year olds when they are taught that murdering the unborn and those right after birth is ok, and when “ethicists” are saying that we should have the right to murder our children up to several months after birth. (See my blog: https://curtiscrenshaw.wordpress.com/, and search for “Why should the baby live after birth” without the quote marks.) And why should our children think anything differently when the main ethicist at Princeton, Peter Singer, argues that born babies do not have much value, not much more than a cow or dog (to use his illustrations), that we should have the right to kill them up to one month after birth, and that it is ok to have sex with dogs, and even encourages it? (Guess that tells us something about his private life!) Singer has made Princeton unsafe for our children who attend there and for their beagles they take with them. Once the light of God’s word, the Bible, is removed from a culture, the darkness comes in, just as God said. When the darkness comes in, all suffer, even innocent children.
Fourth, of course now the anti-gun people will be lobbying to get rid of guns, for the metal in guns must have sin germs in them that are contagious, making the holder commit murder, for it is guns that kill people, right? In China, they had problems with gangs going into schools and killing multiple children with knives, so they should get rid of knives, right? What about the material in bombs, perhaps we should get rid of that. And what about jets that can be used to fly into towers and cars that can be used in bank robberies. Can you see how silly it is? The ancient heresy of Gnosticism (and modern, too) said that physical things were evil, thus we need to get rid of those things and merge back into the oneness of spiritual being so we can be forever protected from physical matter. But the Triune God created this world; it is not physical things that are the problem but the wicked heart of mankind that kills people. The Gospel is the cure for that, but Christians are being persecuted and our secular culture is doing everything it can to get rid of us and our influence. Our founding fathers are turning over in their graves.
Fifth, we must realize that when Christ was born, Herod tried to murder Him as a baby to preserve his (Herod’s) own lineage. Joseph took Mary and the baby Jesus out of the area to protect Him, and Herod murdered all boy babies from two years old and younger. Thus, even at the Incarnation, Satan was murderer, using people who were so inclined. Thus, the Savior Himself was subject to such tragedies all His life on earth so that we read:
- For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need(Heb. 4:15-16).
Finally, now let’s ask a few questions about God’s Ten Commandments. Here they are:
- Have no other gods but the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So what is wrong with worshiping Him, especially since the Son of God taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves?
- Do not worship images or creation. So what is wrong with not worshiping this world and its forces, not worshiping politicians, but worshiping the One who made them? Indeed, even if one does not believe this, what is wrong with it? Have you noticed that those who say all morality is just relative, each person can do what he wishes, yet when it comes to God’s law, they want it outlawed? (Did you hear the entertainer recently who said something like, “Let us give thanks to our Lord and savior, Barak Obama”?
- Do not take God’s name in vain. What is wrong with not saying “O Jesus Christ” or other four letter slang words, and what is wrong with not using profanity in general?
- Keep the Sabbath holy. What is wrong with honoring one day above the others?
- Honor your father and mother. What is wrong with teaching our children obedience to godly authority?
- Do not murder. What is wrong with placing the highest value on human life, especially above animals?
- Do not commit adultery. What is wrong with being faithful to one’s heterosexual spouse?
- Do not steal. What is wrong with being able to own property and having the right to one’s labor?
- Do not bear false witness. What is wrong with honoring the reputation of others? (The media and politicians make a career of breaking this commandment.)
- Do not covet. What is wrong with being satisfied with what one has, thanking God for it, and not trying to engage in deception to get what others have?
- My heart grieves for the loss of the 27 people in Connecticut.
- My heart grieves for the millions of babies that we have killed since Roe v. Wade in January, 1973, and are still killing, now up to about 55 million.
- Let us send gifts to those who have lost loved ones in Connecticut, pray for them to God the Father Almighty through the merits of the Son of God who died for our sins and arose from the dead.
- My soul is angry at the unmitigated hypocrisy of mourning for one set of children and not for the others who are daily killed for money.
- My soul is fearful for the judgment clouds that have already rolled in from the sea of God’s wrath. There is something terrible and cataclysmic that may happen to us, but we think we can win a war against the enthroned Son of God by rebellion against His authority and commandments (see Psalm 2).
- The Church, including me first, must repent of our apathy, get involved in our churches and in reaching out to others in society with the good news that Jesus was dead and is now alive forevermore.
- We have victory over death: Here what God says:
14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)