Woke up this morning to reports out of Virginia of a news anchor and her cameraman being murdered in cold blood LIVE on TV by a murderer with a gun. Reports are now also out that the murderer has now taken his own life rather than face the justice handed out to him through the American Justice system.
This is a tragic event. And this unfortunately follows on the heels of numerous shootings taking place all around our nation in recent weeks and months which included a shooting in Charleston, SC (where I am from) at Emmanuel AME Church during their Wednesday night prayer meeting which left 9 people dead including their pastor (who also happened to be a state senator).
Events like these are heart breaking. They are gut wrenching. They are senseless. But most importantly they are EVIL.
Families and communities get rocked every time one of these mass murders happen. No doubt this community will experience an upheaval of emotion. And unfortunately this event will also drum up the usual conversations and accusations around gun control, mental illness, the 2nd Amendment, Democrats, Republicans, our President….you name it….it all will come out.
And I’m sad to say that today will be no different. So for that, citizens of Virginia, I am deeply and profoundly sorry for what you are about to experience. As one who lived through it in Charleston a few weeks back I can honestly say this is going to be hard and you will have everyone politicizing your communities tragedy.
Even so, today we will see another round of finger pointing by the left and the right as to what caused this. We will likely see an onslaught of the media dispensing their political views shrouded in “unbiased reporting” about how our background check system on gun purchases have once again failed us, how we need to tighten down gun control, how we need to do better at finding people with mental illness and preventing them from getting weapons, or how we need to spend more money on programs to make our schools and communities safer.
Every single argument will be brought up once more. And once more our nation will have missed the point entirely. Once more the well meaning, although tepid American Church, will miss the point as well because the focus will be on everything EXCEPT what the real issue is.
People will blame the guns.
People will blame our laws.
People will blame mental health.
People will blame drugs.
People will blame our government.
People will blame our president.
People will blame the media.
People will blame the parents.
People will blame, blame, blame, and they will point, point, point their fingers….but they will almost all miss the mark.
And folks, it’s on days like this that I hate to be the bearer of the truth…but in light of what you will see on TV, and what you’ll hear on NPR, and what you’ll likely hear from our politicians on both sides of aisle….I want to make sure it is perfectly clear for all….THE GUNS DIDN’T MAKE THE MURDERER DO IT! Nor did his parents, or his mental health, or whatever or whoever else people want to place the blame on.
All of these things listed above may be symptoms or even “influencers” of a person’s character, personality, and actions. But neither of these things alone caused the murderer to perpetrate evil on unsuspecting victims.
So then, who is to blame? What is to blame?
The short answer is the murderer, and the murderer alone is to blame. The murderer, who has the same evil and carnal nature in him that you, and me, and everyone else on this planet has encased in our DNA from birth…..the murderer alone is to blame.
And yes you read me right. The evil in THIS man is also the same evil in YOU and I. It is the wickedness in man’s heart (all of mankind) that leads a man to do unspeakable acts. And it is that same wickedness in him as a murderer that lies in each of us.
It says in Isaiah 64:6 (NLT)
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
I know what you’re thinking….
“What hope have we then if we are all capable of the same atrocious acts?”
Well, I’m glad you asked! Because there is absolutely a hope.
The only hope we have as the human race to overcome such evils is to lead hearts and minds to Jesus Christ. It is only through His saving grace, and through His refining and purifying fire that we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and have hope for an individual or group of individuals.
Sure we could implement more gun laws. Sure we could make mental health care more “available”. Sure we could blame the parents and the teachers and what have you. But ultimately unless there is a real heart change in people these things will only serve as thin layer of gauze on a gaping wound. And guess what? Eventually that wound will bleed right through the gauze and you’ll still be left trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding.
So again, let me say….ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN BE OUR TRUE HOPE AND CHANGE!
Romans 5:2-5 (NLT)
Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.