Like most Americans, I have been thinking about the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, CA; El Paso, TX; and Dayton, OH. As I listen to the reports and politicians point the finger at each other, I have been struck that nobody really gets what’s going on here even in the Christian community.
Let me state is plainly: Evil is on the rise because America is leaving God.
I Googled this today: “Graph of church decline in America” and found a great article from Gallup the polling company (https://news.gallup.com/poll/248837/church-membership-down-sharply-past-two-decades.aspx)
From 1937-1976 church attendance was steady at about 70% or more Americans. From the mid-70s to the 90s church attendance dropped slightly to 68%. However, since then during the past 20 years, Gallup reports church attendance has dropped nearly 20 percent to only half of Americans attending church.
Just as interesting is the percentage within each generation who claim “no religious preference” – Traditionalist was 9%; Baby Boomers was 14%; Generation X was 18%; and the Millennials was 29%.
Anyone else see a pattern here? Folks, this isn’t rocket science. As Americans leave God and the church, evil rises. There is a direct correlation. Mass shootings of the kind we are talking came into our consciousness in 1998 when Kip Kinkel here in Oregon shot up Thurston High School. The next year there was Columbine. And it’s gone on from there.
The truth is when you lose your Christian moral foundations and you get chaos.
Yet, our political leaders continually refuse to acknowledge the cause and instead shift the blame to anything else just to make political points. The reason is just as obvious; they are the ones who have taken God out of the schools and secularized our nation. They couldn’t possibly admit they were wrong in doing so.
The Wall Street Journal published an article this morning pointing out that the problem is much more complex than simply gun control or blaming an unpopular and vitriolic president. WSJ rightly notes that there are a bunch of unstable and damaged young men out there who are not getting the intervention they need.
Again, I blame the politicians.
In what they thought was a compassionate move, legislatures around the nation began closing facilities that treat mentally unstable people and “main streamed” them instead, believing that in doing so they would afford these ill people a better lifestyle.
As Christians, we always must ask ourselves what is the most loving thing to do? Is main streaming sick people the most loving thing? Or is getting them the help they desperately need in a safe environment more loving? I prefer the latter.
As we are learning this morning, both the shooter in El Paso and in Dayton were disturbed (especially the guy in Dayton). People knew they were disturbed and needed help, yet it appears not much was done in the way of intervention. The same is true of anyone who goes on a shooting rampage; these are sick and damaged people!
But here’s the thing: they don’t just need appropriate mental health help because they are a danger to themselves or others, but they need the appropriate spiritual help because they are the kinds of people Satan uses to carry out his plans of destruction.
Yes, I said it! Satan manipulates these sick people to do evil and it’s tragic both for the victims and for the sick person.
Christian brothers and sisters please, please, PLEASE always remember our fight is not against flesh and blood but against Satan himself! This is a spiritual war and the more we take God out of the equation the easier it is for Satan to have his way.
Unfortunately, this is not going to get better and in fact it’s going to get worse. Scripture is clear that as we move toward end times more and more people will leave the faith and evil will seem to flourish. Even some of you reading this may think I’m a nut-job focusing on spiritual things rather than tangible issues such as gun control and race relations. But read 2 Timothy 3:1-5
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.”
I have no idea if we are in the end times, but I do know this: The more we as a nation fall away from God the more we as a nation will embrace the ways of Satan, which means the more Satan will inflict evil upon us through things such as mass shootings.
There’s a t-shirt out there I like. It says, “Y’all Need Jesus.” I don’t think this has been more true in this nation since it’s founding. Certainly, we need to pray for the victims of the shootings and their families that God will comfort them in this difficult time. But, church, we need to pray more fervently that people in this country get back to worshiping God, following His ways, and submitting to His will and not our own.