The latest tragedy has become the focus of the 24/7 news cycle, and it will be until the next major issue wipes it off the map. Politicians once again are grandstanding about their tried-and-true solution that, if implemented, would have prevented the entire catastrophe.
The past couple of days, the latest school shooting in Texas has left families mourning and crying out. It shook an entire nation (once again) and left people casting their eyes to the ground in sadness.
It's also encouraged the cadre of politicians eager for a poll hit or who have an exaggerated sense of authority to offer up their solution that should be oh so obvious to the general public...if only the other side would accept their wicked responsibility for the shooting.
In fact, we at Self-Evident weren't quite sure what to do with the event. It happened the night before we were due to record a live podcast, and we decided to go forward with the regular podcast. This wasn't intended as a slight, or a casting off of the issue. Instead, we often try to avoid major breaking events until the dust has settled and the facts have come to light. We hope that our decision was not taken as an insult or as insensitivity. We're not even saying we were right in our decision, but that was the path we felt we should take at that time.
I'm concerned about the usual voices ringing out, claiming they have the perfect solution. If only we could get rid of guns, or if only we could have had mental health services for the shooter. If only we could have locked him up, or if only we had had armed school security and one way in or out.
But the problem is, all the solutions that get offered deny one of a few things. Either a)the spiritual nature of the situation, b)that someone will invariably fall through the cracks or c)the danger of suppressing freedoms out of fear.
I don't come to you with what I claim is the end all, be all solution to the problem. But last night, during church, a truth hit me square in the nose.
We as Christians talk about the power of Christ, the influence of the Bible, and the importance of our faith as a nation. We argue that while schools should be a “secular” zone, that Christ should somehow be an influence on the perimeter. We lament that if we could just get a few more prayers into our school board meetings, that the power of satan would have no effect over our children.
I believe Christians need to stop tiptoeing around the issue: our schools and communities have become a safe-haven for sin, wickedness and the enemy. We celebrate when a school employee gets to pray for 15 seconds, but we never fathom the concept of a public school that has completely shrugged off the false idea that they can't be influenced by faith.
For 60 years (this year), we've accepted the atheistic line of thinking that schools should be secular. Nobody worth their salt would say that our schools are bastions of truth, safety and freedom these days. Instead, we all know something is grossly wrong with our schools, and we all say it behind closed doors, yet we keep the defeatist mindset that the atheist-activist has perpetually beaten into our head.
So, I come to you with two options: 1)America as a nation swears off public schools and populates homeschool groups, co-op schools and Christian schools. Or 2)Christians shrug off the shackles of keeping their faith “behind the four walls” and vehemently influence public schools with their overwhelming, small community faith and standards that not only cross the threshold of the school, but invigorate each and every classroom.
At the beginning of the nation, school houses everywhere explicitly taught Scripture and used the New England Primer, which also taught Scriptural lessons and used the Bible as a reference for other lessons. Our Congress passed resolutions to put the Bible in schools, and prayer, seeking the Lord, and teaching of God's principles were all but a requirement.
In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that school-sponsored prayer was unconstitutional. Now, the argument was that school “established” prayers couldn't be given, the students were still free to be religious. But the slight-of-hand in the argument is that the environment suddenly chilled to the idea that religion should have any influence on our children from our community schools. We bought a hollow idea that education could somehow be secular and without ideological influence, and now are amazed that things like the genderbread gender chart and drag show assemblies somehow have established themselves in front of our children.
The typical Christian stands outside the school, browbeaten with the idea of “separation of church and state” and “establishment clause of the first amendment,” while plenty of ideological issues dressed up as social issues parade into our school halls.
America far outpaces other nations in school shootings. However, plenty of America's shootings have to do with unspoken problems, such as drug and gang violence in the inner cities, as well as a honor culture built on revenge. But the news will splay the middle-class massacre far and wide, showing you how the schools in the suburbs are dealing with a gun problem.
If we merely attempt to say that we have a mental health crisis or sin issue, we haven't solved the problem. Many, many countries have problems just as bad as we do, yet far fewer school shootings. The gun control lobby will immediately point to that and say “it's because we haven't outlawed guns.” Perhaps they're right. The lethal efficiency of the gun cannot be avoided in the argument. The power a gun wields can be an addicting aroma, especially in the hands of a mentally-deranged child.
