Monday, December 17, 2012

Seeing the Newtown Tragedy from God's perspective.

I would like to add a voice to the Tragedy that came upon the small quiet community of Newtown Connecticut on December 14, 2012. So many questions arise after such a painful event: Why does a good God allow such things to happen? How do these families go on from here? How can schools and society prevent this senseless violence in the future? How do we as a society intervene with those who are showing signs of "mental illness?"

I'd like to zero in on one aspect of the myriad of questions that has arisen: that of the nature of man.  I'd like to look at the nature of man; from a theological perspective, which is another way of saying from God's perspective. We can't understand the nature of man unless we examine his nature from the perspective of the creator.

Let's lay out the foundation for this position. Man is a created being, he did not evolve nor is he continuing to evolve. The declaration in Genesis 1:26-27 is that man is created, and carries all kinds of implications as opposed to man being a product of chance (evolution). Here is the foundational text for man being a created being:

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

In the New Testament the gospel of Matthew records the words of Jesus our Lord confirming this teaching in the Old Testament:

"Haven't you read," He replied, "that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female"
Matthew 19:4.

Adam and Eve were created innocent and had direct communion with their creator, but after they had disobeyed God; now for the first time they hid from God, trying to avoid God cf. "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden Genesis 3:8.

Why did they hide from God? The gospel of John tells us why both Adam and Eve hid from God cf. "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" John 3:20.

This is the problem with man. Man hides from his creator; because of a conscience that convicts and condemns. Man has fallen out of fellowship or relationship with his creator. Man is out of harmony with his God and with his fellowman. 

So how do we understand  Adam Lanza? We must see a human being that was not in fellowship with his creator and as a result he was disjointed and out of harmony with his fellowman. Now we know that there were many contributing factors that feed into this already dysfunctional way of living (out of fellowship with God), and they are starting to come out only a few days after the shooting. But keep in mind that all of these other factors are peripheral and ancillary when we understand that the root problem of man is that he has lost his way and lives in spiritual darkness. So the violent games, movies, bad family life (divorce), being social withdrawn, and even depression or as modern psychiatry calls it mental illness are all secondary to the real problem of man being out of relationship with his creator.

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