What happened in Nashville at the Covenant Presbyterian Christian school is a terrible heat wrenching tragedy.  I cannot fathom what each of the families represented by the 9 lives lost must be feeling.  Sometimes it feels like there are no words that can bring comfort.  I will not say that time heals all things, because it does not.  It may make loss more bearable but never heals completely.  When in the midst of suffering terrible pain or loss even the very words of Scripture cannot suffice in bringing ultimate comfort to those grieving, but they can point to the One that can.  Richard Wurmbrand suffered constant torture for 14 years in Russian communist prisons.  When he would speak of those horrors he said the only thing that can comfort in those times is not a sermon about God, nor scripture references about God, nor even your own ideas, understandings, or concepts of God.  In the most painful of times the only thing that can comfort is God Himself.  He is the One who can heal and bring comfort.  God alone!  There is nothing in this life or world that is able to do what only God can.  I don’t seek to address the families who were forced to face heart wrenching loss for I am nothing but a stranger and of no consequence.  What I do seek to address is the statement: When God is enough but hate isn’t.

What I mean to say is that God is all-sufficient.  He is holy!  He is the creator and sustainer of all who call upon His name and those that do will not be disappointed.   When David was aching for his sick child, he fasted, wept, prayed, and laid by his bedside for days.  He petitioned God to spare the child but also understood that even if God didn’t he would see his child again.  There is another truth in that story we can observe.  When the child went to be with the LORD David got up, cleaned himself, ate, drink, and went into the house of the LORD and worshipped God (2 Samuel 12:16-23).  David, perhaps the most capable earthly king except Jesus Christ, shows us that despite terrible loss and pain, God is still worthy.  A tower fell on some people in Siloam and Pilate mixed the blood of some saints with his pagan idolatrous sacrifices he offered to his fake gods.  In both instances Jesus was questioned as to why it happened.  “Was it because they were worse sinners?”  Jesus’ response is poignant, “Truly I tell you unless you repent you all will likewise be” (Luke 13:1-5).  Jesus wept for His people, He wept when they died, and He wept when sin had marred their life.  Was Jesus saying that tragedy was of no consequence? 

Not at all.  He was simply redirecting the focus from the seemingly insurmountable burden of painful loss to the weightier truth of eternity.  Death is tragic no matter what, and especially painful when it happens to children.  It will happen to all of us and what matters at that moment is if we are in Christ or Adam?  One day everyone will spend eternity in the presence of God and His perfect love, grace, and mercy or in the presence of God and His perfect & just wrath, indignation, and hatred of sin.  If we put our faith and trust in Christ we will receive a new heart cleansed of wickedness and seek only those things that please God.  He promises that He will welcome us into His kingdom where in Revelation 21:1-7 it says,

1 Then I saw aa new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.  2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”  5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”  6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.  7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”

Rev. 21:1-7

Listen to the hope in those words.  God Himself will create a new heavens and new earth and will dwell with His people, just as He did in the Garden before Adam and Eve sinned.  Hear His promise when He says we shall be His people and God Himself will be among us.  He will wipe all tears away from your eyes just as a loving and compassionate parent wipes the tears from their child’s eyes.  There in His presence for eternity there will be no death, no mourning, no crying and no pain.  All the former things have passed away.  He who sits on His glorious throne is making all things new.  God Himself says these words are faithful and true.  It is done! In one sense Jesus has ushered in this kingdom by destroying the enemy, death and the grave through His sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection.  God is before all and over all.  He will satisfy all those who thirst with the springs of the water of life without cost.  The promise to those who overcome is an inheritance of God Himself.  God will be your God and you will be His son or daughter.  Amen and Amen!!!  God is enough.

Hate isn’t enough to fix anything.  What do I mean by that?  I mean that in the face of this horrific tragedy many have indirectly condoned the shooters actions by claiming it was a result of the supposed hate perpetuated by Christians.  Below are two statements we will read and then break down.  First, gun control activist Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action tweeted in response to Lee’s call for prayers.

“If thoughts and prayers alone worked to stop gun violence, there wouldn’t have been a shooting at a Christian elementary school,” It’s your actions – including weakening the state’s gun laws – that’s killing kids in Tennessee. SHAME ON YOU. Covenant School,”  

Shannon Watts

What is this activist saying?  She is saying that if guns were banned then violence would cease.  That is the premise of her argument.  Even if guns were illegal criminals have means of obtaining and using them.  That is what makes a criminal a criminal by definition, their desire to disobey the law.  Let me see if I can provide an illustration that shows the insanity of this premise.  Imagine that you are at home enjoying your family but a criminal with a repeated history of heinous crimes out on bail due to bad policies, obtains a gun illegally seeking to break in, rob you, rape your wife, and then kill everyone including your children.  If guns are illegal the only thing a man or woman has to defend themselves is thoughts and prayers.  Now imagine that same family owning a gun legally and that same criminal out on bail because of loose policies tries to break in.  He is now stopped by a bullet from a lawful gun owner who can then pray for his conversion so that he does not spend eternity in conscious torment as a result of his willful disobedience to a holy God.

Either way the premise behind all these arguments are the same.  “if we didn’t have (insert problem, issue, weapon here) then we would not have (insert problem, issue, grievance, loss here).  I do not wish to discount the severity of the issue, I only wish to point to the foundational problem that will never be fixed with legislation or less of “this” or “that.”  The heart is deceitful and wicked above all else (Jeremiah 17:9).  If guns were illegal, knives, rocks, poison, hands (to keep people from beating others to death, as in the case of the teacher who took away a student’s Nintendo switch), rope, razor blades, alcohol, cigarettes, abortion, drugs, cars, planes, boats, electricity, pornography, or any other thing that causes harm or insufferable loss, you still have a wicked and deceitful heart.  A heart that is capable of massive amounts of evil.  Cain beat his brother to death presumably with a rock or club.  The 20th century alone saw the highest death toll in the measurable history of the world when it was supposed to be the most glorious time as man sought to be unshackled from God’s authority and reason the world into submission and utopia.  You cannot legislate the human heart!

