Blacksburg, Virginia (2007) – 32 & 17
Fort Hood, Texas (2009) – 13 & 32
Aurora, Colorado – (2012) – 12 & 58
New Town, Connecticut (2012) – 27 & 1
San Bernardino, California (2015) – 14 & 21
These are not all of the mass killings in the past ten years but they are enough.
And now we can add Orlando, Florida to the list – 50 & 53. Fifty killed, 53 injured.
There are so many unanswered questions. Why? Why now? Why here? How do we move on? How can we stop the killings?
One question that we need to ask from a Christian perspective is How should we respond to the face of evil?
Is it enough to build a higher fence? To limit immigration? To pass stricter laws?
But those questions miss the most essential point. God has already told us how we are to respond.
Before I get to that, there is another important thing that God has told us that plays into all of this.
He told us to expect it. Perhaps not mass shootings exactly, but evil. We should expect evil to happen in all of its ugliness and in many twisted forms.
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come (2 Timothy 3:1). The Apostle describes the perilous times as men without self-control, those who are brutal and despise the good and those who have a form of religion but don’t know Christ.
So how should we respond to this kind of evil? Again the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. . . do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink . . . do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).
I bet you didn’t see that coming! You may not even like it. But it’s there, right in the Bible.
Some take-a-ways from this passage:
1) We are to do everything we can to live in peace with all men. Even those who attack us.
2) Responses to evil are to be left up to God. Any attempt on our part to get even comes out of a place of wrath and anger – which comes from the pit of hell.
3) We are to treat the enemy in ways that are counterintuitive and run totally against our natural inclinations.
4) The winning formula is to overcome evil with good.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying that we should stop making good laws. Or that we don’t need police security. Or that we should never protect ourselves and our families.
But what God wants is for us to 1) Do all of this in the right way, 2) Not be motivated by revenge, 3) Strive to live in peace even with the peace-breakers, 4) Treat those who attack you with love, and 5) Leave the rest up to Him.
There is a way for Christians to respond to evil – and most of us have missed it.
Maybe that’s part of the reason that people of other faiths have such misconstrued and misinformed ideas about Christians.
Stay in the Word