Reblogging from Counting the Cost (which is a blog I highly recommend)

Why is it so difficult for some to acknowledge that man, from the first man, Adam, until today, is fallen from grace, depraved, wicked, evil, and quite capable of the grossest offense?

And why, when atrocious crimes are committed against innocent people, does the question, “Why would God allow this?” continually arise?

I know the answer to both questions.  And it’s not as difficult as one would assume.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ~ Genesis 6:5, ESV

We live in a depraved world; a world that’s becoming more and more wicked with each collective breath.  Every human being is guilty of total depravity.  The crux of the problem is that the majority attempt to justify living outside of God’s righteous standards.  When atrocities like the one that took place yesterday in Newtown, Connecticut occur, man begins pointing the finger away from the true cause –  himself – and assigns psychological labels, prescribes psychotropic drugs to numb emotions and control behavior, and goes so far as to blame an inert, ineffective object that is incapable of such horror without a human mind initially concocting the scenario and activating the mechanism that brings destruction…and unimaginable grief.

“Evil does not exist within a gun.  It exists in the minds and hearts of those who pull the trigger for evil purposes.” ~ From The Soldier’s Sanctuary

Twenty children and six adults are dead.  They are dead not because our freedoms allow us to legally own and carry guns, but because a twenty-year old man influenced by a sinful society void of values and fast becoming a moral-less community, took that inanimate object and pulled the trigger.  When he was done, he turned the gun on himself, adding one more dead to the tally and ending the terror he brought to Newtown, Connecticut.
“How many today will ask, ‘Why is such evil flourishing in our land?’ Most will focus on ‘sickness,’ or guns, or anything but the real issue.” ~  Dr. James R. White
Americans are in shock and wanting answers.  Who can blame us?  The majority of the victims were children between the age of five and ten years old.  Their peers heard the gunshots and the screams of the injured and dying and for a long time to come, they will go to their beds with the echoes and the images playing over and over again in their little minds.  Their parents will draw them close and comfort them the best way they know how.  And parents all across the country will briefly pay closer attention to their own children.  Many may even reconsider home schooling, instead of a secular public school environment.
Psychologists and psychiatrists will see an increase in business as they ineffectively attempt to quell the nightmares and provide the victims with their brand of secular and worthless counseling.
Following the shooting, politicians and special interest groups wasted no time finding the first news camera, grabbing the opportunity to grandstand and proclaim the time has come to end all gun ownership.
In the days, weeks, and months to come, debates will be held, tempers will flare, lawsuits will inevitably be filed for any reason the ambulance chasers can create to line their pockets, and many will feel threatened by an all-too intrusive government that is, in itself, as depraved as the men and women who elected them.  The violence is already being called a “tipping point” to stricter gun control, and a “dichotomy” between the right to bear arms and the ill-perceived right of others to take that freedom from us.  The circumstances surrounding this tragedy have opened up a window of opportunity for the liberal left, and they expect and demand their President follow through with his promise to “take meaningful action.”
Many will blame Hollywood and the unwholesome entertainment, for lack of a better word, that is created there.   The finger will be pointed at violent video games that our children spend time playing, declaring that they have become desensitized to violence and have no understanding that to pull the imaginary trigger is far different than pulling the hammer back on a real gun.
Yet, with all the outcries and the anger and the outrage, they will fail to come close to an answer without first recognizing from where the horror came.  And until that moment of acknowledgement arrives, we will continue to see an increase in violence such as we saw yesterday.

“The demons of violence and lawlessness are on the loose all across America – in Newtown, Connecticut….in Aurora, Colorado….in Oak Creek, Wisconsin….just as they were in Littleton, Colorado and at Virginia Tech in years gone by. But why? How is it possible that violent crime in the United States has surged by more than 460 percent since 1960?

“The answer is as painful as it is simple: the further we turn away from God in our nation — the further we drive Him out of our society, out of our schools and courts, and out of our media and out of our homes, or the more we give mere lip service to religion, the more men are ‘holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power’ (2 Timothy 3:5) — the worse things are getting.” ~ Joel Rosenberg

There is your answer.  I told you it was simple.  But will you believe it?  And if so, what will you do about it?

