by Bill Fix
The news this past week has been dominated by the story of yet another tragic school shooting and various politicians and commentators offering numerous solutions to prevent such disasters from happening in the future. Regardless of whether state, local, and federal governments move to ban or restrict access to certain firearms, provide armed security at all schools, increase and improve mental health programs, or take any other number of actions, how much will really change?
In many ways, our society has been crumbling for decades, and people taking up arms to shoot up a school, church, mall, or movie theater has become the embodiment of our culture’s degradation. When we remove God from everything in public… when people are only interested in serving themselves instead of our Creator or our neighbor… when media glorifies negative news and spotlights the worst in our society… when everyone seeks as much attention as we can get, regardless of whether such attention is positive or negative… this, unfortunately, is the result.
Does American society still uphold traditional values of loving our neighbors; respecting others’ (especially those with whom we disagree) freedoms to enjoy their own life, liberty, and property; or raising our children to be law-abiding, productive citizens?
It’s easy to blame guns, video games, movies, mental health, or the opposing political party for these problems. But solutions directed in these areas don’t address the root problem. Figuring out how to get all citizens to respect everyone and the laws we live under is much more difficult. That’s a problem that government is unlikely to solve because it requires everyone to be on board with a solution. And it requires us all to be unselfish and willing to repent.
While turning peaceful public places into a warzone may be a recent development in the last few decades, widespread evil is not. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). Things were so rotten in the days of Noah that God flooded the earth and essentially called a do-over with mankind, beginning anew with Noah and his family. “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done” (Gen. 8:21).
Does Rom. 1:18-32 describe our country today? “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools… And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting…”
Plenty of people in this country acknowledge God, but only do so on their own terms. They trust their own human understanding and feelings, instead of God’s wisdom. They aren’t willing to repent of their sins or even concede that certain activities they enjoy could be defined by God as sin. They live in self-assured confidence that because the USA is a “God-fearing country,” He will bless the USA.
Even if this country adopts every preventive measure to address mass shootings, there can be no guarantee the problem will be solved. It only takes one attention-seeking crackpot to go rogue and mess everything up. If all firearms are banned, someone will build a bomb. If someone has never been diagnosed with mental health issues before, how does that person receive treatment and help before it’s too late? We need a return to Biblical values. That begins with parents teaching their children and Christians spreading the gospel to those that need it.