I cannot remain silent. Call me legalistic for calling out sin. Call me harsh for pointing out the destruction that comes from it. But I’m not proclaiming God’s active judgment or pronouncing any kind of condemnation. I’m talking about the inevitable reaping of what we have sown as a culture, and I grieve for the resulting tragedies I see unfolding in so many lives every day.
Once more we have seen a school shooting, and once more it has happened in the Denver metro, my city, this time at Arapahoe High School, not far from Columbine High School, where another and more devastating shooting happened in 1999. It wasn’t long ago that a shooter opened up in a theater in my city and destroyed dozens of lives. My heart is broken. My chest aches, and my eyes are wet with tears for the trauma these students have experienced, for the injured ones and for the shooter himself, so emotionally disturbed and in so much pain that he not only had to harm others but took his own life. This is destiny and promise stolen and destroyed by the enemy of our soul.
Why? These things never happened a generation ago, when, whether or not we really lived it, our nation at least acknowledged God and our families for the most part remained whole. I want to scream, “America! Wake up!” I have unhappily prophesied in writing that we are witnessing the catastrophic collapse of a once-great culture and our children are paying the price. I warned in my annual prophetic word just a few weeks ago of the rising tide of hatred around us that will surface in many arenas of life. This shooting is a manifestation of that hatred which inevitably results when a nation forgets its rightful Lawgiver and turns from His principles that were given to ensure the well-being of all God’s creation.
This generation of young people is lost! Our self-centeredness as a culture has led to the breakup of our families and the abandonment of our children. We’ve failed to pass them stability. We’ve not imparted a faith in God and His absolute laws and principles, substituting instead a mushy postmodernism that eliminates the concept of a higher power who created us and who rules over us with love, wisdom and holy intent. When God’s morality is abandoned, love is lost and lives are destroyed.
Unless you listen—really listen—to the young, you cannot know how much destruction has been visited upon them or the depth to which it goes. We, as an older generation, must bear the responsibility for this. Guns are not the cause. We are the cause, and our sin is the root. Our broken covenants have left us naked and vulnerable to the ravages of the one who hates us.
New laws will accomplish nothing in the long run. The violence and destruction will simply leave the campus to find another location where young people gather. Put security guards at the doors of our schools and workplaces and the violence will simply move to the street and even the homes. Nothing short of a strong move of national repentance can turn this around, but in convincing us that we’re all victims and not sinners, that law and morality are relative to the feelings of the individual, our enemy has effectively eliminated repentance from the conceptual realm for those who have not been reached for Jesus, and even from the hearts of many who call themselves Christian.
Can we who really understand plumb now the depths of the cross and the blood and the selflessness of our Lord imparted into us? Can we recover the joy and beauty of repentance as an essential and ongoing element of the Christian life? Can we finally conform to the image of the Son (Rom. 8:29) and begin to shine as lights in a dark place, as we have been called and destined to do?
Lord, forgive us. We have fallen so far.