It is a given that prayers abounded for the victims and their families. If my Facebook page was a good indication, the world responded overwhelmingly.  But perhaps the most telling are the posts that portray how God is viewed in our society.  As Joel Rosenberg stated, we have done all we can possibly do, short of outlawing religion and imprisoning Christians, to remove God from nearly every aspect of our culture.  And the most evident place of His removal is in our schools.

Neil Cavuto interviewed Mike Huckabee on his FoxNews program, asking the question that far too many ask: “How could God let this happen?”  Huckabee’s response echoed that of Joel Rosenberg:

“ ‘We ask why there’s violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools.  Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage? Because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability. That we’re not just going to have to be accountable to the police if they catch us, but one day we stand before a holy God in judgment.  If we don’t believe that, then we don’t fear that,” said Huckabee.  He added, ‘Maybe we ought to let (God) in on the front end and we wouldn’t have to call Him to show up when it’s all said and done at the back end.’ ”

Today’s headlines scream “Search For Answers Begins As Nation Mourns.”  Instead, the headlines should read, “Search For Jesus Christ Begins As Nation Mourns.”  It’s time that Christians start giving the singular answer to the world’s question, and do so with boldness and without fear of persecution.

“And He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’ ” ~ Mark 16:15-16, ESV

Christians need to put away the thinking that they are not equipped to witness to this debauched world.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” ~ Romans 1:16, ESV

Do Christians bear a certain responsibility for the massacre yesterday?  That’s a pretty hard question, but I believe that, to a degree, we do.

How often do we go out of our comfort zone to witness to others?   Most people surround themselves with others who are of the same mind, have the same interests, even resembling those we associate with in dress, style, preferences, and the like.  We keep in our tight little circles, speaking Christianeese to each other, post our encouragements on social websites, and even mindlessly fail to sit next to a newcomer to our church.  We may reach into our pockets and pull out a dollar for a wretch on the street.  But do we sit down with them and tell them about Jesus Christ?  Are we doing all that we can to further His kingdom?  Although I don’t know the answer, did anyone reach out to the Lanz family?

By refusing to stand up for Christ is admitting we love Him less than we ought, making our shame glaringly overt and events like that of yesterday more probable.  The Word of God is available to every thinking, speaking creature on this planet.  It’s time for proclaiming Christians to dust off the Bible, learn from it, and begin telling a dead and dying world of Jesus Christ, the One Who holds all Hope for humanity.

“Look forward, look onward and forward to the end! Your best things are yet to come.  Time is short.  The end is drawing near.  The latter days of the world are upon us.  Fight the good fight.  Labor on.  Work on. Strive on.   Pray on.  Read on.  Labor hard for your own soul’s prosperity.  Labor hard for the prosperity of the souls of others.  Strive to bring a few more with you to heaven, and by all means to save some.  Do something, by God’s help, to make heaven more full and hell more empty.  Speak to that young man by your side, and to that old person who lives near to your house.  Speak to that neighbor who never goes to a place of worship.   Speak to that relative who never reads the Bible in private, and makes a mockery of serious religion.  Entreat them all to think about their souls.  Beg them to go and hear something on Sundays which will be for their good unto everlasting life. Try to persuade them to live, not like the beasts which perish, but like people who desire to be saved.  Great is your reward in heaven, if you try to do good to souls. Great is the reward of all who confess Christ before others.” ~ J.C. Ryle

Perhaps if a Christian had reached out to Adam Lanz and his family, twenty children and seven adults would still be alive.  I know in my heart of hearts where those children are.  The tears have been wiped from their eyes, the echoes of the terror and the images they experienced are gone forever, and they are held for all eternity in the safe arms of their Savior and their God Jesus Christ.

“Refrain from undue weeping, for they shall come again from the land of their captivity. Thy dead ones shall live again. Mother of mortals, thou didst well to weep; but thy children live, so that thou art the mother of immortals; then, why canst thou sorrow? Dry thine eyes, and bless God that thou hast another link with heaven, and that thou hast helped to fill the choirs that, day without night, circle the throne of God with hallelujahs.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

What troubles me most, however, is that I also suspect where Adam Lanz is spending eternity, and it’s not a comforting thought.

