Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Sympathies and Solutions in the Wake of the Tragedy at Virginia Tech
My deepest sympathies and prayers go out to all the family members, friends, as well the multitudes of people who have been tragically, mournfully, and wrongfully touched by the recent shootings at Virginia Tech, and in addition to our own nation and fellow countries such as South Korea who unknowingly and without present choice have been drawn into this sad situation and state of affairs.
The candle vigils and convocations taking place not only at Virginia Tech but on campuses across the country are meaningingful and helpful in dealing with the aftermath and helping the students cope, and will I suppose prove even therapeutic to varying degrees.
However, with the lack of answers across the board on news channels for why this has taken place, and with pictures of the candlelight vigils placed prominently in the headlines with titles such as "Lights of healing in a time of darkness" attached to them, I'm reminded of the limitation of the state (along with the weaknesses of others besides the state) in that it cannot on it's own sufficiently address the situation, provide the ultimate answers, or bring about the ultimate healing and needed change. For these, the church is needed, in pointing people to God, who alone can accomplish all these things, ranging from the problems dealing with the human heart to the heart and hope of a nation, which is at present at loss, both from the mass casualties and loss of life and in knowing how to explain, rectify and prevent the same from happening again in the future.
I point out that when it comes to providing these ultimate answers and solutions, not only can the state not do it, neither the world provide sufficient and satisfactory answers. I was reminded of this when even the psychiatrists being interviewed were left simply to make statements like "We don't know exactly what causes this, what others might be able to handle in the same situations some are not, all we can say is that all the wrong factors came together at all the wrong times and when they did the individual just snapped..." and to suggest the ultimate solution perhaps is found in more medication or a better balance of medication (something that I do not deny is needed by some at times), but even in this case not only do first indications point to the fact that the shooter had been on anti-depressants, and now had not taken his anti-depressants, but the truth is that so often these drugs are used simply as seditives to medicate the person and lower their activity (or keep them from being the person they really are) without addressing or dealing with the root causes that lead to the person needing the depressants to begin with, namely apects dealing with the fallen and sinful nature of man and the lack of spiritual life and fruit needed to live and function well regardless of circumstances (something ...I believe many more people can do if sufficiently provided for - I was reminded of this a few days ago when witnessing parents providing a daily dose of Ridalyn for a child whose real problem was parents who had not known how to teach discipline and right behavior to their child.) To some, I'm sure this may sound like a repeat of statements made by Tom Cruise in his lack of sympathy, judgment, and prudence, but while I am not denying the proper and good use of medicines when needed and in order to serve purposeful ends, at the same time, while the world is without answers except to continue to identify and zombify more and more people and in the process to continue to experience more and more of what we have begun to experience, even on our high school and college campuses, not to mention in the workplace of some of brighter and most educated people, ...the answer does not lie in the world, the answer is found only in God, and the wisdom, counsel, regeneration, renewal and transformation that is found and that comes through his name.
There is a need for the church at this time to speak up and speak out while the world is left without hope and without sufficient and ultimately satisfying solutions. The message that needs to be communicated is the need for people to acknowledge the truth when it comes to good and evil, the truth regarding the fallen and sinful nature of man, the truth regarding the value and dignity of human life, the truth concerning the consequences of believing and living apart from Scriptural law, and the truth regarding the sad, pathetic, evil, horrendous and pitiful state of affairs that occurs when individuals live as though righteousness does not matter and that it doesn't matter if one lives and acts by carrying out evil actions as though there will not be significant consequences for both them and others in this this world and the afterlife.
While the remainder of the world is left ultimately without sufficient and satisfying solutions, though it has many questions, here's a place and time where the church, which though on many levels has its differences does possess unity and conformity of belief on basic issues related to these problems, should take center stage, not by trying to grab the microphone in the center of the podiom in an attempt to gain press and notarity during the time of the crisis, but by getting it's message out in all the highways and byways where there are needy, hurting, ignorant, but receptive people, that renewal and transformation, not only of individuals and states of affair for nations might be changed, but that God might be glorified in the redemption, renewal, and peace that only he can bring. What's needed is not a new bandaid by the world, but revival and repetitive involvement by God's people.
There was a day, not too long ago, that here in the United States, the prevalent and predominant attitude was that no matter how bad it got, this type and pattern of behavior we witness today was not only not as common a solution as it's becoming these days, but it was not a consideration to even be entertained in the minds of most, much less be carried out. While we continue to look forward, we need to return to the foundational beliefs and values that resulted in greater character and a safer place to live in previous days. It is of key importance that whatever the cultural, family and individual factors that lead individuals to act in this manner, that the message get through and especially to our children and these young generations, especially concerning the considation of the value and dignity of human life, and the sin and consequences of wrongfully taking it, for if this message does not get through, I fear with certainty that what happened on the campus of Virginia Tech might pale in comparison to what might take place in the future.
Times of refreshing and peace can again be ours, but it will only come through a spirit of revival and a restoration of common grace.
May those who have lost loved ones find comfort, answers, peace and even forgiveness through the Lord, and may the rest of us who possess the spirit and the power come alongside them by championing this cause in keeping with their legacy and our love for the good that can be established and enjoyed in life!