How do we find the solution? We could ban the gun/tool. We could ensure that our schools don't have flying lead anywhere near them. That's good, and I as a staunch conservative agree: that would lower the body count. I won't even make the argument that these kids would make bombs instead, though you might be able to make a case. But, a gun ban doesn't get to the root of the issue. That root is wickedness.
We cannot fight a spiritual fight with physical means. This even goes as far as the mental health aspect. Plenty of these shooters were already on the government's radars, or at the very least the community's radar. Yet, they were still able to carry-out the massacre without being stopped. The vast majority of these shooters are young men, on anti-depressants and other chemicals, and have little to no relationship with their father.
They're steeped in a culture of violence, lust and greed, and often feel alone, depressed and unable to get what everyone else has. Whether that's friends, a relationship, understanding or just something to fill that vacuum inside; they lash out because they can't quiet the demons in their heads (both figuratively and literally.)
When the family structure breaks down, the mental health treatment shoves a pill down their throat, and they're engrossed in a technological fake reality that both destroys their confidence and becomes their only solace. They have no recourse other than to lash out in the most violent way possible when they snap. And they do snap. In fact, I'd be tempted to say I'm surprised they don't lash out more often.
Our problem is found in a comfort-obsessed, luxurious, decaying and degrading society and culture. We're bored. And if you've ever watched a reality tv show for 5 minutes, you've seen severely spoiled brats creating drama out of thin air. And while many of those other countries may not deal with violence in their schools, which could be attributed to having bigger problems to focus on and care about, they also suffer from violence and wickedness in other areas. If your school is your only haven from the bloodshed, drugs and sex trafficking going on around you, then you're less likely to want to tear down that tiny little oasis. They don't have time to make up problems and create drama: they're living in it. They recognize reality in a much better way. It's tough to decide whether or not you're a boy or girl if you're digging in trash cans to find your next meal.
So let's add the elements up. We have a culture that is overly decadent and decaying. Couple that with boys who have no father to guide and teach them the affairs of the world, they're inundated with sin in every form, sheltered and isolated from social connection, overwhelmed by the pressures of society, pumped full of medications with adverse mental reactions, taught in a meat-grinder education system that punishes them for their boyhood, they're forbidden from seeing God truly in control of their community, and are expected to quietly adapt and grow up into well-adjusted human beings. It's amazing any of us succeed.
How does this lead to what hit me? Our mindset has allowed this all to overwhelm us. We hoped that if we still said, “I'm a Christian,” that our nation would be saved. Our Lord didn't ask to just be the Lord on Sunday, but expects to be Lord of each and every moment of our lives. What are we telling Him when we decide that He's not good enough to be intimately involved in our schools or government? At that point, we truly have said that satan can do it better. Because if it's not of God, then it's of satan.
It's time for us to throw down the imaginary shackles we've voluntarily accepted under the auspices of tolerance and diversity. We bit on the bait of religious freedom so hard that we determined no religion is best. We as Christians must change our mindset and imagine a world where our faith will not be shoved into a closet, but will influence and inform our communities completely. And if we're not willing to overtake the public schools, then we must forsake them completely. We must build and grow a competing schooling system that guts the public schools completely, and destroys the influence of the teacher's unions and government.
But, be wary, for the government, the activist, and the unions will not just weep and gnash their teeth at the loss of the influence over your children: they'll do their best to insert themselves into your newly created competing system. Be on guard, and do not give in to the wiles and deceptions of the enemy. He'll knock on your door, and guilt-trip you for ever locking the door against him. He'll make you feel ashamed that you didn't usher him right in, and that, in fact, he has more right to your house than you do.
When the people truly understand that they outnumber the enemy, because they have God on their side, they'll win. No longer will we be sending our kids to an 8-hour, 5 days a week lottery of brainwashing and propaganda.
Instead, we'll be directly invested in raising the next generation that will stay married and faithful, will care nothing about the luxuries of this world, will avoid the pitfalls of sin and wickedness, that will turn their eyes from the temptations, will build bonds and deep relationships, will be healed from mental issues, and will desire to become contributing members of society.
The question is: are we ready to make people weep and gnash their teeth as we take a page from their playbook, claim all bets are off, and inject the one and true God back into every sphere of our culture...without apology?