Such people are everywhere, and in fact, central to this tragic story. I’ve been reading accounts of the mother of this poor demented soul that caused this horror. She seems to have been one of those people that had it all figured out. She believed the world was coming apart, and she had apparently developed her strategy to use violent force against anyone that attempted to harm her. I believe there is a proper place for guns in the lives of those that want to have them and feel the need to protect themselves or their property against evil that may be around them. In a recent segment on Fox news, a spokesman cited the proper use of weapons during riots in the past, when gun owners would use the weapons to protect their businesses and property. Surely, this is what the second amendment was getting at in giving the people the right to bear arms, the common sense use of reasonable violence to protect your life and property and the lives and property of those you love. But many, like the mother of this man, are going several steps beyond the reasonable use of weapons and putting their entire faith and trust in violence. The Bible warns us against putting all our faith in violence like this, and subsequently building a world view that defines everything by violence. When we do this, we invite violence to take us over. Jesus said very plainly, “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Mat. 26:52).
When we choose to do things our way, we reject God’s better way. When we insist on control, we refuse God’s better plan. But when we choose violence as our highest god, thinking that this god is so terrible that we can now control all things and that we have absolutely no need of God’s help or protection, then we invite the god of violence to enforce his will over us, and he will require a sacrifice of our very lives. It is not the guns that are the problem. It is the choosing of the way of violence, wanting to live our lives by it, and trusting in it that is the problem. When you build your life around violence, meditating on it constantly, and trusting in it to save and protect you from all eventualities, then you begin to feel smug and self-assured that nothing can touch you. This is when you begin to tempt God, to in essence taunt Him, thinking that you have no need of God in your life since you are so all-powerful with your violence. Moreover, you invite Him to intervene in your life to disprove your foolishness, or you invite Him to lift His hand of protection so that Satan can run amok in your life, bringing tragedy. You simply cannot reject and defy God without consequence.
More on this topic tomorrow.