Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another School Shooting - Why?

“Another School Shooting – Why?”

Prophetic Moments – Issue #56 – December 14, 2012
by R. Loren Sandford
Like everyone else with any sense of compassion, I am profoundly grieved at the tragedy of twenty children and seven adults murdered in Newtown, Connecticut. Many of us are asking why? It seems so senseless, so incomprehensible that someone would visit such murderous impulses on innocent children barely out of infancy. Know and understand that this incident is not the judgment of God. Matthew 18:10 says, “their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” I would have difficulty understanding what kind of heartless religious spirit would say that children were killed as a result of the judgment of God, although I know that some will.

Historically, when a society sickens, its sickness tends to express itself in extreme and concentrated ways through individuals vulnerable to its influence or predisposed to wickedness. It would be something like a systemic infection erupting in a focused way through a pimple or a boil. For example, Germany’s societal illness following the humiliation of their defeat in the First World War found concentrated expression in the evil of Adolf Hitler. The reparations – vengeance – the victorious allies imposed contributed to that sickness and paved the way for what came later. Consequently millions of people suffered and died. Many tried to blame Hitler as if the entire burden of guilt were his, but the failure of the allies to forgive had something to do with it and Germany as a whole had to bear its collective responsibility. Corporate sin found a conduit in an evil man who expressed it in concentrated form.

Thus it is today in America as we see incidents of senseless mass killings increase in frequency. We may comfort ourselves with the thought that we are a good people and that these things are being done by demented and evil individuals, but this doesn’t answer the question of why this kind of thing simply did not happen prior to twenty years ago. It does not tell us why this seems to be accelerating in frequency now. Gun control is not the answer because guns are not the cause. Americans have always owned guns but until recent history we have not had to worry about being fired upon in a theater, a mall or a school. Guns are not the problem. The problem lies in the heart of our society and in our cultural decay.

Matthew 24:12 reads, “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” The spirit of lawlessness is loose in the land. From government to populace, we as a society have chosen to ignore, even to reject, God’s clearly stated laws, moral standards and principles, choosing a culture of self rather than a culture of selflessness. In the name of freedom we call evil good and good evil. True integrity is in short supply. We can’t even trust our elected officials to obey the laws they have sworn to uphold. Historically, while we may not always have actually behaved as righteous people in this nation, we at least acknowledged the truth of God’s moral standards and understood what righteousness is. We no longer do, while those who actually take a stand for God’s truth are considered to be dangerous, intolerant, judgmental or too far to the right to be taken seriously.
Now we pay the price as our societal lawlessness and the consequent erosion of love make possible this proliferation of heinous crimes, shootings in malls, theaters and schools. Our collective sin and lawlessness find concentrated expression in a few demented individuals whose depravity is freed to erupt in violence because our corporate lawlessness has weakened the structures of society spiritually and morally that would restrain it. In that sense, we all share responsibility for these tragedies. I see it as the cumulative effect of broken marriages, fornication, adultery, deception and corruption at every level of our culture. The structures of society that produce whole people are broken. Broken people do broken things.

We will see more of these tragedies. In my books I have written of the destructive effect of the culture of self we’ve cultivated in this nation. Conscience, based in primary care and concern for the welfare of others, dies when self-focus leads to lawlessness and lawlessness leads to lovelessness. This opens the door to demonic influence. I wrote in VISIONS OF THE COMING DAYS that we would soon see an upsurge in demonic activity as a result of drug abuse, sexual immorality and rebellion against the laws and principles of God as expressed in Scripture. Tragedies like this most recent one bear the marks of demonic inspiration. Our collective rejection of God’s laws and principles opens the door for this.

What must we as Christians do? It’s time to take issues of biblical righteousness and integrity seriously. It’s past time to preach the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ who captivates hearts and changes lives until they conform to the image of the Son. It’s long past time that we cleanse ourselves of the culture of self and learn to know the selflessness of our Lord and the power of the cross. It’s time to become real Christians.

Prophetic Moments is an occasional bulletin produced
by Pastor R. Loren Sandford

New Song Church and Ministries
Denver, Colorado.