Here I am again tackling an enormous and complex topic in about 15 minutes.  I want to talk about this latest school shooting in Florida this past week, and I’m going to do it without talking about gun control (either for or against it).

I mean, really.  We’re Christians.  We have better solutions.

The Latest Story

Here is the link to the news story that I read an excerpt from:  “Death Toll is at 17…” New York Times

We’re Christians

This is going to sound obvious to the point of being ridiculous, but we’re Christians.  We should learn to think like Christians.

But for some reason in these moments, Christians don’t tend to think like Christians.  Instead they think like the world.  They think like politicians, take to social media, and start regurgitating all the old man-made diagnosis and solutions.  And it’s about as helpful as acid reflux.

Debates over mental illness and gun regulation or deregulation, completely miss the root causes of the violence we are seeing.  We use words like “mental illness’ as a junk-drawer that really just means “people that are crazy, unlike me”.

All the while we are ignoring the truth, because the truth is far more frightening than an AR-15.

What Does God Say?

Here’s a crazy idea.  What if we tried to see what God says?  Think He might know?

Eccl. 9:3 – the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

“The hearts of the children of man are full of evil…”  that’s everybody.  Not just a handful of crazy people with access to expensive rifles.

The monster that was in the killer, is also in you, and is also in me.

What Do the Killers Say?

Most of these mass murderers say before they die why they did it.  Not all of them, but most of them do.  And there is a chilling consistency to it.  What is most obvious, and this recent Miami shooting is no exception, is that this was not a fit of rage.  This was not a guy that just snapped one day, grabbed his musket and started shooting.

It’s calculated, thoughtful, intentional, reasoned, murder.

They are almost always weak, ineffectual, emasculated, young men who have full integrated themselves into an identity of victimhood.  And that broken identity makes way for a kind of wicked quest for what they consider to be righteous justice.  Sometimes they express a chilling kind of false compassion.  They are ridding the world of an infection.  They are defending themselves, and others, against what they consider to be a tyranny.  They want all people, or a specific group of people, gone.  They have lost their reason to exist.

It is simultaneously arrogant and weak.  These are not snarling, raging, dragon-monsters charging thoughtlessly into madness.  They are weak, emasculated, young, beta males.

So, demonic forces love to step through that door and provide a little inspiration, a little push of motivation, some small opportunities to act out your plans as a test to see if it feels as good as you think it will until you have the courage to plan and execute the master plan.

It is remarkably consistent from killer to killer.  And this dynamic of the human soul is all too familiar to most people.  It’s disturbing to realize that you can UNDERSTAND and maybe even RELATE TO someone that did something so horrible.

And so we say, eh.  Mental illness.  Guns.  Education.  Those are the problems.  Anything but the human heart.

Eccl. 9:3 – the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

What’s the Solution?

So what do we do about this?  When talking about solutions, I think it’s enormously tempting to be overly simplistic.  It’s another way to avoid the mirror.  I refuse to do that here.

But I know where to start.  I know that all the solutions are found in Jesus.  And Jesus always seems to start with me and my personal responsibility.  He says, “Ben, you feel like a victim.  Let me show you how to be a victim.  I was broken and rejected like you can’t fathom, but I was never a victim.”  Jesus defines for me what a man is, and what a man isn’t.  Jesus was perfectly strong and perfectly gentle.

And Jesus takes my heart, full of wickedness and madness, and transforms it to beat differently.  The wickedness is replaced with His righteousness and the madness is replaced with the mind of Christ.

And then Jesus says, “Now take the light that I’ve put in you and pass it on.”  And it’s in the passing on of the Light of Christ that the world is changed – the wickedness flees and the madness is driven out.

So, it’s too much for me try to fix “society”.  That’s an overwhelming task.  But I can work on my relationship with Jesus.  And I can become a maker of disciples by sharing the Light.  We have no idea what a powerful weapon that is in changing the world.  You have no idea how many school shootings your life can prevent.

This is God’s master plan for changing the world, so let’s get back to it and stop wasting our passions on silly things that don’t work.

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