Why, Oh Lord, Why?

MSD High School (1)

Once again our nation is reeling from yet another act of senseless violence, though it made perfect sense to Nikolas Cruz.  And thus my question this morning:

Why, oh Lord, why did this happen?

There are those who will answer my question, but with the wrong answer.  “It’s the gun laws, rather, the lack of gun laws.  If we just ban those nasty guns, this would not ever happen again.”  I just don’t think this is the answer.  Chicago has the strictest gun laws and the senseless human violence continues every day.

“It’s that he wasn’t treated fairly.  He did not have the same opportunities as others.  If he had just received what he was entitled to, this would not have happened.”  Well, he may not have been treated fairly, but many others haven’t been treated fairly but they did not go out and kill innocent people.  So, how is this the answer?

“Well, they took prayer and the Bible out of the schools and this is the result!”  Do you really think that there is a “Prayer Void” or “Bible Void”, like a black hole, that exists in public schools?  I know countless students, teachers, support staff and administrators that cover their schools in prayer every day, and though they do not “read the Bible” in class, these Disciples of Jesus live out those words every day.  So, I don’t think that is the reason nor the answer to my question.  Besides, like the saying goes, “As long as there are tests, students will pray.”

“Video games and TV violence is the reason!  If Silicon Valley and Hollywood did not glorify violence, this would not have happened.”  If so, why isn’t everyone who plays video games and watches violent TV out there killing the innocents?  Mind you, I’m not suggesting that it doesn’t desensitize people’s conscience.  But eliminating violent games and TV will not eliminate this threat.

They are coming out of the woodwork, from under rocks, all espousing reasons for this horrible act of human violence.  Their reasons will go on ad nauseam and yet, there will be another shooting at a church, school, community center–anywhere people gather.  So what is the answer to this burning question that oozes out of both my faith and my heart?

To be quite honest, I cannot accept the “pat” answers, but I admit that I do not have the answer.  Honestly, I do not know that there is an “answer”.  Perhaps I, along with many others should ask a different question other than the “why” question.  I’m simply thinking out loud right now because of this ooze of “why”.  Maybe the question that everyone who professes to be “Christian” (perhaps I should say ‘allegedly’ Christian) should be asking is: “What now?  What should we do now?”  This is a question for which I do have an answer.  And here is my answer to “that” question.

You need to stop be consumers of the services of the church.  Sorry, Jack, your local church does NOT exist for you.  You need to become the producers of what the church is really about; and that’s the Kingdom of God.  Quit living out a small story and step into the story of the Kingdom where God is in the business of redeeming and restoring human lives.  Stop spending so much of your budget on what happens at a 911 address (that means building/campus).

Quit pointing out where everyone else is wrong and admit that somewhere you are broken, too.  Get to know the people around you, without offering judgment against them.  Get out of, way out of your comfort zones.

Jesus wasn’t comfortable in what He did for you on that Cross, so why should you get to be comfortable in what you do for Jesus! 

Quit whining about us needing to become ‘again’ a “Christian nation” and understand that as Disciples of Jesus we are “aliens and foreigners” in this land; God’s true people have always been “foreigners” wherever they lived.  Show me one verse that says God wants to establish a “Christian Nation” and I will show you a hundred verses where Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God!  Let’s start doing something, just one thing at a time, that helps others, including yourself, to be restored to the image of God.  Live out Grace the way Jesus lived out Grace.

I just don’t know the “Why, oh Lord, why did this happen?”  But I am now reminded that even with my doubt and questions, God is still working to establish His Kingdom, that place where His will is “done on earth as it is in heaven.”



16 thoughts on “Why, Oh Lord, Why?

  1. I love these insights. I agree with you, the “pat” answers just don’t work. More guns, ban guns, prayer in school, violence in video games etc etc – none of these are cure-alls and maybe some of these could be implemented together in equal measure. But I think you nail it when you advocate Christians getting out of the pews and being the Church a little more often. We won’t influence society by preaching about it on Sundays – we need to be out there showing love. I loved this in particular: “You need to stop be consumers of the services of the church. Sorry, Jack, your local church does NOT exist for you. You need to become the producers of what the church is really about.” Amen. Keep it up, brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pastor Randy, I apologize. Citizen Tom thinks we were talking past each other. Citizen Tom is a wise man and so I take that as a gentile rebuke to me (not you).

    Please accept my apology.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. The long and short of why is that the heart of man is desperately wicked beyond our own ability to know it. Having said that, I agree with Pastor Randy that the question we need to be asking is, “What now?” How do we respond to the evil in our world without punishing everyone else? There is no one simple answer. Evil cannot be legislated away. I do not believe it is hopeless, unless we refuse to come together to find real solutions.

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  4. One person at a time. If we all would just begin witb one person -helping one, loving one, lifting one up, praying for one, leading ine into the kingdom. And then the nect day, another one, and the nect day anothet. Isn’t that where we should go now? Isn’t that where we always should be going?

    Great post

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, “Why” is our first question, and it is a difficult and complex question. Rarely is the answer simple, and usually there are multiple factors. The solution to evil will never be found here on this earth. But to begin asking “What now?” and start answering that question will make a difference, one person at a time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a little confused. Isn’t the solution to evil Jesus? Isn’t that here on earth? Did he not teach us to pray to “deliver us from evil”?

        If evil had entered this young man’s heart, couldn’t Jesus be the solution to have delivered him and made him a new creation, born again so to speak?

        Just trying to seek clarity in case I misunderstood.

        Be blessed.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Of course the “simple” answer is yes, Evil. Evil is at the root of all our problems. But often in times like this the question is “Why didn’t God stop it?” And most definitely Jesus is the answer for Nikolas Cruz. And the answer to stopping so much evil/violence is for the U.S. church to get back to The Kingdom mentality–of reaching out to the least, the last and the lost.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. @Michael Wilson

      I don’t have an issue with either your question or Pastor Randy’s post. However, to some degree I think you and Pastor Randy are talking pass each other.

      We each have a focus that we derive from our point-of-view. We each have a tool set we bring to every problem. Sometimes that tool set is appropriate. Sometimes we need set aside our own tool set and help someone else lug their tool set to the problem. Sometimes we need to assist someone else with their tools.

      As a general rule, we can bring Jesus to every problem. We can bring the tool set He has given us to every problem (the Bible and Christian fellowship), and that will produce good results. That is where Pastor Randy’s advice is clearly applicable. However, we still need to ask “WHY?” We need to define the problem, evaluate solutions, determine who is responsible for implementing the best solutions, and help those people get the job done.

      Imagine this was a natural disaster, not a school shooting. Would it be sufficient to bring our Bibles and preach the word. Of course not. There would be a place for that, people need to hear the Word, but the Bible also tells us to feed, shelter, and clothe the needy. It is hard to talk about Jesus with an empty belly or when a gunman is stalking you.

      So what is the solution to what happened in that school in Florida? Like most people, I have my own ideas, but I live in Virginia, and I don’t see this as a national problem. When someone commits murder, that’s something that state and local officials need to deal with. The notion that President Trump and Congress can solve the problem of school shootings is absurd. It like using a sledge hammer on a thumbtack. The results are impressive, but not very useful.

      We have fifty states and thousands of local governments. That provides lots opportunity for people to try different approaches. Let’s see what works.

      Of course, if lots of us do as Pastor Randy suggests, that will help too.

      Liked by 2 people

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