Thursday, December 06, 2007

Omaha Shooting: Where is God?

The shooting of innocent bystanders at the Omaha shopping mall yesterday has shocked our nation once again. It makes us all ask the question: where was God in the midst of this tragedy and how can we trust in His Sovereignty?

Podcast version here

Hosea 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.

The shootings and slayings in the Omaha shopping mall have once again shocked our nation. Another deluded young man has selfishly and cowardly taken the lives of innocent people, in order to make someone pay for his dissatisfaction with life. Instead of dealing with his problems, he chose to end his life. Instead of facing up to his deficiencies, he chose to kill people unconnected to his burdens. It was insane and satanic, evil and unholy. Whatever infamy he thought he would achieve, the memory of his callous execution of bystanders will obscure any notoriety he hoped to accomplish.

In the midst of all this pain and anger, how do we come to the Lord for help and healing? At this time of year, when peace and goodwill are supposed to be experienced amongst us, how can we remain confident in God’s Sovereignty? The Nebraskan families of those who were slain will be absolutely shattered and their lives will never be the same. Man’s inhumanity to man has reared its ugly head again – where is the faith, hope, and love of God in such a terrible situation?

No doubt the TV newshounds, cable show hosts and bloggers will offer their many opinions as to what caused this carnage. They will discuss the trigger points along the way of the young man’s life and ask the futile question of how this could all have been avoided. They will all play parlor games of second guessing what went wrong, and the victims’ families will be paraded before the cameras for high ratings and public exhibition. We will be inundated with images of Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Omaha for days on end. And then, when the media frenzy is over, the families will still be heartbroken, lives will be ruined, and communities around the nation will be fearful.

Despite the pain, we will still turn to the LORD, expecting Him to heal us, bind us, comfort us, and strengthen us. We may never find the answer to our agonizing question of “Why?” Our Creator, however, has endowed the human spirit with a mysterious capacity of carrying on, despite the crosses that we bear. In the end of the hallmark of hope which is imprinted on our souls will prevail. Killers kill people, but their bullets cannot confine us to be defined by their deluded concept of humanity. In God, we trust; in Christ, we have hope; and with the Spirit, we persevere.

Prayer: Lord God, our hearts bleed for the people of Omaha and for all the victims of this cruel and savage tragedy. We cannot comprehend the pain and heart break of those who have been impacted by this evil. We pray that You will surround them with professional caregivers and therapists, counselors and clergy who will support, love, and guide them through this agonizing journey. In Christ’s Name, we pray. Amen.

11 comments:

Steve said...

There aren't any God(s)ess(es) to protect or save us and no "plan" could justify not acting to prevent such a tragedy if they did exist. It would be immoral if one had the power to act to stop Hawkins and decline to do so. The fact is that we humans have each other to support and bring comfort in these times of despair. As for Hawkins, he was mentally ill and depressed. Many people suffer from these ailments and find healing while some do not and it comes to this. It is up to the human family to console each other and seek real practical solutions to reduce the probability of these incidents. No God(s)ess(es) required.

Stushie said...

Thanks Steve. Read any good psalms lately? Try Psalm 14...short and to the point.

Steve said...

Yes, I have, stushie.

I've read many assorted versions of the bible along with the texts of other religions of the world who have other "beliefs".

You should try Matthew 5:22...very much to the point as well.

As an aside, shouldn't Christians actually be thanking their God for the killings as a part of some "plan"?

Stushie said...

What "Plan" are you talking about, Steve?

And who hurt you in the Church? What did God not do for you to make you so angry with Him?

What Christians have you been reading that would make you think we are thankful for what has happened?

As for the Raca text, Psalm 14 calls unbelievers "fools" from the mouth of God. Are you suggesting that...?

Steve said...

You know, stushie, the secret “plan” (that only God knows) for purportedly blinking human kind into existence fully formed from dust.

Also, no one hurt me and I’ve been to several churches, mosques and temples.

My posts aren’t a reflection of anger at a non-existent being in the slightest.

I merely disbelieve in your God just as you probably disbelieve in Thor, Zeus, Isis, Quetzaquatl, and so on, due to the lack of empirical evidence for their existence.

Did you want to offer some evidence for your God or reasons why you might be angry at Thor for hurting you as well?

My point was that if a God had the power to act to prevent these killings but chose not to, then that being must have some other reason for allowing it to happen.

Therefore, believers in such a being should be thankful that their God’s will was done as he desired.

I’m suggesting that the bible is full of contradictions and it was your post that was directly implying that people who don’t believe in God(s)ess(es) are fools, yet Matthew states that people who do so…well, you can read the rest.

You do have a bible, right?

I keep three of mine right next to the Koran, the Torah and assorted Rig Vedas (among other myths).

Stushie said...

Oh, I get it now, Steve (or whoever you are). With all of those faith books, you're keeping your options open. When it comes to faith, you're settling for a tribeca bet, in the hope it will cover all.

And since we're swapping verses, how about Proverbs 14:12?

Steve said...

My name is Steve Schlicht and I live in Biloxi MS.

If you or anyone else wants to verify my identity or communicate with me they can contact me via email.

Now, to address the latest red herring you offered while avoiding the substance of my posts…no, I don’t think a Pascal’s Wager approach to religious claims is rational.

I point to my own studies to indicate that it is better to learn of the assorted myths and legends and ideologies so that a proper analysis can be made. I am not worried about being “covered” as that implies some sort of punishment awaits humankind for simply assessing information and coming to a logical conclusion based on knowledge over simply believing every word someone tells you.

Again, just as you disbelieve in other God(s)ess(es), I disbelieve in the Christian one. Secondarily, I like to seek out apologetics from religious adherents on real life issues and see if they remain consistent with religious claims.

As for the book of Proverbs, I recommend you should read further:

14:15-14:18

Stushie said...

So Steve from Biloxi...do you have a blog?

Your syntax seems very familiar. Maybe you are much nearer than Biloxi. It's funny how our writing actually conveys a grammatical accent.

Anyway, I'd love to see your blog, but then again, perhaps I already have come upon it accidentally. O shucks, I guess I'll never really know. You can find mine at www.glenkirk.blogspot.com. I'd love to chat with you over there.

Goodnight and God bless. May the road always rise to meet you and may the wind always be at your back.

Steve said...

I don't have a "blog" (or really the time to maintain one) and I'm fairly sure we've not had any other exchanges before. Google offers some search features regarding items I find of interest and it was through that knowledge that I found this blog.

My family and friends do occasionally use a "meetup" site to pursue community charitable events and share stories, perspectives and relative philosophies. Our site can be found here:

http://humanism.meetup.com/164/

Perhaps you may find it of interest and it may allay whatever suspicions you seem to have over who I am and the community in which I live.

Your other blog will be one to check out later as my day is taken by other needs.

Be good to yourself and others, stushie, no matter what you believe and you will make the world a better place.

Stushie said...

Thanks Steve. Much appreciated. And thanks for visiting my blog, too. Your Biloxi placement showed up around 8.25am this morning. I'll check out your humanism site later today.

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