a good god?
Undoubtedly in the aftermath of the events that unfolded at Columbine High, Littleton many people will be asking the question: What was it that caused two intelligent young American teenagers to arm themselves to the teeth, casually walk into their school and randomly open fire on their unsuspecting peers? And many people will have their own theories as to why they did it ranging from personality disorders, demon possession and poor parenting to video games, a film industry which seems to revel in violence and lack of gun control. The fact of the matter is, whatever the event or sequence of events that led to this terrible tragedy what we have in the end are two average young boys, growing up in an average western family, going to an average western school, filled with the sorts of hopes and dreams that most other average people have but who, unlike most other average people, ended up as mass murderers. And whether we like it or not, there are other sane, rational, average human beings being born right now, who are in the world right now, mixing with society, who will go down in history with the label 'mass murderer'. They don't know who they are, we don't know who they are but events will take their course, things and ideas will influence and shape them and in time they will be revealed......and once more the world will be shocked and the same questions asked.
For many out there this tragedy (and the word isn't strong enough) will act as ample confirmation for their belief in the non existence of God...or at least in the non existence of a good God. Surely if there was, He wouldn't allow such things to take place. Yet, one of the things that moved me as I read Time Magazine's report this morning was this account:
'A girl was asked by the gunman if she believed in God, knowing full well the safe answer. "There is a God," she said quietly, "and you need to follow along God's path." The shooter looked down at her. "There is no God," he said, and he shot her in the head.'
There is no God!.....This belief in itself is undoubtedly one of the main factors which enabled the gunmen to act as they did. Indeed, even if he had said, "there is no good God' he would still have been able to pull the trigger without a further thought. When we cease to believe in God there is no reason why we should not live and do as we please. Similarly, if we perceive of God as not good, as either totally evil or just not bothered then we, in our minds have licence to amuse ourselves in whatever way we see fit. Yes we might not steal because we don't won't to go to jail but what if we were about to take our own lives and before doing that we decided it might be 'fun' to go on a killing spree. What is there to stop us?...When we're dead, we're dead, there's nothing, that's it, no one can punish us. Certainly a God that isn't good, that isn't bothered, won't be bothered to punish and a God that is evil...well the worst He's gonna do is offer us is a pat on the back and say 'well done faithful servant'!
This event is not final proof that a good and just God does not exist....but it is evidence to show what happens in a society that no longer teaches that such a God exists. God is good and He is just and He sees all the evil acts that men do and he will bring men to justice. One day all of us will have to account to Him for our lives. One of the gunmen, when asked why he was doing this answered that it was because people had been mean to them the previous year. God saw all that was said and done then too and those who said and did it would've one day had to give an accounting to God..they still will. Had Harris and Klebold put their trust in God they would've been able to see things differently. Yes, the insults and the taunts would still have hurt but they would have been able to bring their pain and anger before God and He would've enabled them to endure. Instead, believing as they did there was no authority above themselves they took matters into their own hands.....now, 13 people are dead and countless families lives will never be the same again!
28th April 1999