By Jarrod Jacobs
What is the problem? Why these shootings? Put simply, it is because God has been removed from the home and from people’s lives!
Recently, we were informed of the tragic news of two boys in Colorado entering their high school and shooting thirteen people, including a beloved teacher, and then themselves. Now, investigations are showing that these boys may have had accomplices, as well as having a plan to “blow-up” the school building! These boys were not the first to do such a horrible thing, and I am afraid that they will not be the last.
Why has such a thing occurred? Why has tragedy and death visited such a town as Littleton, Colorado, a seemingly quiet and peaceful town? People are blaming many things for the terrible actions that have occurred. As I watched news reports concerning the shooting in Colorado, I noticed that there were three basic conclusions that people came to as they tried to figure out the answer to the question, “Why?”
The three reasons given for this shooting are: (1) A lack of gun control. Teens and others can obtain guns too easily. (2) The exposure to violent video games, violent movies, TV shows, etc. People watch this violence and then act it out. (3) Some said that the boys in Colorado, as well as teenage shooters from other areas in recent years, lashed out and shot others because they were being teased. They were being made fun of, and the teens couldn’t handle it. Therefore, they implemented a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Perhaps you heard other “reasons” for the shootings, but these three were the main ones that kept creeping up every time an “expert” or psychologist was asked “Why?”
I am by no means an expert, nor a psychologist, but I believe I understand why the shooting in Colorado, as well as the other school shootings occurred. It was not be- cause of the three reasons we listed above. Those are mere symptoms of the problem. It is like a cough associated with bronchitis or pneumonia. A doctor may prescribe medicine for a person’s cough, but until he prescribes medicine for the bronchitis or pneumonia, the problem will remain within the body of the sick person. In like manner, gun control, violent video games and movies, and teasing are symptoms of the problem. If someone was able to “cure” these symptoms, the problem would still remain in this country.
What is the problem? Why these shootings? Put simply, it is because God has been removed from the home and from people’s lives! Too many in the U.S. are like the Gentiles who “did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Rom. 1:28). Seeing that God is not allowed into the homes of people, it follows that his word is not respected. His law for marriage, his law for raising children, his law for dealing with others, has been pushed away completely in too many cases! When people are not brought up with a love and respect for God and for his word, then what is there to hold these people to a higher standard? What is there that reminds people, both young and old, that they are account- able to One higher than them (Eccl. 11:9-10; 12:13-14; Rom. 2:16; 2 Cor. 5:10; Acts 17:30-31)? When we push God aside, we push his will aside as well!
We are inundated with messages teaching the false theory of evolution, that we are descended from monkeys and other lower forms of life. It is proclaimed in schools, on TV, in the newspaper, and in magazines that man is nothing more than a glorified monkey. Friends, if we are telling our children day in and day out that we are nothing more than glorified apes, don’t be surprised when they act like apes! By proclaiming the false theory of evolution as fact, we are saying that human life is on an equal plane with the life of any animal from slug to salamander, from monkey to mammoth, from elephant to iguana! If this is true, then truly human life has no value, and you could shoot a person down just like you’d shoot an animal, or step on an ant!
In truth, human life has value because man has been created in the image of God (Gen. 2:7). Human life has value because God said it has value (Gen. 9:6; etc.). Humans are greater than animals, for Christ died for man’s salvation, not the monkey’s (Matt. 16:26; 20:28; Heb. 2:9)!
Now, when we put God back in his rightful place (first place, Matt. 22:37-39; 6:33!), then the symptoms we dis- cussed earlier will go away. Just like when a doctor treats a person’s bronchitis or pneumonia, the coughing will cease! When God is in his rightful place, people will treat others as they want to be treated, and the teasing will cease (Matt. 7:12). For those who do endure some teasing, when they respect God’s word, they will realize that the prophets, Christ, the apostles, and others endured far worse. They endured “trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment” (Heb. 11:36). Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 and learn what the apostle Paul endured. If he endured it, you can be sure others did as well! When God and his word take first place in our lives, we can endure others teasing us, and do so without resorting to violence against others (Matt. 5:39)!
When God is brought back into our homes, we will not want to watch violent video games, TV shows, etc. When God is first in our lives, we will want to think upon “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report.” We will want to think on things that have “virtue” and are “praiseworthy” (Phil. 4:8). Why will this be a voluntary act? Why will we want to think on pure and upright things rather than the debased, defiled, and violent things? It is because when God and his word are put first, we will realize that “those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man . . .” (Matt. 15:18- 20). We will not want to play violent video games, for they are not conducive in any way to our going to Heaven (Col. 3:1-2)!
Finally, the subject of gun control is a symptom many in this country think is the end-all to school problems. This country was founded by those who owned guns. In fact, our founding fathers fought and killed others in order to bring about freedom in this country. What about the following generation? Were there historical records where the sons and daughters of these people brought their muskets and muzzleloaders to their one-room schools? No. Why? Because of the very principles we have established thus far. That is, respect for God and his word. In times gone by, the people of this country had a respect for God and for their Creator that is not seen today. At least it is not the “norm” as it has been in times past. When God is put back into the homes, and his word is respected, people will respect guns as well. Guns can be used in hunting, in certain recreational sports (ex: skeet shooting/target shooting), and other things. Guns can be used for protection, such as the policemen wear. In all of this, guns have their place, and would not be used to intentionally, mercilessly, cold-heartedly, shoot and kill another for no reason. Why? Because with a respect for God comes a respect for his creation. You cannot say you respect and love God and then destroy the greatest of his creation for no other reason than your feelings were hurt, or you wanted attention, fame, glory, etc.!
Brethren, it is high time we stopped taking the “cold medicine” and administer the cure for the problem! How much does your son or daughter know about God’s word? Is God respected in your home? Is he even invited in? These are the questions that ought to be asked at such a terrible time as this. Our hearts, prayers, and sympathy are extended to those who have lost their loved ones. It is a tragedy to see teenagers killing each other. Yet, for all of this, the answer to our problems is not found at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The answer to our problems is not found in federal, state, or local legislatures. The answer to our problems is not found in how many bombs we have aimed at our enemies, nor how many puppet regimes we can stomp down. The answer to our problems is not found in a psychology book. These things do not give us the answer, nor is this where the strength of our country is found. The answer to our problems is found in the Book of Books, the Bible! It is high time we realized this and started back on that road that leads to everlasting life (Matt. 7:13-14)! So long as we are satisfied to treat “symptoms,” the shootings will continue and get worse, the immorality in our society will get worse, and respect for life will continue to fall. When will we learn?