1999-05-06 - God's Answer
A Christian Perspective on the Disaster in Littleton, Colorado
John 3:19-20 "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
The tragedy of 15 lives being snuffed out at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado shocked the nation. It has rocked this community to its foundations. As life staggers on and some of the 'best and brightest' of Littleton are laid to rest, God is moving in the hearts and lives of those struggling for an answer to the question 'Why?'.
There have been numerous attempts by the world's press, educators and social experts to come to grips with the agonizing facts. Fourteen students and one teacher were killed in a premeditated act, two of the young men by their own hands. Two of the young ladies were apparently martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ. Others were killed because they were athletes who teased and tormented the group that allegedly carried out the attack. But this is not the why we struggle to answer. Why did it happen at all? The answer to the three letter question 'why', is a three letter answer 'sin'. This answer does not sit well in our politically correct, intolerant society. The fact of the matter is that we as members of humanity are a group in uniform, desperate need.
Blame has been cast at a myriad of targets from music and movies to the Internet. But all of these are symptoms with a deeper, common root cause. Let's face it, sin has a tremendous allure to our humanity. The filth and violence that comes from movies and music today have a root problem in sin. The business adage, sex sells, is so obviously true from the bottom lines of the financial statements of numerous companies while revenge themes run through the movies. If we will not come to grips with the fact that sin is enjoyable or at least tempting, then we are not being honest with ourselves. And if we will not be honest with ourselves, we are setting ourselves up for a tremendous fall.
We balk at the idea of sin. We're not that bad, we protest. We generally have no problem admitting that we are not perfect. But it is that imperfection that is the problem. We tell ourselves we'll be good enough when it is our morals that are flawed. We are centered on self, and self is not up to the task of being foundation material for our lives. Since we ourselves are flawed, we are completely unqualified to fix ourselves. Sin is not a disease you picked up. We were all born with it in our natures. It is a birth defect that kills our spirit and blinds us to our spiritual needs, unless we can be brutally honest with ourselves. The Apostle Paul spoke of his struggles in chapter 7 of Romans. The things he wanted to do he struggled to do, and the things he didn't want to do he struggled to not do. If the man who wrote a significant portion of the New Testament can say that, maybe it takes the heat off of us to do the same.
God has the answer. It's free to you and me, paid for on a cross in Palestine almost two millennia ago. It was planned in eternity past. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." (John 14:6. It took Jesus' death on a cross to make a way for us back to God. In love, He came to do just that. If you're looking for hope, God reaches out to you today.
John 10:9-10 "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.
Does this sound like the white bearded figure with lightening in His hand waiting to strike you down if you step an inch out of line? No, it is the heart of God to His creation showing us the desire He has to bless us if we will simply take him up on his offer. If we can simply come to God and admit that we are sinners, imperfect people - if we can say that we can't make ourselves better no matter how hard we try, He will take us in and begin the work of healing us and making us new creations. He has promised not to turn away anyone who comes with a broken heart or spirit (John 6:37). Come to Jesus and ask him to come into your heart and life.
Matt 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." (NAS)
If you find this idea interesting or compelling, please feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be delighted to help you with any questions you may have.
Alistair Begg of the Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio has delivered two messages along these very lines. If you are looking for more, if you still have questions, this is an excellent source for a Christian perspective on the disaster in littleton, Colorado. The Messages are titled Lessons from Littleton. The messages are in Real Audio™ format, and will soon be available in a transcribed text format. Alistair Begg has the opportunity to dig in with more detail to the source of the problem on the shootings in this middle-class slice of Americana. Click on the Truth for Life logo to have that resource presented to you. There are other excellent resources available there as well.
In the Aftermath at the Epicenter
In the community of Littleton is Calvary Chapel of South Denver. The doors of the church have been open 24 hours a day until they finally had to close to simply permit some to get some rest. The doors are open again. People are coming with the same urgent questions that we all fight with, mostly 'Why?'.
In the midst of this horrendous event, as the sons, daughters and fathers of Littleton are being remembered and said goodbye to by loved ones, Jesus Christ is reaching out with compassion and hope. Many of the people who come with questions are leaving with the answer in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Out of this hideous dark cloud, there is a silver lining emerging. Pray for these men and women who are serving God and their community in this dark hour with a message of hope and light. There are needs, some physical, many spiritual. Click on the CCSD logo to go to find addresses, phone numbers and email addresses to send prayers, gifts and support for the church to pass along to the families and friends of the victims and the community. We have the answers these people are looking for so urgently.
2 Cor 4:7-10 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
Please pray for this and other churches in the area reaching out with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Share the treasure and the hope that we have living within us with those asking 'Why?'.
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.