The shooter entered the classroom, lined everyone up and then systematically went one by one asking, "Are you a Christian or not?" If they said, "yes" he shot them in the head, if they said "no" he shot them elsewhere in their body.1 This depraved individual came targeting Christians and left nine people dead and several wounded.
It happened on our soil and he was one of our citizens. This student was raised in a nation that continues to produce these kinds of sons who find it desirable to take the lives of peers. Recently, as the nation is still coming to grips with the latest tragedy, news broke of a 11-year-old boy who shot an 8-year-old girl with a shotgun after she refused to let him play with her puppy.2 Something is horribly wrong in our land! We have embraced a culture of death. America when will you wake up to realize it is time to repent?
Once again, this week everyone in the political realm and media is repeating the same script. Seeking to blame something or someone in an attempt make sense of a senseless act. After all the dialogue and debate is over, the real issue will remain ignored. America, you have lost your soul, and until we repent as a nation, we will continue to repeat the violence.
When President Barack Obama addressed the nation in the wake of the tragedy, he missed the opportunity call the nation to true repentance. Yes, he expressed the frustration we all feel. Why does this keep happening? Predictably, he chose to make it a political issue. It is a spiritual issue! Our nation does not have a gun problem, we have a God problem. Until we recognize that, there is no hope for real change.
I am not writing to enter into the gun debate. It is pointless and, in the end, only addresses the fruit. We need to get down to the root. Go ahead, take away all the guns, but will anything change? Will the culture of violence and death be removed? Our country has slid far from God and is depraved. Depraved men and women will continue to find ways to hurt one another.
Here is what the president should have done, and yes there is great precedent.
The president said: "But as I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It's not enough."3
I agree with the president. Prayer is not enough, it's a beginning, and we haven't even started there. "Our thoughts and prayers," is a token statement made when we aren't sure what else to say. Do we really mean it? Have we really prayed?
Prayer is not just a good idea, it's the initiation to a change in direction. If the president truly wants to see change, he would follow the example set by prior presidents such as John Adams, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln. He wouldn't just mention prayer; he would call the nation to prayer. These godly leaders called upon the nation to fast and pray during times of great distress. We are at one of those points now. We don't need to talk about praying; we need to be praying.
Are our thoughts and prayers really with these families? Does the president genuinely want to show true leadership and ask the nation to do something harder than the politicization of another tragedy? If so, ask the nation to humble itself and pray!
The president said: "We don't yet know why this individual did what he did. And it's fair to say that anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds, regardless of what they think their motivations may be."3
We do know what motivated the shooter. He specifically targeted Christians. It is a sickness that goes deeper than a mental illness. It is a depraved heart turned toward wickedness. You can't medicate or counsel such a condition. A culture of death is at work in our nation and will continue to do so until we are willing to look beyond the surface questions: "How did he get a gun?", "How could we have spotted the warning signs?", "How do we get people mental help?", and the list goes on. If we keep only asking these questions, nothing will change.
Abraham Lincoln stood before the nation in the face of a civil war in which brothers took the lives of brothers and asked: "Nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People?"4
He asked the nation to repent. America has bowed down to the god of this world and in the process has lost her soul. Until we as a church and a nation return to our knees in repentance, this culture will continue to produce depraved men and women who are bent on destruction.
Lastly, the president stated: "Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in the aftermath of it. We've become numb to this."3
We are more than numb; we are asleep. These tragedies keep piling up, and still America does not repent or turn. The symptoms continue to point toward a cancer in the heart of our land. The answer is not in another man-made law; it's in God's law. It's time to repent.
Do we really want to change? Or shall we insanely keep doing the same thing over and over again, seeing no results? The Lord made it clear when He said, "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chr. 7:14).
I believe in America and the foundation on which it was built. There is still time to save this land! The blood of our children demands it. I leave you with Lincoln's words spoken before the nation March 30, 1863.
"We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God ... we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. ... It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the Offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."
Daniel K. Norris is an evangelist who worked alongside Steve Hill bringing the message of revival and repentance to the nations. Together, they co-hosted a broadcast called "From the Frontlines." Norris also hosts the Collision Youth Conference that is broadcast all over the world. He can be contacted at danielknorris.com.
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