As our prayers go out to the families of mass shootings, it begs the question: What in the world is going on? As a pastor, it’s clear that our nation has rejected God and we are reaping the whirlwind.
Just as water rapidly eroded the banks of the mighty Colorado River and created a vast Grand Canyon, America’s current belief system (relativism) has eroded her foundation and created a moral void.
As Founding Father Robert Winthrop said, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
When the Word of God doesn’t restrain society, all hell will break loose.
The Enemy Within
Interestingly enough, the stability of America is one of the top concerns on the minds of many today. There was a time in recent history when America felt secure knowing that the most formidable enemies were abroad. Not so today. Our enemies are within our gates.
We, like the mighty Roman Empire that collapsed centuries ago, are crumbling from within. There are people who attempt to be “one nation ‘above’ God,” rather than “one nation ‘under’ God.” Scripture identifies this as foolishness, self-exaltation, and arrogance—the downfall of nations.
Do we really believe that we can allow that outright perversion and darkness that is engulfing our nation without there being consequences?
Don’t Pull Up the Roots
There is a saying that one generation plants trees for the next generation. I’m concerned that instead of planting, we are removing and destroying the roots. As a result, our legacy as a great and noble nation has all but been forgotten.
For instance, most schools no longer teach students about the spiritual foundation that has guided America throughout its history.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, echoed this same sentiment, “Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament be read and taught as a divine revelation in the [school]? Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”
Our Only Hope
When America’s moral and religious heritage is deleted, grossly distorted, or revised altogether, chaos will follow. We must not miss the critical connection between America’s unparalleled greatness and her early devotion to God. This should concern us.
The ideas of the classroom in one generation will create the ideas of society within the next. And this is exactly what is happening today: There is no fear of God in this place.
We must bring God back into our lives. He is our only hope.
As a Man Thinks
Another problem is that many are becoming desensitized by movie sensations and video games that depict ungodly themes such as witchcraft, the occult, extreme violence, perverted sex, and so on. Make no mistake, mass shootings are demonic. This is a spiritual battle.
For anyone to assume that there isn’t a pattern here is either naive or grossly out of touch with the culture. The greatest battle we will ever fight is within. Even secular psychologists recognize that our mind is where the battle is either won or lost: “As a man thinks in his heart so is he” (Proverbs 3:27).
Not surprisingly, many shooters are also on powerful antidepressants drugs to deal with the intense battle in the mind.
I Will Keep Sounding the Alarm
As I’ve said many times in the last few years: Without a massive spiritual awakening, the violence in our country will only get worse. We must learn from King Josiah in the Old Testament. Once he heard what God’s Word said about the current condition of the nation, he humbled himself in a profound way, repented, and asked for God’s intervention.
God’s answer also offers hope for us today: “Because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself, I heard your cry and answered your prayer. I have stayed my hand of judgment for now” (paraphrasing 2 Kings 22:19).
The cure for violence has never changed: humility, repentance, and fearing God. Our cry must resemble Isaiah’s: “Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence” (Isaiah 64:1).
Like any parent, God hears the cries of His children. Would be to God that America would tremble again at His presence and fear Him again (cf. Isaiah 64:1-2).
This is our only hope.