And yet again this past week, we've dealt with horrible news...
The Shooter (I will not use his name)
HOW can we prevent it?
WHY did it happen?
Some would say because we haven't prevented the HOW
But the reason...?
The topic of Evil is once again in our minds...
The Ever-Present WHY
Woke "coincidentally" this morning to the song The Hurt & The Healer by MercyMe which starts off, "Why? The question that is never far away..."
Basically why do bad things happen to the good?
We've seen disasters and asked: why did God allow it?
The Bible has answered, because sin has entered the world and broken it
Others have answered that we encourage people to take risks through regulatory incentives, but the truth is that we believe that people have a right to be foolish if they want, and if the consequences are theirs alone. "Foolish" for me and for you might be different...
But that has to do with disasters and tragedies; Las Vegas was a perpetration of violence, and so we ask...
Why did he do it? How could he have done such a thing?
We wish to make it comprehensible, we then feel safer
We hope he had a mental break, for that would mitigate his responsibility
(and we can convince ourselves that we would seek medical help if we find ourselves at risk)
We alternatively hope he was a hidden monster, for that would make him other than us
We want, maybe without admitting it to ourselves, reassurance that we would never become like this, perpetrators of evil
That is why studying Nazi Germany, or Communist Russia is such a challenge:
We cannot lie to ourselves that they are not people like us
4 Kinds of Evil (one of MANY models)
The Ends Justify the Means
An Example: Romans 3:7-8
To lie, cheat, steal, use others all for yourself
An Antidote: "Love your neighbor as yourself..."
Two Examples: 1 John 4:1; Matthew 7:15-18a
Noncombatants killed: 12 million by Nazi Germany, 9 million by Stalin's Russia, 30+ million by Mao's China... all in service to their "ideals"
Leonard Lyons in “The Washington Post:” "In the days when Stalin was Commissar of Munitions, a meeting was held... One official arose and made a speech about ... the tragedy of millions of people dying of hunger.… Stalin interrupted him to say: “If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.”"
THE Antidote: The Gospel, wherein God asks us to come and "reason together" with Him
An Example: Romans 12:19-20
A response to being threatened or harmed, physically or otherwise
But are we content with "an eye for an eye?"
An Antidote: Romans 12:19-20
The true monsters: Those who were born without connection to others, or who have followed the above paths, to the extent that harming others becomes "fun."
The Antidote: Don't start down these paths...
Leaving the "Why" in God's hands
We may never know why, in this case (and in others)
At some point we have to trust God, and move forward, and not get "stuck" in the moments of darkness that mar our lives
At some point we say, "As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice." – Psalm 55:16-17