The events in Roseburg are of great sadness to me. A cold callus shooter taking the lives of innocent people. It is not merely a tragedy but a horrendous event that should shock us all and move us with compassion for the victims and their family.
The reports of the gunman's question to his victims if they had religious beliefs or were Christians appears verified, but it must be known that all were shot whether they answered yes or no. So this is not an issue to magnify. The shooter was simply filled with evil.
The response by politicians on both sides is questionable. Democrats want more gun control. Republicans blame it on mental health. Some want the Douglas County Sheriff to resign because of a controversial Facebook post he made. But is the answer really more laws? Politics as usual. Laws do not change a person and may only make a person, bent on evil, find a different way.
So do we need more laws? The Old Testament was based on Laws and according to the apostle Paul didn't make people righteous but only revealed guilt to be punished.
Ro 3:20* Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
So what is the answer if not more laws? I understand the fear of many who want to respond to the danger. Can anything, even the removal of all guns or the medicating of all mentally ill, make our world safe from the possibility of being killed by a gunman? What is the extent of the danger? What are the real statistics? How many people are killed in mass shootings? I tried to find out but most websites disagree what constitutes a mass shooting. Is it based on the amount killed or the amount shot or how many were there? It is all very curious but difficult to know. It is certain that the information will be spined as needed to push an agenda. Here is one website that has a very thorough chart. But look at the numbers, they're not as high as you may think and vary from year to year.
So what is the answer, is there one? If the shooter said it was caused by his broken home, could we fix it? If the shooter said it was his prejudice, could we fix it? If he said, it was his autism, could we fix it? You see the issue isn't as easy as more laws is it? Is it society's responsibility to regulate any of these needs for individuals? Can we regulate it? What if the person refused our help, what then since he hasn't yet committed a crime? Do we incarcerate him and force him to submit to the treatment and practice pre-crime? (That reminds me of a movie).
Here is my point, you ready? We are not in control and are unable to make the world absolutely safe. We could cry out to government to make it safer for us and our family, add more labels on food, remove all GMO, make smoking illegal, remove jungle gyms from playgrounds (oh, already did that), make everyone wear a seat belt or their car won't start, add more scanners at airports, make it harder to own a gun, etc., etc. But for me as a Christian my only hope to having peace in a dangerous world is to have an eternal hope and expectation. Death is inevitable, whether by event or old age, but since my life is the Lord's I will continue on into eternity.
Now I know there are those who scoff at the Bible and at the existence of God and do not believe in life after death. That's fine, but who will be happier while waiting for death to come, because it will come in some form for all. Just ask yourself, if you were walking down a dark street and heard footsteps behind you and saw three men walking with something in their hands, would you be relieved to know that they were going home from church and that they carried Bibles? Of course you would so your not so anti-Christian after all. So where does your hope lie?
Now before anyone starts shouting that I don't care about the issue of people murdering others and am doing nothing to change things, please consider that as a Christian and a pastor the answer to these issues is a changed life and perspective that comes from Jesus. I am doing my part to present this truth to those that are entangled in their lives. My church has many who have come out of unsavory pasts. Lifestyles that were corrupt and dishonest with some even being incarcerated. Evil doers in the eyes of society. But Jesus delivered them and changed them so that you would never know it. I'm not the only one, Christians all over the world are doing this and we are making a difference in a dark and dangerous world one person at a time.
Blessings and be safe in Christ