by Matt Slick
On 12/14/2012, in Newtown, CT, Adam Lanza, a crazed killer, took the lives of his mother, five adults, and twenty children at an elementary school. The tragedy is a horrible shock to America.
We here at CARM want to extend our profound sympathy to the families who have suffered so greatly in this catastrophe. We ache over their loss. It is horrible. No words are sufficient to express what needs to be said.
With that being said, I want to respond to the question that frequently comes up at times like this, "Where was God during the Connecticut shooting?"
The answer is simple. God is where he has always been, all around us. He is there when bad happens as well as good. He was there when Herod ordered the death of the young boys under two (Matt. 2:16). He was there when Jesus was being crucified (Matt. 27:33-34). He was there when Jesus healed the paralytic (Luke 5:17-26). He was there when Jesus raised Jairus' daughter from the dead (Luke 8:41-42,51-56).
God is there. But he is also here. We see his fingerprints at the birth of the newborn, the beauty of a sunset, and the grace extended to a stranger.
But, we have to ask: Why didn't God step in and stop the massacre in Connecticut? Why did he sit idly by and let it happen?
Though we have no perfect answers, I offer this. God is letting us have what we want. He is letting us suffer the consequences of our independence from him.
Our society has placed God beyond the boundaries of moral relevance. It has restricted him to a mythological status who is believed in only by the bigoted religious right. Our society has turned its back on God's truths and substituted its own. Instead of upholding the sacred institution of marriage, it legislates homosexuality in its redefinition of the family. Instead of encouraging society to be morally good, it defends the rights of people to be promiscuous. Instead of protecting the innocent, it legislates the killing of the unborn. Then, when elementary school children are killed by a crazed monster, it raises his head and asks, "God, where are you?"
Where is He? He is watching from the outside where most of society wants him to be. He has been watching from the confines of our national disbelief and rejection of his sovereign goodness. It seems that society only wants God on its terms, not his.
But, he is still there. In fact, he is still here, now, right here.
Sin is running its course through the world, and in the process tragedies, famines, and injustices abound. The solution is to teach the truths of Christ about loving one another, forgiveness, patience, and tolerance. Instead of promoting violence in movies, video games, and TV, we should promote what is good. How can we expect the individuals of society to act in a moral way when that same society promotes violence and moral relativism?
In spite of our rebellion against God, his love is so great that he sent his innocent Son Jesus to live a perfect life among us (John 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:22). Jesus was wrongly accused and murdered for his crimes of standing for decency and moral integrity. But in his murder we find our redemption, because in it, at the cross, God put upon Jesus our sins and let them die with him (1 Pet. 2:24). All who put their faith, trust, and hope in the work of Christ on the cross (who is God in flesh, John 1:1, 14), will escape the final consequence of sin which is eternal damnation.
For those of us who are Christians, we should pray for the families who have suffered so great a loss. We should pray that God would intervene and prevent further atrocities.