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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments


On Friday, December 14th a heavily armed gunman, in body armor entered Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown Connecticut and murders 26 people - 20 of them children.  Take a moment to contemplate that, a moment to contemplate how you feel as a mother or father, as an American - as a human being.  My wife was at home with my two youngest children when she turned on the television and saw the news. She said "I have to turn it off. It's messing with my spirit".  My father (a man who believes in God, but isn't' particularly religious) said "it's enough to test your faith."

These are the natural and reasonable responses to something like this.  It makes no earthly sense, beyond the fact that mass shootings of this kind are becoming par for the course here in America, so the mind rightfully turns to God for answers and a sense of security.  This is a time for those who know God to be God's representatives on earth.  It's a time for people who know God to act as God would direct them in the wake of such tragedy.  To my sadness, too many people who know God (hear them tell it) felt that God's response to those seeking answers and comfort is:

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools... Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" - Mike Huckabee
My response to this was "FACEPALM!!"... Popular conservative rhetoric accuses liberals (and they assume all liberals) of campaigning to remove God from society, so what could've provided a better opportunity for them to raise the issues of school prayer, public Nativity scenes and the Ten Commandments being removed from a federal courthouse than a mass shooting at and elementary school?

I am at least bothered, if not angered by this rhetoric for a number of reasons, but each reason at the boils down to the fact that there are people who love a God that they don't truly know and are misrepresenting his character.  Either that or they know him in a very limited capacity, one that definitely makes them woefully incapable and unqualified to speak on God's behalf.   

I speak fairly regularly about hyper-politicized Christianity wherein "God and Country" are inextricably bound together in an unholy alliance that makes the state/government the barometer by which we measure our standing with God as a nation.  To that end, the "removal" school prayer (i.e. the kicking God out of our schools) has become a consistent marker of a liberal war on religion and mocking of God, so in the view of Mike Huckabee, the murder of 20 grade school kids is what we should logically expect.   But who is this god that Huckabee and others are referring to?   Who is this god that would remove his hand of protection from innocent children (a number of which believe in and pray to him) because politicians disagree about the scope of the separation of church and state?  Well, if you didn't notice I used lower case "g" to refer to that god and a lower case "h"when talking about him because that isn't the god that most of the people who are seeking answers about this tragedy are referring to.

Perhaps they are referring to the old testament God, which I guess would make sense as they tend to  border on being Sadducees than U.S. Congressmen/women.  But if that's the case then they really need to take stock of who they think God is and who they think Jesus Christ is to the world.  As much as there have been attempts to walk back or "explain" that Huckabee wasn't saying that that God allowed this to happen because of school prayer, or public Nativity displays, in reality that is what he is essentially saying.  So from Huckabee's statements, any reasonable person would extract that God would've actually stepped and prevented this massacre if only we had organized prayer in schools and no war on Christmas.  I can't help but imagine what God would've done to glorify His name in such a case. Would he have had the shooter  get into a car accident on his way to the school, or more dramatically, would he have caused the rifle to jam and explode in his face with his blood splattering in the form of a cross?  

I get it... God is one that none of us will ever fully understand, no matter how much we read the Bible or go to church or pray or pontificate.  But as much as He will remain a mystery to us, He also affords us enough knowledge of his character that we can thoughtfully communicate who He is accurately.  For example, God is not some haunting spirit that you can prevent from coming into your home like voodoo priests do with the enchanted powder you see in the movies.  Likewise, you can't bar him from a school by law or decree. For one, there is no law that prevents a person or group of people from gathering and praying inside of a school.  The laws state that the school itself cannot organize and/or compel students to pray under the umbrella of any particular religion.   

Secondly,  the idea that an omnipresent God could be removed from anywhere is nonsensical for literal reasons.  Of course when this is pointed out, those who shared Huckabee's belief about the tragedy say that what they meant was,
"God would say to us, 'Hey, I'll be glad to protect your children, but you've got to invite me back into your world first. I'm not going to go where I'm not wanted. I am a gentlemen"  - Bryan Fisher
And to that I'd say that the idea that an omnipotent, loving God would refuse to intervene in a massacre to protect innocent children until the government passed a law inviting him back into the public squares shows that these people are spending way too much time talking about God and not enough time listening and seeking him and getting to know him.   God is not a vampire that can only enter your home if you invite him in.  God is always going place He's not wanted to find the lost sheep and doing things we don't want Him to do so that He may reconcile his children unto Himself.

But if you learn one thing from this discussion, please know that those who love God need to stop confusing  Him god. The difference between god and God is that the latter cannot be removed from public schools or pubic squares. And also know that God lives through each and everyone of us who is willing to submit and allow themselves to be used for his purpose, so God can never be removed from any place on His green Earth that His people tread.  So if we aren't seeing enough of God in our schools, it isn't because government expelled God. It's because we as Christian parents are doing an exceptionally poor job of raising Godly children that display little of His character at school. 

So what, that schools can't have an organized prayer meeting?  That doesn't stop any student from gathering with his classmates and praying in and on behalf of that school.  It doesn't stop teachers or principals from praying for their students and it doesn't prevent any Christian from worshiping God by way of their character and their actions because...  To put if differently, while prayer is powerful, talk is cheap and God knows the difference, so in the end God in the hearts of students and teachers and faculty is far greater than prayer in schools.

  

In other words, the proper response to this:
isn't this:















It's this...



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