The tragic murders at Sandy Hook Elementary have spawned a lot of questions. Reading through tweets and Facebook posts, you see a variety of responses. I’ve answered some questions privately, and tried to make some comments on friends posts, but I wanted to give what I think is a biblical perspective, answering as best I can, the “why” question.
The real answer to these things will either make sense to you or not, but it likely depends on your faith, and the philosophy you hold to regarding the nature of man. Most likely, your beliefs about the nature of man will, in turn, be dependent upon your beliefs about the nature of God.
The bible makes both the nature of man, and the nature of God clear. Man, in his fallen state is utterly sinful.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote: ”The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? -Jer 17:9 Of course, the bible is filled with verses that say this same thing, over and over.
Yet, most people, even people of christian background, believe that most people are basically good.
The scripture knows nothing of that reasoning, quite the contrary, we are all sinners.
Correspondingly, the bible declares God good. Well, not just good, but the very essence of love, truth, and goodness. Thousands of years ago, God spoke to Moses and declared Himself the following way: ”The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” -Ex 34:6-7
It’s the sin of man that we see rear it’s head in naked full force with events like Sandy Hook, or the Clackamas, Oregon shooting. It’s a sickness of heart that caused a young man to arm himself and open fire on movie goers in Colorado. It’s the same sickness that we see in the images of terror attacks like 911, or the holocaust.
We can either ignore this fact and treat symptoms, or we can put our man pants on and address it like men.
Whatever you philosophy, bear with me.
It was not guns, video games, bullying, or any other symptom that caused any of these tragedies.
Men use their hands, knives, guns, poison, and even airplanes to accomplish evil.
…it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. -Gen 4:8
Cain likely accomplished his murder with a club or stone, and he needed no motive other than jealousy.
It’s been that way since the beginning of time. What Cain needed, and what all men need, is a remedy for sin, something to actually address the wickedness of our hearts.
I remember the day that I realized that I was a sinner, not just a “bad boy” but I was the devil that I feared.
With a motive of stealing some drugs, a buddy and I were in the process of breaking into an apartment of a known drug dealer. We pried open a bedroom window, and he lifted me up to crawl in… I’ll never forget the instant I locked eyes on the toddler who’s bed I was suspended above. It broke my heart, realizing that I was the bad guy that as a little kid I often imagined was at my bedroom window.
Later, I came to realize that there is a vast gulf fixed between sinful man and righteous God. He is willing to forgive the sin of man, but He has given us a prescribed way that that sin needs to be dealt with. The problem is, if you reject the idea of your own sinfulness, or the biblical nature of man, you will never submit yourself to the purpose of God. And, you will never arrive at the answer to the question, “why?”
In His sovereignty God allows sinful man to choose his own path, and his own future, including his final destination. When men choose to reject God to the degree and finality that some do, the consequences are tragic. Sin, left unchecked, always brings about death.
Friend, I hope that you understand these things. I hope that you have put your faith in Christ and asked Him to forgive you for your sins. This is the plan of God, to redeem man, by the sacrifice of His Son Jesus.
Through this act of turning to God in faith, you can have your nature changed from within. The scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit comes to reside within the believer. This is truly the only hope of mankind, -a spiritual transformation from within. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. -Romans 8:13-14
Unfortunately, as we live in a world that is spiritually at war with God, we will continue to see tragic events like what has happened recently in our country, until the Prince Of Peace comes to rule on earth.
Until then, it’s our job as believers, to help transform the world, bringing the good news of God’s love and forgiveness in Christ to every human on the planet. But, it has to start with you.
I welcome your comments and questions.