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The Pundits Are Wrong on Aurora CO. Shootings
Why the Aurora Shootings?
There Are Errors in Bill O'reilly's Aurora CO Talking Points below;
Another sad day in America
"Bad things happen to good people all the time, and nobody knows why. Once again we have mass murder in America, and the killer is a young man who is simply out of his mind. It's nobody's fault, there's no policy deficit, it's just an atrocity that's impossible to explain. 24-year-old James Holmes allegedly killed 12 people and wounded 59 others in a Colorado movie theater. So once again we have a crazy guy causing a massive amount of pain and destruction."
Those were the opening remarks of Bill O'reilly's 'Talking Points' in the aftermath of the terrible shootings at Century 16 Theater during the midnight screening of the newest Batman movie 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora Colorado. For the next week, for perhaps months or even years, professional analysts and media commentators will struggle to explain what actually happened there and why. We'll find all sorts of complex and inventive explanations for the shooter, 24 year old James Holme's actions. We won't rest until we're satisfied with one or more of those answers. And all the answers will leave us want for a solution to rid our society of these seemingly random acts of violence.
The anti-gun folks will want greater gun control measures codified into law. The pro-gunners will wonder 'Where was that one guy who carries his permitted concealed weapon who could have stopped the shooter before his spree escalated to kill 12 and wound 58 more defenseless people? The psychiatrists will say we need to identify then institutionalize these 'high-risk' psychotic personalities while they're in school, at work, in their homes or other places where their behaviors are regularly seen and sometimes monitored. And there will be plenty of other solutions offered by concerned, well-intentioned people appalled by this kind of senseless, abhorrent behavior. But the riddle will go unsolved, the solutions will prove inadequate, maybe even unjust, and these kinds of incidents will continue and even escalate as we salve our wounds in our attempt to move beyond Aurora. So is there an answer of some kind, that is meaningful and provides us with some solution that will at least stem the tide of this kind of meaningless violence? Perhaps, but it won't set well and won't be openly accepted in American culture today.
How we got here and what we do to rectify the situation will seem overly simplistic in our day of intellectual solutions for the problems we face based on the amount of knowledge we have amassed in our technological age. It just can't be simple can it? We need a massive infusion of financial, personal and governmental resources to fix this don't we. Perhaps but perhaps not. Maybe we just need to recognize our relationship to the supernatural and the understanding of man's fallen nature in relationship to God. There, it's been said. You can leave now if you're one of those who finds it easier to not get involved, not face the truth and not work towards resolution. Stop reading, dismiss the solutions as religious fodder and go back to your daily routine with business as usual. After all, this really isn't your problem and you can't make a difference. Besides, it happened in Colorado in a city far away from where you are. But what if, what if it happened in your town, in your theater or school or restaurant or shopping center. Maybe then you would think it was more important to make a difference. So if you've decided to stay, let's take a look at some options that we seem to have forgotten are at our disposal these days.
Conversation about God always take us to the same dividing line. It is a line that runs between those who do believe and those who don't. So let's not ask anyone to cross that line right now nor commend or condemn those on either side. Maybe we can just look at what the Bible says and decide in the end, if it makes sense for us individually or not. For some, the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and it won't be questioned. For others, it will take some 'leaps of faith' to accept certain ideas and continue reading. In the end what happened in Aurora Colorado, as painful as it is, may make more sense and perhaps some will have a peace about it or even commit themselves to making a difference that will affect everyone around them. We'll paraphrase the Bible while giving Scripture references, to keep the conversation simple and short. Let's talk about God.
Laying the foundations: Many know the story of Creation but some don't. The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, Genesis 1:1-25. Having done all that, God decided to create man to rule over his creation, Genesis 1:26-27. Then God set all of nature in order so that he might bless Adam and Eve whom he created, with a perfect place for them to inhabit, Genesis 1:28-31. There, that was easy, we've read a whole chapter in the Bible in three short sentences.
The perfect home: You probably know it as the Garden of Eden. It was a place God made, perfect in every way. He placed Adam in the garden to live there and tend to it, Genesis 2:15. Then God created Eve to be a mate for Adam and ordained marriage between one man and one woman, Genesis 2:21-24.
Everything we need for life: Of the plants God placed in the Garden was one tree that represented obedience to God leading to an abundant life in relationship with him. It was called the 'Tree of Life' in Genesis 2:9.
The other tree: It is called the 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil' which God placed in the Garden. We were told not to eat the fruit of it for God knew that it would lead to disobedience resulting death which meant a separation from God and his provision for man, Genesis 2:17
The freedom to act: We call it free-will, the ability to decide what we do, how we do it and when we do it. God gave us free-will but also the knowledge that we should be obedient to his directions and not do the things he tells us not to do for our own benefit, Genesis 2:16-17.
