Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Every time someone perpetrates a horrific act we blame society instead of blaming the individual actor. Hate and racism are very real and they have no place in American society. Every time a mass shooting occurs, we offer thoughts and prayers – and nothing happens.
These are all mantras from different sides of the political aisle. Americans of different faiths with differing opinions on gun control pick the quote that best fits their need and plaster it across Facebook and Twitter. We switch on the cable news network of our choice to hear the argument we want to agree with and we dismiss as "uneducated," "politically motivated" or "racist" the opposing opinion.
"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Tim 4:3-4, NIV)
Still, these mantras have smatterings of truth regardless of which side of the gun control debate one espouses. Guns don't kill people unless a person is there to wield it. Society has always harbored psychopaths – the Christian approach is to trust God to sort them out. Hate and racism are very real in these United States and around the world. Their origin is in the sin we choose over the God we reject. And every time a young white male mass shooter kills more than himself, we offer thoughts and prayers for the families and then wait for the 24-hour news cycle to find something else to talk about.
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2 Tim 3:1-5, NIV)
Christian, whether or not we are in the "End Times" or "Last Days" is an argument for theologians more educated than myself. But I do know this, if these United States continue to reject God, He will not continue to stay His hand. Eventually God will tire of our rebellious nature and He will discipline our nation. I don't know if that discipline will take the same form as Sodom and Gomorrah or of Israel and Judah, or some entirely new terror like devaluation of our currency or open terror within our borders, but the Bible is clear. God will eventually tire. How do we stay His hand?
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chron 7:14, KJV)
Christian – can God's word be any clearer than that?
– Mark Klages is an influential contributor, a former US Marine and a lifelong teacher who focuses on applying a Christian worldview to everyday events. Mark blogs at https://maklagesl3.wixsite.com/website under the title "God Provides where Hate Divides," with a heart to heal social, political, relational, and intellectual wounds through God's divine love and grace. Mark can also be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-klages-04b42511/.