Let us turn our attention to left-wing sports writer Mike Wise who said,

“I don’t condone Audrey Hale’s actions, though I understand their outrage against an intolerant state that brainwashes children through religious indoctrination. The reality is this human still identified as that child attending that school and carried that pain into adulthood.”

Mike Wise

This is a bold-faced lie.  He says he doesn’t condone the actions of the shooter yet he understands the outrage.  That is condoning the actions.  Then he goes on to blame Christians (although he does not call them that it is clear from his accusation who he puts on the line for this act of evil) by saying they brainwash children through religious indoctrination.  Then, he attempts to conflate that claim with arbitrary statements by saying this person carried pain they felt from their childhood attending that school into their adulthood.  How would he know what this person felt or was feeling at the time?  Is he omniscient?  I submit to you that the only thing this person could have been feeling was hatred.  Different levels of pain are felt by all who experience tragedy, loss, or abuse of any kind.  At the moment that pain is turned into hatred and premeditated murder is the result there is no longer any feeling but hatred.  Why do I say that?  Jesus equates hate with murder (Matthew 5:21-22; 1 John 3:15).  As a result of that hatred this person decided to kill other people.  To say you don’t condone actions but then find someone to blame for evil but the one who carried it out is preposterous. 

Who exactly is intolerant in this situation?  A school that holds to God’s authoritative word, teaches in accordance with that, and tries to lead children in the way they should go, or a person — who is fed lies by social media, mainstream media, reality deniers, and all manner of others who do not have their best interest in mind — that kills those they don’t agree with?  Let’s see if we can use another illustration to understand Mike’s premise here.  Imagine that your life was riddled with people who abuse alcohol. It ruined your parents’ marriage, destroyed your family, and caused you to become addicted which in turn destroyed your life.  This intolerant drink has consistently promised fun, happiness, stress relief, yet it only seems to steal, kill, and destroy.  From childhood you have delt with the pain that alcohol produces in your life.  As a result you carry that pain into your adulthood which logically concludes in the violent destruction of stores that sell alcohol or perhaps even those who use alcohol?  The pain is real.  There is no discounting that truth.  However, the conclusion to that pain is not morally sufficient nor is it a logical conclusion to the issue.  For Mike to make this case is reprehensible and disingenuous.

Progressive talk show host David Pakman said,

“Very surprising that there would be a mass shooting at a Christian school, given that lack of prayer is often blamed for these horrible events.  Is it possible they weren’t praying enough, or correctly, despite being a Christian school?”

David Pakman

To say something like this is in effect again placing blame on someone or some group other than the individual who carried out this act of evil.  The issue those who condemn Christians have, is not with Christians themselves, it is with God who is the absolute moral standard and authority.  And comments like these show just how wicked and evil the human heart is and how unwilling it is to accept responsibility for its own sinful desires.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer that any human can devise to any of the terrible problems we face in this world.  Why not?  Because no matter what, the human heart is still wicked and a perpetual idol factory wherein it will produce copious amounts of evil to satisfy its lust.    The problem was sin, the problem is sin, and the problem will be sin until the return of Jesus Christ in glory, when He will put down every wicked and sinful heart who opposes Him.  And those who have rejected Him, mock Him, or claimed He is to blame for such senseless tragedy will face the just wrath of God whereby they will be sent to the devil’s hell and will suffer eternal conscious punishment for their sin.  Those that hate God now will hate Him more when He judges their sin.  The reason everyone wants to blame the Christian or Christianity in general is because Jesus said there is no other way in John 14:6 when He said,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except by Me.” 

John 14:6

The answer is God.  It always ways, always is, and always will be.  God is the only One who can create in us a clean heart.  One that seeks His will and seeks to submit to Him in love and adoration.  God created everything good and gave the man and his wife one rule.  Don’t disobey for in the day you do, you will surely die.  As a result of their disobedience (called sin) death entered the world through sin and death passed to all people because all sin.  The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.  When we experience true heart change we repent of our evil and seek only that which brings God glory.  The problem is, as fallen finite humans with idol factories beating in our chest we do not wish to submit to anyone’s authority but our own.  If someone or some group deny that authority or seek to overturn it we lash out causing all manner of pain and suffering to others.  What is worse is that we justify our behavior looking for someone or something to blame.

No doubt many will produce even more hate in the face of this and most likely future tragedies. Perhaps the hatred may be directed towards me for writing these words.  At the end of the day, I am not too proud to say that the person to blame for the evil in this world is the man I see in the mirror.  That is to say that I am not directly responsible for this particular act of evil but I am generally responsible as I am part of the human race who perpetuate evil through disobedience inherited from our first parents Adam and Eve.  If we were honest, all of us would say the same.  I ask that despite the smear campaign against Christians and Christianity in general you pray for those who made such comments.  Perhaps God may yet change their deceitful and wicked heart into one that loves Him.  Pray the families that God would grant His mercy, grace, and stabilizing hand to each of them.

All quotes taken directly from Fox News Article here: https://www.foxnews.com/media/media-mockery-prayer-subtle-smears-christianity-marks-coverage-nashville-massacre

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