Lies and deception: Though it was Eve who was deceived, it matters not, this was the Fall Of Man that we hear so much about, the beginning of Sin. A serpent, we call him Satan or the devil, came to Eve in the Garden and deceived her into thinking it was OK to eat from the 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil'. She looked at the beauty of the fruit on the tree and believed the serpent, took a bite of the fruit and shared it with Adam. They used their free-will for the first time, Genesis 3:1-7.
Sin and separation from God: Before the disobedience to God, Adam and Eve needed no clothes and ate freely of all the things in the Garden because they knew no evil or shame, sin was not yet introduced to mankind. After disobediently eating the fruit which God warned them not to eat, their sin became evident to them and they became ashamed and fearful before God, Genesis 3:7-13.
Consequence of separation from God: We call it Sin. That makes it easier to say than separation from God and his love, mercy, goodness and blessing. The result of separation from God is that the entire 'natural order' of things that God established in the Garden and the 'perfect relationship' between God and man became corrupted, Genesis 3:16-19.
Missed opportunity: Now, because of disobedience, God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden because if he didn't they could eat from the 'Tree of Life' and live forever, eternally, in their separated and sinful condition bringing it forward to all men with them, Genesis 3:22-24.
The whole rest of the Old Testament, not to diminish anything it says, tells of the consequences of sin, separation from God, upon both man and the natural order of the world. Much of it also previews a solution for our separation for him. These consequences fall to all men because of the pattern of behavior we call 'sinful nature' in man, established by the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Wars, car crashes, famines, droughts, pestilence, floods, earthquakes, destructive weather anomalies and every other dark and evil thing that happens on earth today, is a direct result of man's separation from God called sin. Yes, even Aurora Colorado. James Holmes' actions are not, as O'reilly wrongfully tried to point out something that happened and "nobody knows why". They were the result of our Sin nature, our falling away from obedience to God and his Word in the Bible.
Affected by the fall: Everyone, whether believer or not, is affected by the consequences of sin or man's separation from God and the corruption of the natural order of his creation, Matt 5:43-48. So when 'good people' die, are killed, maimed or afflicted, it is not God who 'let this happen' it is the consequence of our sins past and present. This is a time of deep grieving and consequence that brings unbearable pain to many both directly and indirectly because of what happened in Aurora Colorado.
Perspective on these events is hard to grasp: We know for sure, that all the secular wisdom of the world, while it may help and bring relief to some, will fall short of the kinds of answers we search for in times like these. But there is a hope and there is an answer. It is not the kind of immediate gratification we look for and feel compelled to find sometimes but at other times it is and it is always eternal.
Remember the Tree of Life: The Tree of Life which was in the Garden with Adam and Eve they never got to eat from. It represents eternal life with God, no longer separated from him by our free-will which so often leads to disobedience and heartbreak. The Tree of Life is made available to us through Jesus Christ. Through his life, death, resurrection and ascension to Heaven, Jesus restores that connection to God that Adam and Eve broke in the Garden, Romans 5:12-14
We live in a nation whose foundations are deeply rooted in Judeo/Christian values found in God's Word in the Bible. Our founding fathers did not want the church to run the state or the state to run the church but they subscribed to Biblical truths in establishing our freedom and liberty. That truth is historically undeniable. But today, we see evermore, the consequences of letting go of those principals and values.
Secularists continually strive to remove references to Biblical principals and teaching from all public institutions, government, schools and even our personal lives. If we, as individuals, continue to remain passive about that, we will continue to suffer more and worse consequences of our apathy.
But there is a hope? Like every individual reading this and our nation, we can be restored both personally and to a large degree, as a society, to a place where our connection to God is restored and our foundations as a nation are once again under foot.
We each have a decision we can make: We can be restored to the first relationship Adam had with God in the Garden of Eve only through belief in God's Word and our salvation through Jesus Christ, Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
And what about our country? If we are to chart a course back to our foundations as a nation, it will be a long and carefully traveled path. It starts with each of us but ends with eternal consequences and means overcoming so many thing we have let corrupt our country. We can start by accepting Christ as our savior and continue in obedience to God's Word; 2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Overly simplistic? Yes on the surface, it would seem so in our complex technological age. But God's Word in not complex. It's hard sometimes yes, but not complex. Is it too hard? We, each of us must decide for ourselves. For while God can bless a people and a nation, it starts with a simple 'Yes' in obedience to his word in the Bible by individuals. There is healing available, complete and eternal. All we need to do is accept God's forgiveness, believe in our salvation through Jesus and receive his healing through the restoration of our relationship with him.