by Robert McClanahan
I've been holding off commenting on the awful tragedy in Sandy Hook. I've allowed others to have their say without interjecting. I've written and re-written my comments to make sure that they are said in the most respectful way possible. But it's now time for me to share what's on my mind.
I've read countless news stories, op-ed pieces, Facebook posts and other commentaries, each wanting to blame the tragedy on: guns, a permissive society, the NRA, violent video games, Hollywood, lax parenting, lack of security funding, gun laws, lack of gun laws, etc., etc., etc. We can waste an enormous amount of time trying to determine where best to place the blame.
Yet the answer is actually pretty simple: Satan is alive and well in this world.
Call it what you will, but what motivates someone to murder little children has existed since before time began: EVIL.
And evil comes in all shapes, sizes, methods and madnesses. Always has, always will.
Cain probably used a rock. The Assyrians flayed people alive. The Romans crucified thousands and fed just as many to the lions. Judas employed a kiss. The Mayans practiced human sacrifice. Henry VIII used a guillotine. Jack the Ripper brandished a knife. Hitler preferred the showers (aka gas chambers) and ovens. Stalin used machine guns. The Boston Strangler killed with nylon stockings. Jim Jones mixed a big batch of Kool-Aid. Jeffrey Dahmer used a saw. Son of Sam used a revolver. The Tylenol killer loaded capsules with poison. Saddam used chemical weapons. Timothy McVeigh loaded fertilizer and diesel fuel into a rental truck. BTK -- Dennis Rader -- used duct tape and rope. Muhammad Atta used a Boeing 767. And the monster in Newtown had a Bushmaster assault rifle.
Satan and his minions have always been able to find individuals bent on doing evil, and those individuals have always been able to obtain instruments or weapons with which to do their evil work.
Sadly, none of that will change until one of two things happens:
- This world comes to an end, which it will eventually do; or
- The entire world comes to know Jesus.
It's that simple. Looking to blame anyone or anything else is pointless. Evil things happen. We can't legislate them out of existence. We have thousands of laws making evil things unlawful, yet they don't stop individuals bent on doing evil things from doing them. Never have, never will.
Yes, what happened at Sandy Hook was an awful, pointless tragedy. It breaks my heart to think of those who were forever impacted by it. It should make all of us realize the presence of evil in our world and the pain that it causes. And it should make us detest evil all the more.
The only thing that will ever change this situation is the love of Jesus Christ. It’s the only thing that can truly change the condition of the heart of man. It’s the only thing that can displace the evil that often lives there.
In short, He’s our only hope.
Robert McClanahan describes himself as "… a Christian, first and foremost. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He is mankind's only hope. I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the source of absolute truth. I am a Sunday school teacher, deacon, and occasional songleader in my church." He is the husband of Michelle, father of Kiley, Kathleen, Riley and Luke. Riley is a special needs child who has just turned 14, central to a group of people dedicated to ministering to other families with special needs children (http://www.rileyswarriors.org/). Robert is a compassionate conservative who supports the NRA, owns guns, and occasionally shoots for sport. And while he might be surprised to learn it and initially deny it, Robert's friendship is one of the primary reasons that New Wineskins' WebServant Keith Brenton found faith again in a loving church family and came to understand the immense value and God's wisdom in having one.