HT – Sacred Journey

Murders and massacres have been more of a constant through human history, rather than an a parenthesis to normal days. Yet something of the Virginia Tech shootings have struck as if a bolt of lightening suddenly flashed on a cloudless day, or so it seems at least.

The present in the developed world is an age of disaffection and loneliness, family breakdowns and blind narcissism of individuals. Perhaps earlier ages would have had community structures built in to more quickly realize and at least arrest the vain evil of Cho Seung-Hui. Maybe. Ours did not. In the shadow of a small town in one of the more advanced centers of learning in the world, relationships among people were just not there to stop this evil.

The most disturbing thing that probably makes folks shudder in education and other public institutions is that there is nothing they can really do to stop an individual once he has geared up to be a suicidal killer with a developed plan.

Yes pray for the students, faculty, staff and families of Virginia Tech. And if you will be specific. Remember people like J. R. Foster, Reformed University Fellowship minister at Virginia Tech, his immediate work will be terrible, but no less important in the months ahead. Anyone who has spent any time on a large college campus in the last couple of decades knows there are large numbers of isolated, socially outcast, and angry individuals. When the typical blame game ends, the only folks who have a real opportunity to keep events from happening like this in a post modern world are people who can help others make sense of who they are by helping them to know themselves by knowing God in the gospel.

Read more for some insight on dealing with evil… Albert Mohler, President Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

A central tenet of the Christian faith is the claim that, on the cross, Jesus Christ willingly suffered the full force of evil, even unto death — and that in raising Christ from the dead, the Father vindicated Christ’s victory over sin, death, and evil.

The Virginia Tech horror reminds us all what human beings can do to each other. The cross of Christ reminds us of what Jesus did for sinners in bearing the full punishment for this evil.

Christianity does not deny the reality of evil or try to hide from its true horror. Christians dare not minimize evil nor take refuge in euphemisms. Beyond this, we cannot accept that evil will have the last word. The last word will be the perfect fulfillment of the grace and justice of God.

N. T. Wright, Anglican Bishop, Durham, England

My faith tradition (ordinary Christianity) doesn’t really try to explain the origin of evil either in general or in particular awful situations. Part of believing in a good Creator God, as Christians do, is to believe that evil is essentially absurd, irrational, a denial of the goodness and meaningfulness of creation — which is of course all the more graphically the case when faced with multiple, random murder.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we could never tell some kind of explanatory story about the combination of circumstances, including tendencies within the culture as a whole, which would go some way to understand the chain of events that led up to a particular incident (we in the UK are quite preoccupied just now with the inquest on some of the soldiers who died early in the Iraq conflict, and with the refusal of the U.S. to release relevant evidence), and to do so with a view to attempting to eliminate the causes, not least the causes within the cultural milieu, that can lead and have led to particular horrible incidents.

 Charles Colson, Founder Prison Fellowship Ministries

Christians also believe that God Himself comforts those who mourn the dead. We believe He sent His Holy Spirit, whom Jesus calls “the Comforter.”

Ultimately of course, Christians believe that death does not have the final word. On the cross, Christ triumphed over death; He will give eternal life to all who faith in Him. In the end, as it is written in Revelation, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.”