Another horrible school shooting occurred this week in a public school in Parkland, Florida. 17 precious lives were snuffed out by a deeply disturbed 19-year-old young man. Already there are many calls for more gun control. I heard one Democratic Congressman say, “Everything needs to be on the table!” Here’s a novel idea – invite God back into our public schools. Over the last 60 years, liberals and modern-day progressives have done everything they could to kick God out of the public discussion and out of our public schools. One woman, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, was able to get prayer removed from the public schools in 1962 (Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421). One year later the Supreme Court removed Bible reading from our public schools. The liberals have certainly prevailed in kicking God out of our public schools. We’ve seen the 10 Commandments removed and there have been Supreme Court cases that have restricted the use of God’s name in graduation invocations and public prayer before sporting events. But when you kick God out of our educational system, why should we be surprised when evil prevails in our public schools? When God’s presence is hated what you are left with is a prevailing evil that I believe we are now seeing come to fruition. No one should raise the question, “Where was God?” because God’s been kicked out of the public discussion.
When we teach our children that they are descendants of animals, why are we surprised when they act worse than animals because even animals don’t kill one another indiscriminately? When a third of their classmates are killed through legalized abortion, which devalues every area of human life, why are we surprised when they choose to kill one another to take care of their problems? When our society glorifies the wholesale murder of impersonal people in our movies and through our video games, why are we surprised when our young people depersonalize people, who are real and genuine beings, through wholesale murder? The gratuitous violence that is seen in so many movies with people being murdered for any and all reasons, why are we surprised when such evil prevails in our public schools? What our society magnifies and glorifies has now become a way of life for a culture and society without God. When you remove God from our society, as we have as a culture over the last 60 years, why are we surprised by what that culture is producing?
During the impeachment hearings of President Clinton 20 years ago for perjury, the women’s right groups NOW and the National Abortion Rights League rallied women to support President Clinton. These women’s groups sold their soul to keep an abortion-friendly president in office. I said at the time that I believe their support for President Clinton was a license for women to be sexually harassed and abused at every level of our society. If the President of the United States can get away with the abuse of power of having sex with a 22-year-old intern in the Oval Office, there is no level of degradation that would not be accepted. The recent campaign, “Me too” is all fallout from the decision these women’s groups made 20 years ago to keep in office a man who was a known sex predator. It is the same reason why Hillary Clinton couldn’t use the charges against her opponent in the last presidential election to her advantage, because of the disgraceful behavior of her husband.
When decisions are made such as the decision to remove prayer and Bible reading from our public schools, they have profound long-term consequences. The root cause of what is happening in our public schools can be found in the abandonment of God and the Lord Jesus Christ in our culture. The psalmist said, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one,” (Psalm 14:1 – 3 NIV). All around us are atheistic values that are embraced that ignore the evidence that God exists and the cares for us. When you come to understand that you are created in the image and likeness of God than all human life becomes profoundly valuable. Being created in the image of God is the reason that human life is a great treasure. But when you reject God and despise His very presence and hate even the mention of the name of Jesus, what is left? The Scriptures teach that there is none perfect but God and that all of us stand guilty before him. But when we live in a culture that says do your own thing and whatever you choose is your reality, why are we surprised when people would choose to murder innocent people. It was just his own choice if there are no moral absolutes. Our culture is reaping what it has sown (Gal.6:7).
Listen carefully to the answers that are suggested to this problem of school shootings. See if any will suggest that the answer is calling out to God in repentance and sorrow for kicking Him out of our social settings. Know that God wants to work and move in and through us, but we must be willing to speak up on His behalf because I’m pretty certain the media and our politicians will not accurately diagnose this problem that they have created.
In Godly Sorrow,
Pastor Rich Sivo