Statement on the Newtown, CT School Shooting

Image: The families of victims grieve near Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman opened fire on school children and staff in Newtown, ConnecticutBelow is the statement I read to our church on Sunday, Dec. 16, in reference to the school shooting in Newtown, CT. Most of this statement is taken from the blog post on the same subject by Russell Moore.  You can read that post here.  I have had many requests from church members for this statement so I am posting it on the blog.  Please continue to be in prayer for the families affected by this horrific tragedy.

I do not know why evil of such magnitude can happen on this earth.  I do not know why God did not stop that man from walking into the school in Connecticut and murdering so many people.  And the thought that most of the victims were innocent, defenseless children is appalling to an infinite degree.  We are angered that there will be no chance for this man to be brought to justice as he took his own life.  But let me remind you that there is no human punishment severe enough for this man.  And remember that one day he will face a Judge able to render judgment far greater than we ever could.

I do know that God is good.  He is not to be blamed for what happened.  The horror of a school shooting is the manifestation of the fact that sin is more wicked than we can imagine or describe.  We live in a terribly, terribly broken and fallen world and the only hope we have goes beyond any law that we enforce or don’t enforce or the fields of psychology or sociology.  The only thing that can push back against the darkness and evil is Jesus Christ.

We must never forget that we are in a spiritual battle.  “The course of this world,” we’re told, is driven along by “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). Satan is, Jesus tells us, a “murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44) because he hates life itself. And he hates the life of children, particularly, because they picture something true about Jesus of Nazareth.

Satan hates children because he hates Jesus. When evil destroys “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40, 45), the most vulnerable among us, it destroys a picture of Jesus himself, of the child delivered by the woman who crushes the head of our reptilian overlord- the devil (Gen. 3:15). The demonic powers know that the human race is saved, and they are vanquished, by a child born of woman (Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 2:15). And so they hate the children who bear his nature.

Violence against children is also peculiarly satanic because it destroys the very picture of newness of life and dependent trust that characterizes life in the kingdom of God (Matt. 18:4). Children are a blessing, and that enrages the horrifying nature of those who seek only to kill and to destroy (Jn. 10:10).  Perhaps this is why Jesus said of anyone who harms a child it would have been better for him to have never been born- a clear reference to that person’s judgment.

Let’s not offer pat, easy answers to this tragedy. We don’t fully understand the mystery of iniquity. We don’t know why God didn’t stop this from happening. But we do know what this act is: it’s satanic, and we should say so.

Let’s not forget that over 2,000 years ago Jesus was born in the midst of a madman who mass murdered babies.  His name was Herod and in every way he epitomized the evil we fight against.  And yet Jesus offered hope, peace, and salvation.  Today, it’s another madman and another mass murder of babies.  And yet, Jesus is still offering hope, peace, and salvation.  Let’s grieve for the innocent. Let’s demand justice for the guilty. And let’s rage against the devil who is behind it all.

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2 Responses to “Statement on the Newtown, CT School Shooting”

  1. Todd, It is a real challenge to be able to think clearly, let alone biblically at times like this. My prayer for you and my pastor and everyone else around the world who shepherds people who need a shepherd, was for wisdom in knowing how to talk about this.

    It might be my teaching specialty, but I think one of the reasons for the outbursts agains God on places like facebook

  2. Forrest & Krystal Scott Reply December 20, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Thank you for posting this.