There was a popular song written by Pete Seeger in the 1960’s (and made popular by Peter, Paul, and Mary) entitled, Where Have All The Flowers Gone? It was about the realities of war and how people rarely learn from history as it tends to repeat itself. The girls pick flowers and marry men, who go off to war. The men die and the girls pick flowers to put on their graves. The cycle repeats itself year after year, decade after decade, and century after century. The reoccurring line in the song is: “When will they ever learn?”
There is a war going on today in our country and around the world. You can see it transforming before our eyes, hear it being discussed daily via social media, and taste the bitterness of it as it destroys lives. It’s a Civility War!
Since the horrific Columbine shootings in 1999 that killed 13 students, there have been 208 additional school shootings! The most recent was in Parkland, Florida which killed 17 innocent people. So common are these school shootings that without high body counts, they rarely make the headlines and are often treated as insignificant.
In the aftermath of each shooting that makes National Headlines, the media repeatedly asks the same questions: How can this violence and murder be increasing year after year? What is the root cause behind this evil? What makes a person perform a heinous act of violence against another human being? Why are killings becoming more prevalent? How can we stop it?
Many of the answers, too, are reiterated time after time with no solutions. They argue for changing the gun laws. They suggest that we beef up school security. They recommend that we take a closer look at Mental Health and how it affects people and their actions. All good, but not totally effective as evidenced by the reoccurrence of these atrocities.
When will we ever learn?
God’s Word makes it perfectly clear why these things happen!
Violence and murder are increasing each year because Absolute Truth has been taken out of the home, schools, and workplace. Ever since the Bible and the 10 Commandments have been removed from public places (in the 60’s and 70’s) humanism, has taken its place. Man, in his infinite wisdom, believes that his ways are superior to God’s. We have generations of people growing up without Biblical morality. Schools promote science as Gospel. Parents can’t teach their children what they themselves don’t know. Churches are reluctant to stand up for Biblical truth in fear of losing members. Judgement was inflicted upon Israel for the same reasons.
“I told them to live the way I had commanded them, so that things would go well for them. But they did not obey or pay any attention. Instead, they did whatever their stubborn and evil hearts told them to do, and they became worse instead of better.” (Jeremiah 7: 24)
There’s no shortage of diagnoses for why we do the things we do. Psychology blames the individual and says man internally is at fault. Sociology, on the other hand, blames group behavior and says man externally is at fault. Biblically, God says that man in born with a sin nature that inherently gives him an evil heart. Evil emanates from within the heart!
“For from the heart come the evil ideas which lead him to kill, commit adultery, and do other things; to rob, lie, and slander others.” (Matthew 15: 19)
Sure sounds like America doesn’t it?
What would make a person willingly kill (aside from war) another human being? With a humanistic worldview, most people know who God is, but they do not give him the honor that belongs to him, nor do they thank Him. Their evil ways prevent the truth from being known. They exchange the truth about God for a lie. The lie is that there are no consequences to our actions and we can do whatever we want to do as morality is relative. As a result, God allows their filthy thoughts, shameful passions, and corrupted minds to take control of their lives. In essence, they have no fear of God and the consequences of their actions.
“There is none righteous, no not one. There is no one who understands. There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable. There is none who does good no, not one…There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3: 11-18)
Why are killings and murders today increasing? By many measures we are safer now than we were two and three decades ago, but less so compared to four and five decades ago. While the murder rate is at or near a 50-year low, some of the deadliest and most violent mass-shooting events have happened within the past five years. The murder rate increased 9% from last year alone. It may have to do with capital punishment.
“Why do people commit crimes so readily? Because crime is not punished quickly enough. A sinner may commit a hundred crimes and still live.” (Ecclesiastes 8: 11-12)
The result of this are thieves and murderers who know that the prison system will house and feed them for years without consequences. A convicted murderer can sit on death row for 20 years before the penalty is finally carried out. This emboldens them to commit more crimes more often. No fear of consequences leads to more crime.
God’s Word does have the answers to today’s problems:
· Absolute Truth has been taken away and must be RESTORED
· Man must change his evil heart and in HUMILITY, REPENT and TURN TO GOD
· People today do not fear God and must be OBEDIENT to God’s Word
· Punishment is not given quickly enough as CONSEQUENCES must come immediately
When will we ever learn?