Responding to Evil

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, August 7, 2019 1 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Saturday, August 3, 2019, will go down in infamy as one of the largest and deadliest mass shootings in Texas, let alone the nation. As of the evening of the shooting, 20 were dead and another 27 were injured with one person in custody. It took place at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, less than 20 miles from my house. I have shopped there many times, yet I was at home when it happened. This store was nearly at capacity with almost 3000 customers. My school district where I teach had been in session for a week, and other parents were starting their school shopping as well. El Paso is a high poverty city with a large percent of people on government food stamps, so the first weekend of the month is always busy at stores. This could have been MUCH worse.

As of writing this post, everyone I knew in El Paso was safe and not in the shooting’s area, though some were there not long before it took place. Several of my fellow teachers were within earshot of the shooting, constantly hearing the helicopters and sirens overhead. The entire city was asked to stay home. All scheduled activities were cancelled. El Paso is reeling, and we need as much prayer and support as possible. Already, the lines for the call for giving blood were well out the door of the city’s two blood bank centers. It was tragic and for many people, not merely those directly affected, it will take some time to recover, if they ever do.

But how should we respond to such acts of evil? There are two major answers which come from two major worldviews. Every time something happens the media and the government state two answers: more education and more government. Education always comes in two angles: “awareness” which really does and says nothing. Why are athletes kneeling for the anthem? Colin Kaepernick started that to raise awareness against police brutality. He lost his message in the mix because of how he approached it, and to this day I know of nothing actually productive he has done about the issue he has protested. Awareness doesn’t work. The other angle is to tell people how these things are being done, but in reality, it’s training people how to respond and training potential shooters on what the pre-programmed response will be. That’s going to backfire soon too.

More government isn’t the answer either. Less than two hours after the shooting began, calls started to be made about gun control. I still cannot see how taking guns from law-abiding citizens is going to answer anything. Gun control will never answer this situation either, because it will only be at best a band-aid to a much deeper problem. That problem is SIN. If we want to solve the issues of these violent acts, we must get to the true root of it all.

Many people like to cite 2 Chronicles 7:14 during tragedies as though that will stave off such horrific incidents. Yet that was a promise made to Israel during the dedication of the Temple. There is a similar passage in Jeremiah 18:7-10 that actually applies to all nations. It is the same passage where Jeremiah sees the potter and receives the message that God will make and mold what He wants out of a person or nation. If the person receives God’s molding hand, he will become a vessel useful for the potter. If he rejects God, he will be tossed aside into the heap to be burned. God treats nations and generations the same as He does will individuals. The nation that obeys and seeks God will be molded for His purposes and receive His blessings. The nation that rejects God will be cursed and face judgment.

We have to understand that the Unites States of America is not living under God. While founded to operate under the Christian ethic and via Christian principles, this nation has rejected God as a whole. We as a nation cherish death over life. We’ve killed well over 60 million babies under the name of ‘women’s health.’ That alone is a sin God will not judge lightly, but it is also a sin that has birthed more sin. Combined with the teaching of evolution, where man is nothing more than a glorified animal with no intrinsic value, just a blip on the continuum of time, and where all things done will be remembered only for a moment, there is no support for the value of life. The elderly and the disabled are consuming our money and resources that could be spent on “better things.” Since 1962 when God was formally removed from the public square, we have sown sin, and these despicable acts are mere fruits of what was sown. We will reap what we sow, and often more than we have sown and later than when we sowed it. As tragic as these shootings are, they don’t surprise me.

The shootings, violence, rapes, thefts, and all these crime sprees are a result of sin. There is one solution and one solution only: nationwide repentance. We as a nation must turn from our sin. Our “thoughts and prayers” are sometimes rightfully mocked by the secularists because they often are lip service. We as Christians must own our nations sins as though they are ours. That’s how Nehemiah prayed when he heard of the broken-down walls of Jerusalem. That’s how the high priests throughout the Old Testament were to pray: for his own sins first, then for the people, for sins he did not commit.

I, for one, have often stayed away from political discussions and posts. I’ll make comments here and there but only rarely because I know the government isn’t the solution. However, as I process this shooting that hit my city, I am starting to realize that while I have nothing to do with our nation’s sins in person, as an American citizen, when the nation sins, I am part of that nation. If the Church is to turn this ship around, it must take ownership of the sins this nation has committed under its watch. Even if we have not committed the sins nor endorsed the sins and even if we have spoken up against those sins, because we are a collective body as a nation, we are still part of the nation which sinned.

Shootings like this are tragic and we must mourn with those who mourn. But when we respond, we must respond with brokenness over our sin. David knew how to respond in Psalm 51. Let us repent of our sin, individually and collectively. If we wish to see an end to this, that is the only possible answer other than the total destruction of the nation. I haven’t shed enough tears for this nation in prayer. The few men of God who are left can only hold back the tide of judgment for so long. Our blogger David Odegard described a disquieting dream for us and this shooting was evidence of another breach in the dam. Time is short. Church of America, what will we do? Let us return to God and be the Church to this broken and hurting world. Let us seek to save them before more are lost forever.

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Chad Koons said...

Thank you for your timely words, Charlie.

Brokenness will own the responsibility, perhaps the first step in national healing.