Getting Your Head Around It

I’m not sure we ought to be able to get our head around a person killing others at random and then killing himself.  Mad dogs are mad.  Fallen humans are fallen and there is no bottom to which they can fall other than hell.  And that bottom is in the next life not this one.  Neither should we think this is the farthest anyone has ever fallen.  In 1927 in Bath Township, Michigan a man blew up a school killing 38 elementary school children.

To be sure sin is at the root of this madness.  Not just the shooter’s sin but mine, yours, ours.  “The Devil,” says Jesus, “is a liar and a murderer from the beginning.”  He is behind every murderous Cain and all of us who lie to cover it up.

What did we expect a society would produce that schools kids that all this is here because of random chance?  Did we think meaningful and purposeful lives would be produced by telling kids they come from randomness and only the fittest have the right to survive?

We expected, and have gotten, a greater respect for animals by telling kids we are no better than animals; they have just as much right to life as we do.  Actually, we’ve told them the animals have more.  Humans have a right and a legitimate choice to kill unborn people, but drowning puppies or killing kittens is an inexcusable abomination.  We don’t dare expose our kids to these facts of rural life, and yet we think the pro-abortion mantras they hear have no effect.  We don’t think the fact that America aborts a town the size of Newtown (27,000) about every eight days has any impact on kids.  We don’t think living with such madness produces mad people.

By the time you’re twenty in this country, the feminist mantras have also been drummed into you.  Not only are men and women interchangeable but there is no reason that women and children should be first before you or protected by you. All of the victims were women or children. I predicted such crimes against women and children in my 1997 book on feminism.

Last but certainly not least, the materialist creed that is common to evolution and the scientism that passes for science these days, says there is nothing but this.  There is no afterlife to look forward too [Except after a tragedy like this and then everyone who has died tragically is expected to have gone to the heaven that is denied the rest of the time.].  And neither is there any fear that there might just be something beyond death where you will be held accountable for the things you’ve done in this life.  If there is nothing beyond this, nothing can seem preferable to the pain you feel in the present life.  If there is no future reckoning, there is one less leash by which a mad dog can potentially be tethered.

In connection with this story we’re probably going to be told yet again that bullying is the root of all evil. Gun control could have prevented this tragedy.  And the killer was off his meds.  This conventional wisdom will mask these facts: 1) Kids have been bullied since the Fall and most grow up just fine.  2) In the 1950s and earlier kids in rural America had more access to guns and even had them in their cars and trucks at school, but I don’t know of one school shooting prior to the 60s.  3) The problem is never linked to going on the drugs in the first place and, more importantly, it is never, ever linked to the drug itself.  Even though these drugs caution that they might increase thoughts of harming yourself or others.  Big pharma is never blamed; the munitions industry is always blamed.

We should all remember this community in our prayers not only as we do with every Lord’s Prayer we pray but with special prayers.  But once more, as has been the paradigm sense 9/11, this horrible, gut wrenching, earthly tragedy, is going to lead to breaking down the “walls” of doctrine, confession, and truth.  And the only God who can help in time of pain, sorrow, grief, need, God in Christ, will be obscured.  But people who attend such joint prayer services will feel better; they will feel better apart from the true God.  They will not have gotten their head around what happened, but something more spiritually dangerous even than what happened will have crawled into their head.

Of course, at Christmastime everything tragic seems more so.  One can’t help but think of King Herod ruthlessly slaughtering the children.  Though it happened a couple of years after Christmas, the Church has always associated it with the birth of Christ.  Based on the population then, some scholars have said that about the same number of children were slaughtered in Bethlehem as were slaughtered in Newtown.  The goal of Satan then as now is to rob us of Christ.  He failed both times.  Christ survives and crushes him, and all in Christ not only survive but thrive.  This too is not something we can get our head around.


About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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