(Disclaimer: I think prayer in schools is a wonderful idea. I do it all the time. I also think it’s a sad truth that this murderer was a loner and possibly insane. But he was still the murderer.)
The mass slaughter of children is part of the Christmas story. Did you know this?
Let’s read from Matthew 2:16-18:
Herod Kills the Children
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in [town], weeping and loud lamentation, [a woman] weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Here are my brief thoughts on why the tragic massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, CT, happened.
1 – It happened for the same reason the Christmas massacre happened: evil exists. Satan exists. Sinners exist (I know; I am one). Christianity teaches that God loves the whole world and sent his son Jesus to prove it. It also teaches that while God is eternally good, he has an adversary that is constantly warring against God’s plans, namely his plan to bring grace and salvation to sinners of all kinds through the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. And since evil, Satan and sinners exist, things like the Sandy Hook massacre or the Syrian genocide will happen.
2 – It happened because a deranged human being decided in his heart that he would murder innocent children. While we all have sin and sick desires, this one may trump them all. Jesus said of individuals who harm children: “It is better to toss them into sea with a boulder wrapped around their neck.”
3 – Now, here’s where I’ll have to pull away from what many Christians are claiming. They’re saying that, because prayer is absent from schools, this is what happens. In other words, if prayer were present this may not have happened. At least I think this is the argument, and even if they don’t believe this, it is implicitly communicated. I disagree. For one, the life of the most prayerful and innocent human being (Jesus Christ) was crushed; he was murdered. Secondly, plenty of committed Christians throughout all of history have been murdered in cold blood. For example, a gunman killed 19 Christians at a church in Nigeria this past August. I am certain that prayer was indeed present in the lives of our brothers and sisters from that church. Therefore, the absence of prayer had little to do with the murder of these innocent children.
To close up, I think the Newtown travesty occurred not because of the absence of prayer but because, an evil being–the devil–is in conflict with the plans of a good God; he will try everything to deflect belief in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Also, sinners exist, like this gunman whom only a just God can punish rightly.
God is so good that he has provided the solution to battle against Satan and sin (your own): he is Jesus. And he was born in the midst of the mass slaughter of innocent children. And he died as an innocent sacrifice, so that you can know God!
My closing questions to you are simple.
Will you let Satan have the upper hand in your heart by believing God is not good?
Will you allow God to save you, forgive your sin and give you a new life?