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4.16.2007    |    Root cause
I just happened to turn on the news, and caught the horrific news of 22 dead in a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. May God have mercy on the dead; may He comfort those who grieve for them. Reports are sketchy at this hour, although according to this report at Fox News, the shooter is among the dead.

How can a God-fearing Christian handle this kind of violation of God's law? How can a loving God, a God who promises all of humankind eternal life through Jesus Christ, fail to protect the innocent?

The best answer to the first, and it's taken me my entire life to come to this realization, is that mankind is, truly, a fallen species. We have the stain of original sin, defiance of God, which brought us to our sorry state of sin. One need not be a biblical literalist to believe that mankind carries this stain on his soul. One need only look at the evidence from all recorded history, not excluding biblical history, of course.

Men do evil, men do good. Both are part of our natures, and, often, but not usually, the good will shine through. I prefer to believe that when men are good, they are allowing the God that lives within each and every one of us to dominate. In different words, when we do good we are turning towards God.

In contrast, the Virginia Tech shooter turned away from God. Which is another way of saying that he allowed Satan to gain control. God's Son, Jesus, we are told, is a sure way for us to succeed at turning away from Satan and towards God.

This is true, and Jesus' atoning death is sufficient. What we sometimes lack, however, is the will to know this, and to follow Jesus. One may attribute the failure of so many men and women to truly follow Jesus to predestination (which is convenient; it blames God in a way) or just bad luck. I believe that we won't know for sure until the end times, and that in the here and now it is up to us to heed the call.

Jesus did the heavy lifting. All we need do is know that, confess Him Lord, and turn towards God. Easy to say; awfully hard to do.

The killer in Blacksburg is fresh evidence of how very hard this can be.



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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.