You'd have to be a pretty hard-hearted person to not be heartbroken over what happened in Parkland, FL earlier this week. A very troubled young man, age 19, walked into his former high school (he was currently attending an alternative high school in his district) and opened fire, killing 17 people and wounding many more. Then, he sauntered over to the 7-11 for a cold drink. I guess mass murder really works up a thirst.
In the aftermath, the American public is searching for answers as to how this could have happened ... again. One of the more popular explanations, given as an alternative to blaming the gun itself, is "mental illness". In fact, mental illness is becoming a scapegoat here.
I am not a mental health professional, by any stretch, although I do know this:
Mental illness, a certain degree of it, is present in any human population. Our bodies begin to die from the moment we are conceived in the womb. That presents as either physical illness or mental illness. Both are signs of the decay which, ultimately, leads to physical death. Such is part of the legacy of The Fall of Man. Our bodies are no longer eternal.
When an individual commits a heinous act, such as the one perpetrated by Nicolas Cruz or Dylan Roop or others, there is almost certainly some degree of mental illness present. We do have a problem in how we deal with the mentally ill in our country. Some reforms are most certainly needed.
Mental illness is not the root cause of these murderous incidents we are witnessing. The more foundational cause is not talked about on the news. Why? Because it is vastly unpopular.
That does not mean we should not acknowledge it, because until we do, we are destined to receive more of the same types of violence we are witnessing this week. I, for one, am exceedingly weary of it. Aren't you?
The root cause of the murder and mayhem in our nation is spiritual.
In America, both individually and corporately, we have told God He is no longer welcome. We don't want His interference. His rules for holy living are repugnant and restrictive, old-fashioned, foolish and "unfair". We have collectively bought the lie that life can be successfully lived in a "religious void".
There is no such thing. Religious faith undergirds the tenets of morality a person or a nation follows. When we unmoor ourselves from our faith in God, our morals begin to crumble. As our morals crumble, our civility disintegrates next. This is what we are witnessing today.
The solution is not to ban guns.
The solution is not to arm teachers.
The solution is not to help the mentally ill, and let it stop there.
The solution is to get on our knees before the One, True God and repent of our individual and national sins.
And then, to pray with all our might for revival.
When as people of faith we get up off our knees to live holy, consecrated lives for His glory, such holy living should manifest as sharing with others what Jesus means to us, how He gets us through the trials and tribulations of life, how He is our everything and how He makes all the difference.
His love is transformational. It is His salvation America needs. There is salvation in none other.
Only He can heal our breaches.
You have made the land quake, You have split it open; Heal its breaches, for it totters.
Church, dear, precious Body of Christ! If we don't do implement "the solution" we have been given, we will be explaining to our Savior one of these days why we did not do so, why we sat silent in the name of "political correctness" while the beautiful country He gave us continues to "go to Hell in a handbasket".