We all remember the striking images of Columbine. Teenagers climbing out windows, buses used as bunkers, SWAT teams rushing in amongst a crowd of students whose biggest worry heading into that day was a history exam. These images were reimagined, yet no less horrible, recently in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
The President, in his stirring address to those of Newtown, marked that we cannot accept these events as routine. The government is entrenched in meetings and debates are being had. The role of the government to protect its citizens has now come to the issue of how to protect us from an unannounced enemy – ourselves.
I was reading a book recently and the author noted, “Often what human beings do is so horrible that we can be excused, perhaps, for thinking that all that matters is stopping it. But this is an evasion of the real horror: the heart from which the terrible actions come.”
Sadly when tragedy strikes, we often look at how to fight the symptoms of a much deeper cancer. We call for more guns, less guns, prayer in school, commandments on the wall, more legislation, less legislation. But what we have to understand is that what we deal with is not a gun-control issue or a governmental issue – it’s a gospel issue. At the front line of gospel issues is not the government or lobbyists, but the church.
Sin, in whatever form, whether a theater shooting or a lustful thought is grievous to God and equal at the foot of the cross. We sin because we are sinners. That’s the root, regardless of the manifestation. As the church, these events should drive us to prayer more than politics.
I am indeed thankful for Christians involved in the political process. But we must remember all political processes are means to temporary ends this side of heaven. Stopping the unannounced enemy will not be accomplished by a voting body, but by the body of Christ – led by the Spirit – in submission to Jesus our Savior. Let us champion that banner for real change and like John pray, “Lord come soon.”