So I've been mulling the shootings in Connecticut over in my head for the past few days. I'm sure most people have had it in the back or fronts of their minds as well. I've been asking the same questions that most people have: the hows? the whys? the who's? The one thing that keeps coming back and nagging at me is the trend. The gunman entering a scene of innocent or unrelated people, killing as many as he wants and then offing himself. And it seems to be happening more and more. Many people have theories: video games, the media immortalizing the deranged killing thus encouraging copy cats, our mental health system, parents not doing their job, technology unplugging us from the world around us, apathy, God's punishment, and the list goes on. Although those theories all have their merits, it seems that those are all "part" of the problem.
It has seriously been driving me crazy! Thinking, praying, praying, thinking. So this morning I'm praying about it and God's like, "where am I?" My answer: "not here." Not in the theological sense, of course, God is everywhere, but in a cultural sense.
We have systematically removed God from our culture. I'm sure this is not a new concept for anyone. Many preachers, Godly teachers and Fox News telecasters (haha) have brought this idea to the forefront for many christians. However, for me, it has not been so real as it is now. We have taken God out of government, especially but not limited to the judicial branch. We (as a country, not as believers) have taken him out of schools, universities, public forums, community events, the daily grind (as very few businesses observe the sabbath, even in small ways). There are so many things that we have removed God from that I have become desensitized to it. I'm sure there are more.
The question is: what happens when you remove God? In the new testament when the 70 some-odd disciples were commissioned, their orders were to preach the good news. If the city or town rejected it, dust your sandals off and move on. The city rejected God, so God left. God didn't tell them to scream, yell or kill those who rejected him. He just told them to leave. The town itself was on its own.
What happens, then, when God is asked, politely or not so politely to leave? What are we left with? The goodness of man? Oh, please y'all. That is a lie sold by the devil to proud and illogical men. We are meant to be filled. Either by God or by Satan. Either good or evil. We want there to be another option, but there is not. So when God is kicked out, evil moves in.
A friend of mine was shot at Columbine. A long time ago she told me the entire horrifying story. This week a different friend reminded me of her story. She said (way back then), never underestimate the role that evil plays in events like these. I saw it. I felt it. It was there.
That struck me. Everyone wants to blame something. To have a reason for such atrocities. But they don't want to invoke evil, because that means we would have to invoke God and that means we would have to be held accountable.
It isn't isolated. It isn't fair. It isn't good. It isn't love. And it isn't God. For all the God-blamers out there, find another whipping boy. I am not here to defend God. He can do that on his own. But just like Jesus, we need to testify to the truth. I don't think I have all the answers and the hurt I feel over this for the people experiencing it pales to the hurt God feels. Someone lost their Sam. That, I could not, nor do I want to imagine.
Ironically our society wants freedom from God. And here we are. Classic bait and switch. Well played, Satan. Well played. Thankfully, we know who wins in the end. Thankfully, it wasn't my children, and I know I speak from a place that is not mourning the loss of a child (praise God). Thankfully, God gives big grace, loves an underdog, and wants to be glorified. I pray that we as a nation, will be redeemed and in doing so, give glory to God.