“Murderers themselves arise from the evil passions of the human heart. If the fire was not there temptation could not fan it to a flame. Is it not because men love themselves better than their neighbours that they commit murder?” 

“Murder is but hate ripened into deed; and therefore the least degree of hate is a violation of the command, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ ” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

There is a place reserved for all law breakers, not just those who take another life…

“Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sounddoctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” ~ 1Timothy 1:8-11, ESV

…and the world needs to know and understand this.  Like Paul, all Christians have been entrusted with the Gospel, and all have been commanded to give it.

I’m praying that among the families of these victims are many Christians who know and cling to the promise Jesus made.  They will still grieve over their loss, but they will be comforted and given peace by the only One able to give it.  One day, they will be reunited with their loved ones in glory and all the depravity and wickedness of this world will finally be over.

Until that day arrives, we would all do well to remember the apostle Paul’s charge to Timothy:

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.  As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” ~ 2Timothy 4:1-5, ESV

As stated at the beginning, while we draw closer to our LORD’S return, we will see an increase in wickedness.  America doesn’t hold exclusive rights to the escalation of violence we are experiencing.  The evidence of it can be found all around the world, if one opens their eyes and takes a moment out of their busy schedule to look.  Even the violence perpetrated against children isn’t confined solely to Newtown Connecticut, as this article demonstrates.

Needless to say, even though a knife and not a gun was used in this attack on Chinese children, the reporter states that it is giving more “fodder to both sides of the gun control debate.”  The problem with this assumption is that the writer of the article can’t see beyond his prejudices.  Until he does, the difference between a knife and a gun and the person wielding them will remain unanswered.

What can often be considered short-lived outrage over crimes committed against innocents should not be limited to what happens inside our own borders.  It should extend to all mankind, and so should the Gospel of Jesus Christ be spread abroad to all nations.  Unless we rouse ourselves from our lethargic indifference over how God is received in our society – accompanied by our occasional bursts of outrage over circumstances that violate our own accepted standards of behavior – we will have no effect on the lost.

The consequences of Adam Lanz’s actions spread much farther than a small Connecticut community.  He had a father and a brother who must suffer through the hatred and condemnation I am sure is being thrown their way, in spite of the fact they had no immediate control of the situation.  They, too, will have to bury their dead.  They, too, will grieve and mourn for the ones they lost.  But, maybe, just maybe, someone will approach them and give them the answer they also seek, and the peace and comfort they long for will be given, as well.

I think Robbie Parker, the father of six year old Emily Parker who lost her life in her classroom, understands this.  In his television statement, Mr. Parker encouraged others to pray for the Lanz family, reminding everyone they have also lost and will also grieve.

There is only one answer to the opening questions; only one viable solution for fallen man:  Jesus Christ and His Gospel of Salvation.

Go out into the world and give it.  Tell people about their God and His desire for all men to believe in His Son and to receive salvation.  Who knows.  Maybe the insanity we found ourselves in will be minimized if our nation returns to being a God-fearing society and allows Him back into our public institutions and, more importantly, into our lives.

Posted by at 11:37 PM

A note from AGM:

SIN is what pulls a trigger, dismembers a baby in the womb, strangles the life out of a person, beats a man til he’s either crushed or dead….SIN. And only Jesus Christ can change a sinful heart into a heart that loves and honors God and hates sin. What Karen has so well stated is true. A godless society can expect nothing more than escalating depravity and violence. Now…imagine for just a moment….if it will get worse now, what will it be like when the Restrainer is removed? And if you don’t like living in it now…how well will you fare when there are no brakes on sin in this world? If you are saved, but not living much differently then before you were saved, you need to question the validity of that salvation. If you are not saved, and think that the world can cure it’s own societal ills (again, sins) through psychology, programs, meditation, or whatever….they won’t work. As I said, Jesus Christ is the only cure for sin. I highly suggest to both classes that you check out the links I’m including…

For the fruitless saved:

For the unsaved, God rejecting, people are good enough to save themselves people: