It is with a heavy heart that I write this blog post. As expected, bloggers everywhere have capitalized on the recent shooting; varieties of Tweets/Posts/Articles/Videos and whatever else have been authored, many in an attempt to provide insight or healing; some to call the nation to awareness and others, simply to try to generate ratings and web site hits.
I hope that you will understand that I hope to bring comfort to those affected, conviction to the contributors, and glory to God for all His Good works. I consider the vast array of immediate public communication and sincerely appreciated this tweet by Lane Chaplin.
Today is about those kids and their families. Instead of your soapbox, get on your knees, and pray for the families who are suffering.
— Lane Chaplin (@LaneChaplin) December 14, 2012
Let me begin by making it clear that I find this to be a real tragedy. And, frankly, I’m not sure we are being useful or insightful by “comparing” tragedies. To the victims or those left behind after ANY tragedy, that is the bad one which needs to be memorialized. I don’t need for any more or less people to have been murdered for this to be considered truly tragic. What I can say is that I believe I have biblical justification for feeling that this crime is in some way more heinous than a lot of other crimes because the crime directly hurt so many children.
I can personalize this enough to say that I know the grandparents of one of the victims. They are close family friends to someone close to me, so their pain is shared by people in my family, and we spent the day concerned for them in a more personal way than I had when witnessing any other event of this nature in my life. My own children, when they heard about the incident had questions which we discussed. This devastation reaches far and affects people everywhere in different ways, often negatively.
I mean – how do you explain the feeling when you hear about it and you are so glad that it was someone else’s kids that were killed and not your own? Is that selfish? Is that normal? Don’t we all feel that way or am I alone? We cannot escape the reality that it happened…and I thank God for my family’s safety that day and every day…but I can’t help feeling even a bit of guilt. Why doesn’t this happen to me?
So let’s talk about the blog title: Who really took the lives of the Newtown Victims? Here’s my answer. God did. It is impossible for God to be God without God having ABSOLUTE sovereign control over everything. This is extremely hard to comprehend and reconciling this with the fact that God is not responsible for evil is something with which man has much trouble.
But you cannot fear a God that wasn’t in complete control of every bullet. You cannot worship a God who was powerless to stop the shooter from pointing his firearm and firing. You cannot be punished or rewarded by a God who wasn’t present or couldn’t see this coming.
You cannot trust a God who lacked control of any atom of the universe for even a second.
And you cannot take comfort in a God who is impotent to carry out His will at all times. You can never feel secure with a God who is powerless over evil. You cannot love a god who is not God.
But you may take great consolation in knowing that God was there at the school. He was bringing comfort and peace to His children in the midst of the tragedy. He took the lives from those to whom He gave life at the time He had known from the beginning, and He preserved the lives which He desired to continue.
God never left His throne. Oh, He is much grieved. He hates the hands that shed innocent blood. But God is still ruling; He is still in control; and He still freely offers the gift of Jesus Christ to all those who turn to Him in repentance and faith for the forgiveness of sins.
Do you wish to see those children and teachers again? Your only chance is to realize that God has allowed YOU another day to repent. He has graciously extended YOUR LIFE even so that you are reading this message right now! Come to Jesus all you who are weary and heavy laden and He will give you rest.
If you are a direct relation to a victim, let me say I am so sorry for your loss. This is a terrifying tragedy, and I cannot fathom your pain. I hope the Truth of God’s Word can bring you some consolation.
It is also theologically important to be clear that
- Little children do not become angels. None of us do.
- When human die we pass onto a new life where we will be judged by God for our sin.
- The only way to escape that judgment is for God to forgive you of your sins based on the work of Christ on the cross.
- Pre-born babies, infants and little children are saved by the grace of God through faith, not because they are innocent, but because of His tender mercy and the precious doctrine of the election of little ones as revealed in scripture.
- We do not know for certain at what age or understanding this is reality, but we trust God does what is right all the time.
For further reading about God’s sovereignty and evil, check out my blog post on Habakkuk 1:13.
Maybe you disagree with me. You may think this is out of place. There are some more resources available to you. Click here to read the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry’s take on the shooting. Leave a comment and let’s discuss this if you desire.