Gunning for Gory

The problem is neither guns nor fire, but a morally dysfunctional, post-Christian West, unchecked by moral wisdom.

What was it that stopped Nikolas Cruz, the Florida high-school murderer, from getting the help he needed? We seem incapable of the real moral and spiritual work of counseling disturbed people. What was it that stopped school personnel, local police, the FBI, or even neighbors from stopping Cruz in his tracks? Moral incompetence? Fear of engaging in politically-correct interference? We are morally ossified.

 

Identifying the physical tools used in the high school mass murder (guns) as the cause of those murders is not logical. People cause crimes. Those who nurse evil, hateful thoughts will use all manner of physical means to realize their intentions—guns, bombs, fire, knives, automobiles or bare fists. Given the rationale offered on the school shootings, it is peculiar that we have not yet heard a clamoring demand to ban automobiles. A Home Depot rental truck was the weapon of choice for Sayfullo Saipov, who ran down eight people in lower Manhattan in November, 2017. Or knives. How many knife stabbings will it take before someone suggests banning all knives?

Such an argument only hides the real problem: the moral and social bankruptcy that progressive thinking has created in contemporary Western society.[1] By opposing guns, some believe they are showing the highest moral concern. But the argument is a façade—fake morality—that reveals an utter paucity of true moral reasoning. The public, very political charade works like this:

  • Make as much noise as possible at the time of the event, screaming against heartless pro-gun lobbies or appeals to the second amendment;
  • Call for the “murder” of NRA officials;
  • Sit back with a clear conscience and enjoy the emotion of an election win;
  • Live with the collapse of the Constitution;
  • Enjoy socialism in America.

America’s gun culture is more than two hundred years old, and guns have not changed drastically in the last one hundred years. What has changed is the culture. Its moral impotency perhaps affects children more than anyone else. Many kids now grow up without a father, without a nuclear family, without ties to our culture’s Judeo-Christian roots, and without any respect for authority. The Bible is mocked. Pornography and sexual deviance are ho-hum. With the flick of a switch or a tap of a button, children access riveting video games that glorify sex and violence. America suffers from a spiritual crisis, not a gun crisis. We are reaping the fruits of a post-Christian, amoral culture—one enthusiastically endorsed by baby boomers and their children. Without a moral and spiritual revival, America’s children will continue to die in a gigantic, leftist, social experiment that has soared on the magical coat-tails of non-binary spirituality in which (like pagan cultures everywhere) we bring together the opposites of good and evil. Is it any wonder that our children fail to recognize real evil, final consequences or the ultimate Law-Giver?

What was it that stopped Nikolas Cruz, the Florida high-school murderer, from getting the help he needed? We seem incapable of the real moral and spiritual work of counseling disturbed people. What was it that stopped school personnel, local police, the FBI, or even neighbors from stopping Cruz in his tracks? Moral incompetence? Fear of engaging in politically-correct interference? We are morally ossified.

In January, 2018, Tnuza J. Hassan was arrested for setting eight fires in seven buildings at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Allegedly, this 19-year-old female jihadist had previously told FBI agents that she wanted to join al-Qaida and marry a fighter, and that she might even wear a suicide belt.” (See The Associated Press (AP) report on USNews.com.) “She also said she was angry at U.S. military actions overseas and admitted that she tried to encourage others to ‘join the jihad in fighting.’” These admissions were apparently not enough for the FBI to detain or arrest her. Upon her release, she went through with her terrorist plans. There were no guns. She set eight fires.

The problem is neither guns nor fire, but a morally dysfunctional, post-Christian West, unchecked by moral wisdom. In an interview with Ellen de Generis, Oprah joyfully and self-righteously announced that she will donate $500,000, joining with other progressives like George and Amal Clooney, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, to support the up-coming March for Our Lives demonstration. Students “will take to the streets of Washington, D.C. to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that gun violence and mass shootings cease.”

Claiming that guns are the cause of violence merely shows the vacuous logic and moral ineptitude of contemporary Western thinking in its attempt to silence a genuine sense of good and evil and falsely vilify the opposition. It is “the heart [that] is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve” (Jeremiah 17:9–10). The recently-deceased, passionate gospel man, Billy Graham, taught this to the world for seven decades. Only if we honor the God of Scripture and call out to his son Jesus for forgiveness and mercy will we find relief from our own wickedness. God does not save us from guns, fire and knives, but from total moral disintegration in this world and from the eternal results of our present violence in the world to come.

[1] You’ll find this article stimulating, as it attributes mass shootings to liberalism, not to guns.

Dr. Peter Jones is scholar in residence at Westminster Seminary California and associate pastor at New Life Presbyterian Church in Escondido, Calif. He is director of truthXchange, a communications center aimed at equipping the Christian community to recognize and effectively respond to the rise of paganism. This article is used with permission.