As I listen to all the commentary around the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado, I must admit frustration. It seems we always want to find a rational answer to irrational behavior. Everyone wants to know why this happened and how might it have been avoided. These are both fair and honest questions, though the answer may never be known and complete avoidance of such horrific acts as this one is unlikely. But for some, this tragedy has provided another opportunity to push a political agenda, cast blame and to create further division among us as a nation. I’ve watched this week as some in media have sought to blame the National Rifle Association, acting as if they pulled the trigger. Only one person pulled the trigger, James Holmes. I’ve heard others speak of the negative influence of violent movies. I’ve listened as our presidential candidates commented on this tragedy. I heard President Obama speak of this as a senseless act; and it was. If only he thought that taking the life of an innocent unborn child was just as senseless, he might have greater credibility on these issues. Words always ring hollow when actions speak the contrary. So as our media seek answers as to why this shooting happened, and our political leaders ponder remedies to deal with potential fallout, one remedy, in fact the only hope, remains largely ignored. That hope is a return to God! Of all the problems our nation faces, our biggest problems remain spiritual.
It’s time we face the fact that our major problem is not the Second Amendment; it is not the desensitization of our society because of the violence in movies or music. Our biggest problem is we have alienated God. As a nation, we have failed to emphasize His will concerning societal issues. We have failed to believe God when He said, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). We think we know better, and as a result, we find ourselves reaping the consequences of our arrogance. That’s why I find the comments of some liberals to be so hypocritical. They ask why these things happen, yet fail to recognize that these are consequences of the policies they’ve largely supported. Policies that fail to acknowledge the role of our Creator. It is not to say that if this were not the case that evil wouldn’t exist. Evil has always existed, and though not responsible for it, God has always been sovereign over it. But more and more we fail to emphasize the value of God’s opinion in the public discourse. Do you think He takes the apostasy of our nation lightly? Do you think He pours out His mercy and grace to the exclusion of His justice and wrath? What do you think it meant when Paul wrote, “God gave them up”? (Romans 1:24) What it meant was that God gave them up to their sin and the resultant consequences.
But fortunately, we have a faithful God. That’s why we continue to preach and to pray because in light of all that surrounds us, there is always hope to be found in Him. Individually and as a nation, our greatest hope for change is to seek God’s face. Instead of denying Him, obey Him. Instead of running from Him, run to Him. A seeking heart will always find a welcoming God, “You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) I guess we will never rid society of all its ills. That is until Christ returns. But until then, by submitting to God’s will expressed in His Word, we are provided a necessary filter with which to see the world and the events around us, making us less susceptible to its evil influence. I hope you believe that God’s Word along with prayer has that much power because it does. I also hope you believe that God will bestow blessing and favor to those who seek His will for their lives. He will do that for our nation as well. All of God’s Words are true and just as He meant Romans 1:24, He also meant Malachi 3:7 when He said, “Return to me, and I will return to you”. The question is, will we?