Today, less than 24 hours ago, a tragedy occurred in Aurora, CO, outside of Denver; 15 miles away from the Columbine massacre. A 24 year old, white, male bought a ticket to the midnight screening of the newest Batman movie; entered the theater; after the previews started, he exited the theater through the fire escape in the front of the theater; he secured the door so that he could regain entry; went out to his car and got geared up in body armor and weaponry; re-entered the theater through the fire escape door; and launched his assault on a packed theater. As I write this post, there are 12 dead and 60 others injured.
It didn’t take long for the left-leaning, liberal, lunatic media to try to make this into a psycho, right-wing, gun-toting, tea-party nut job, as seen here. All the 24/7 news networks are wringing their hands in disbelief and breathlessly bringing you the latest unconfirmed rumor as it breaks across the twitter-sphere, the 21st century version of a news-wire, with a lot of crap and not much credible news.
The cries for gun-control are beginning and will be in full apoplexy by the time liberal church gets started with the first of the Sunday morning news shows. I hate to break it to you, this isn’t about guns, it isn’t about the left or the right of the political aisle, it isn’t about the lack of proper mental health care in this country. It isn’t about a lot of stuff, and then again, it is about all kinds of stuff. There is no magic bullet.
Mainly, it is about sin, the consequences of the Fall in the Garden, the brokenness of mankind, the turning away from God by multiple generations in the 20th century and continuing into today. It is so much about the truth of Romans chapters 1 and 2 (this would be a biblical reference, right here.) Whatever do you mean, Jim, by referencing such a dusty old book as the Bible? Let’s just take a peek shall we?
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
(Romans 1:18-23 ESV)
For those of you who don’t know, there words were written almost 2,000 years ago now by a pretty sharp dude. He was talking about the great Roman empire and all of their mythological gods and about the Greeks before them and all of their same mythological gods, and the Medo-Persians before them and all of their gods, and the Babylonians before them, and the Egyptians before them. And, remarkably, he was talking about the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne, the Crusades, the rise of Western civilization and the good ole US of A.
Another pretty hip old cat wrote some stuff down about 3,000 years ago in a book called Ecclesiastes. He said:
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
among those who come after.
(Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 ESV)
“There is nothing new under the sun.” A dude said that 3,000 years ago about stuff that had been going on for 3,000 years before that. People were killing each other then over nothing, robbing each other for their coat or their shoes, raping each other, sleeping around, and even taking that walk on the wild side for a little same-sex action. Nothing new under the sun.
I hate to be a prude and quote so much Scripture but, check this out in that crazy book of Romans where I left off before, and then I’ll stop:
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
(Romans 1:24-32 ESV)
We, of the human race, every one of us have “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” The creature is man, you know, the Me generation? “You’ve come a long way, baby.” It’s all about me. God is dead. No one created the earth, we all evolved out of some primordial goop into tadpoles, then into dolphins, then into apes, then into man. Even though it was survival of the fittest, and we evolved into constantly higher life forms, there are still tadpoles, and dolphins, and apes. Hey! Look over there! It’s something shiny!
It was all chance, a mathematically impossible chance on every level but chance just the same. There is no morality. I create my own morality and you create yours and remarkably and unexplainably we can live in perfect harmony with one another within our vastly different and unsustainable differences and moral philosophies. Have a Coke and a smile.
God is what screws it all up with his 10 commandments and his golden rule, right? Wrong, God is what brings it all together. We are at war with God. We are pushing God away from us at every turn. Darkness is the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat, sin is the serving the creature of man rather than the Creator. We told God to get out and he did and then what happened, slowly, over time? “God gave them (spelled y-o-u) over to a debased mind. Every one of us in our teenage years grows up thinking that our parents are idiots, so totally out of it. We are so much more mature than they were at that age, we have all of this technology that makes our lives better than our parents. Then over time we begin to think they were right about this and that and our kids become teenagers and think we are idiots, so totally out of it. See where this is going and where it has been? There is nothing new under the sun.
We have kicked God out out our families and divorce, abuse, single-parent households, fatherless children, teen pregnancy and substance abuse rules the roost. We have kicked God out of schools and drug abuse, the hook-up culture, high drop-out rates, disrespect of teachers, and teacher-predators became the norm. We have kicked God out of the public square and out of government and government has replaced the church as charity, political correctness has replaced freedom of expression, and the 1st amendment freedom of religion has become more and more freedom from religion.
Can it really be so simple? Yes – and no. Man is like an onion, just when you think you got it figured out, there is another layer. This latest crisis is no different. It is a horrible thing to be sure. The fact that he had several guns is not the real issue. Something or several things in this man’s soul are broken. He wanted to kill people in a theater with guns, he also wanted to kill people in his booby-trapped apartment by leaving loud music on, late at night in an attempt to get someone to enter his apartment and trigger multiple explosive devices. It doesn’t make sense to those of us who have good sense, it is irrational to those of us who are rational. You will never find the trigger. God didn’t let bad things happen to good people, we asked God to leave us alone a long time ago. Why do we continue to be mad at him, when all he did is what we asked of him? Maybe we aren’t as smart as we thought we were.