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Let me make my position clear I do not believe that the “Absence of God or Godliness” in our culture or the “Presence of automatic Guns” in our culture is the primary cause of the massacre that took place in Connecticut on December 14, 2012.

I can point to times in biblical, world, and American history where the overall beliefs of society were arguably more moral (“Godly”), never completely moral, but possibly more moral than they are today, and still show you heinous acts of evil. Realistically, was there ever a season in American history where our nation collectively has ever been moral?

In addition, I can also show you where repetitive acts of evil were committed with other tools than automatic guns. In 2001, evil was committed by terrorists flying airplanes into populated buildings. A few weeks ago evil was committed via alcohol and automobiles, and our nation is still dealing with evil that was committed by an elderly football coach sexually abusing several young boys over a series of almost two decades. Automatic guns were not the primary tool of evil in none of the above situations.

Both of these explanations, the absence of godliness and the presence of automatic guns, may carry a hint of validity in explaining our crisis. We do have a culture where popular entertainment has desensitized America to crime and violence. We do have a culture where it is very easy for automatic guns, or any gun for that matter, to get in the hands of people who should not have them. While both of these issues should be included in the discussion when addressing this issue, I do not believe that either of these issues is the core of the problem.

Each of these explanations have been the political battle cries of various communities for years. Certain political and social communities seem to insert one of the two arguments mentioned above in nearly every act of evil that takes place in our society. It appears that these arguments are more for political expediency, which is to advance one movement or to attack another, than it is to bring true resolution to serious issues. It is sad when a tragedy is used to market a given political or social perspective; in doing so, someone’s pain is indirectly manipulated for political gain. In the process of this partisan maneuvering and bickering, the issue is not properly addressed and the real issue continues to be overlooked.

I believe the cause of the massacre at Shady Hook elementary School in Connecticut and every other act of incivility in our society is primarily due to evil, which exists in our world. I believe this issue at its core is a spiritual issue and not primarily a social, political, or legislative issue. A 20 year old young man, killed his mother, six adults, twenty elementary school children and then committed suicide. This issue is much deeper than what a President, Congress or state legislature can fix. This issue is a matter of evil.

There are three very challenging, yet very simple questions that every belief system has to answer in regards to evil:

  • What is evil?
  • Why does evil happen in our society?
  • What is the cause of evil?
  • How can we address, combat and/or overcome evil?
At some point America will get past the immediate pain from this national tragedy, and in moving forward these questions cannot be neglected.

Evil the Real Enemy

From a biblical perspective, the Bible identifies a Devil who in scripture is referred to as a deceiver, thief and liar as well as several other terms that identify his cunning character. Scripture goes on to say that his purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. Therefore, whenever there is stealing, killing, or destroying, it is an indicator that the desire and work of the Devil is at hand, which I refer to as evil. Man is presented with an option, follow the will of God, which is and has been a celebration of life and peace, or follow the will of Satan, which is and always has been a celebration of death and destruction.

God has given man the ability to choose good or choose evil. Man’s choice of doing good or evil will ultimately affect himself and others (society). While God gives man the opportunity to choose, God consistently encourages man to choose good over evil, but it is ultimately man’s choice. Here is a reality that most people to seem to overlook or do not really understand: Evil or good cannot take place in our world unless man makes a decision to choose to do evil or good. Specifically, God and Satan’s will on earth is contingent on man’s choice; this is the structure that God has established. This is God’s world, and in his world, he has established a system where man has the ability to make decisions. God does not agree with every decision or action that man makes, but he does not change his structure because certain men make horrible decisions. (Think on that a bit)!!

This is a principle that many organizations and businesses follow, you have a leader at the top that owns the business who then gives certain aspects of decision-making ability to subordinate leaders. The owner may not agree with every decision that the subordinate leaders make, but if the business is going to thrive and function effectively, the owner does not rupture his system because a few leaders make bad decisions. The owner’s function then is to provide vision to his team, train the subordinate leaders on the correct path to follow, and give them encouragement as they fulfill their day-to day duties in advancing the mission of the organization.

A mind committed to doing evil is nearly infinite, and most times is never satisfied. Evil can takes place when a number of things happen:

  1. People in society are committed to causing harm and destruction to others, because of their evil nature;
  2. People who are dealing with hurt and pain deal with their challenges by causing hurt and pain to others, “Hurt people, hurt people.”
  3. People often commit acts of evil unintentionally. This desire was not to cause evil, but the given action resulted in evil, which was unintended.

What must be remembered is the focus is on the desire to do evil and not the tool or circumstance which caused the evil. Yes, certain policies, practices and mores in a culture can make evil more accessible and can desensitize society to evil. However, it would be nearly impossible to attempt to create legislation that could stifle a mind committed to doing evil. So the focus should be on attacking the core of the problem, how do we deal with evil? This is where the problem lies and there is an answer!

How can we address, combat and/or overcome evil?
Romans 12:21, do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

This passage presents the most, clear and concise remedy for directly attacking evil. This passage suggests that it is possible to control, stifle, and minimize evil in our world. The tool that causes the greatest threat to evil is good! When we commit our lives to doing good, evil is contained. Goodness is aggressively following the path, vision, or hope that God has destined for you. This path will in some form be an aggressive and passionate pursuit of the celebration of the life and peace in our world. Any God-given vision, dream, or destiny will on some level present opposition to evil. Goodness is not just an ethical virtue or a motivational “pick me up,” it is a strategic weapon from God to attack and contain the strategies of Satan, which is Evil. Let’s review a very brief survey from scripture of the power of Goodness…

  1. A. The Bible says that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was anointed or empowered by God to “…do GOOD!”
  2. David wrote that the steps or actions of a GOOD man are ordered by the Lord!
  3. GOODness is mentioned in scripture as one of the nine indicators that the Holy Spirit of God is living inside of you (the Fruits of the Spirit).
  4. When David penned what would become his most memorable Psalm he ended the Psalm with the phrase, “Surely, GOODness and mercy shall follow me all of the days of my life.”
Goodness is a weapon from God to stifle evil.

In summary, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school was an act of evil committed by a young man. The mental condition of the young man has not fully been revealed, so we do not know what triggered this act of evil. It may have been committed out of an evil nature, it may have been due to his inability to properly address his issues of hurt and pain, or it may have been due to severe mental impairments where he may not have understood the value of life.

While we do not know the true cause of his actions, we do know that the way to minimize future occurrences of evil is by committing our lives to aggressively doing good. This means creating a culture that celebrates life and peace by aggressively fulfilling and pursuing your God given purpose. It will take more than just one person. It will take masses in a culture and a generation to embrace good if there is a true desire to minimize the events at Sandy Hook repeating themselves!

“In order for evil to occur, good people do nothing”
So what are you doing?

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