Why so much violence?
As far as we can tell so far, He sent a threatening message to his mother-in-law. Then He invaded the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Before he was done, 26 worshipers were dead. One report I read said that even a child 18 months old was killed.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by such cowardly, heinous violence. Why are we seeing so much more violence these days?
Why? The shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, had been dishonorably discharged from the United States Air Force. Why? For violence against his wife and child. His violent murderous rage was an ongoing issue and we can assume that his rampage at the church yesterday was simply more of the same.
Why in recent months has there been an increase in violent attacks in the United States? Is it because we need more gun control? There have always been guns and last weeks terrorist attack in New York City is mute evidence that when a killer wants to kill they will find a way to kill. Who would have ever envisioned a rented truck as a potent killing machine? And yet, worldwide, vehicular homicide has been a favorite method of Al-queda, and Isis.
For that matter, do we begin regulating pressure cookers available at any department store? They too have regularly been used worldwide to make bombs, which are dropped off in the middle of a crowd. Boston is evidence of the potentially deadly nature of…cooking pots.
Actually, in Texas, we know now that the gunman was confronted by a local hero or there would have been many more victims. A local man, whose name we do not yet know, wrestled the gun away from Kelley. Then as he fled, the local man shot Kelley. We can assume that shot kept Kelley from continuing the massacre with the other guns he had in his vehicle. We can assume that shot caused Kelley to crash his car, where Kelley ended his own life.
Do we all stay home? Do we avoid crowds? Who knows might show up at church next week? No, if there is a lesson to learn from all these different acts of violence, it is that Jesus said it would be this way.
In Matthew 24, Jesus describes a time unlike any the world has ever seen. I believe we are closer than ever to the return of our Lord Jesus. And the enemy of our souls knows his time is short, so his servants are violent and shrill in their hatred of the coming Kingdom of God.
“Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold.”
Yes, Jesus’ Words apply to each of seemingly random acts of violence of the last few months.
Why would Stephen Paddock shoot as many innocent people as he could In Las Vegas? Why would Sayfullo Saipov mow down innocent people on a bike path in New York City? Why would Daniel Patrick Kelley shoot children, senior citizens, and even babies this last Sunday morning?
In each case, it is because there is evil in the world. Obviously, we are close to that time Jesus spoke about in the Gospel of Matthew. Lawlessness is multiplying. But don’t be afraid. It is always darkest just before the dawn. These events merely assure us that the Kingdom of God is closer than ever before.