I don’t know anything about the individual (or individuals) who committed this heinous act. I don’t know anything about his childhood. I don’t know whether he was a democrat or republican. I don’t know if he was a conservative or a liberal. I don’t know if he had a background in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Atheism or if he was merely an incidental Agnostic. He may have been factory worker, or unemployed, or a pastor for all I know. I really don’t know anything.
But I do know what he did was evil.
And I do know that the sin he had clearly given himself over to also resides, not just in our culture . . . but it also resides in you and resides in me.
Without a doubt in the days that follow there will be arguments over why this happened and why this man did what he did. Maybe he just went through a break up . . . maybe he was bullied as a child . . . maybe he was obsessed with violent movies and video games . . .
And all of that might very well be true, or it may not. But I do know that at the heart of this evil was sin, and it’s the same sin that affects you and affects me every day.
It’s not just culture, it’s not just democrats and it’s not just republicans who need to change. It’s you and it’s me. It’s not just “the other person” who’s been touched by sin . . . it’s you and it’s me.
Our culture needs to be transformed by a radical encounter with Jesus. And I’m not just talking about attending church . . . .
You need to be transformed by a radical encounter with Jesus. And I’m not just talking about doing good things . . . .
I need to be transformed by a radical encounter with Jesus. And I’m not just talking about knowing things about God . . . .
We need to submit ourselves to Jesus Christ and be changed by him. Our old selves need to be crucified so that Jesus can come into our souls through the Holy Spirit and transform us, not into the men and women we already are, but into the men and women we were created to be.
I have no answers beyond that. I grieve with Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut today. I hate what happened. I hate the unfettered sin that I saw, and continue to see. I’m praying for the families, the neighbors, the teachers and the friends of Newtown. I’m asking for God’s hand and comfort when we have no answers. I’m holding my friends and family members a little closer tonight knowing that there are no guarantees in this life.
And I’m looking to the heavens, with tears in my eyes even as I type this, praying that the Lord Jesus Christ will transform this culture, transform you, and transform me.
“For the High and Exalted One
who lives forever, whose name is Holy says this: […]
‘I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
I will lead him and comfort him and his mourners,
creating words of praise.’
The Lord says,
‘Peace, peace to the one who is far or near,
and I will heal him.’”
Isaiah 57: 15, 18-19 (HCSB)