By Foster Shannon
Jesus: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Paul: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ
Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
At the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza
first killed his mother, and then drove to the school, and proceeded to kill 20
children, five to ten years of age and six adults before he killed himself.
If we include the shooter and his mother, there were 28 deaths. Surely all of us are
stunned by this kind of violence, which seems to happen all too frequently.
Mass shootings are defined as four or more people killed. There have been 7 mass
killings in the US this year. Since 1982 there have been 62 mass murders—almost
all of them committed by young white males, one by a female.
We shudder at these facts, and ask what we can do? The Los Angeles Times
had it right, in their headline the next morning, quoting the governor of
Connecticut: “Evil visited this community”. We would hope that there are
things that can be done to better protect our people and, at least reduce this kind
of crime. But the final answer with the problem of evil derives from our proper
understanding of the word of God—and our willingness to do what it teaches.
Exodus 20:13 states, “You shall not murder.” That rule has been on the books for
at least 3300 years!
The Bible warns us of the strength of the forces and powers of evil: We
understand in the very temptations of Jesus, that he encountered a formidable
assailant. I Peter 5:8 reads, “Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion
your adversary the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour.”
We read in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh,
but against the rulers , against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this
present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
The Bible teaches us not to let the Sun go down on our anger. We must not entertain
and savor anger. If we do, we open the door to Satan and his mischief.
There is forgiveness and healing with God, but we must desire it—we must seek it at the
feet of our Savior. Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
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Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note
Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is:www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.