This weekend’s murderous rampages in El Paso,
Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that claimed a total of 31 lives, join an ever-growing
list of incidents of mass violence in America.
Whenever horror of this magnitude occurs our
focus almost always turns to motive. Although it’s impossible to make sense of
the inexplicable, we still want to know what’s behind the evil.
For these two separate tragedies, less than
24 hours apart, the early evidence seems clear both murderers were driven by
In Texas, the killer specifically targeted Hispanics,
issuing a “manifesto” that suggested he felt threatened by immigrants, in
addition to overpopulation and climate concerns.
In Ohio, media reports indicate the
perpetrator was an avowed socialist and Satanist who supported Antifa, a
domestic terrorist group.
In both cases, the
killers were angry, unstable young men – unanchored and unhinged individuals
who saw life as disposable. Undoubtedly, further background investigations will
reveal other factors contributing to their maniacal and wicked outbursts.
lonely, angry male is the common denominator in these types of attacks.
Disconnected from both society and reality, almost always void of true, pure
faith – these individuals seek a twisted sense of significance by becoming more
violent than the latest murderer. Family breakdown is also frequently a factor.
A high percentage of these individuals are missing the presence of a loving
father in their lives.
I am not a
psychologist or a trained theologian, but as the world grows increasingly
secular, lauding and lionizing violence in entertainment, not to mention
cheapening the sanctity of life and attempting to normalize even infanticide,
it’s no wonder we’re suffering an increase in these outbursts of pure
we read in Proverbs, “Where there is no revelation of God the people are
unrestrained. But happy is he who keeps the law” (29:18).
was absent in Texas and Ohio on Saturday and Sunday. From what we can tell,
these individuals were without hope – and hatred takes quick root in desperate
Let’s face it. There
is plenty of pain in the world. Just look around at all the people in your
circle suffering physically, psychologically and spiritually. Fortunately, most
people don’t harm others to feed the darkness in their hearts, but some act out
– as we saw in Texas and Ohio this past weekend.
As I’ve said in the
past, ours is a sick culture overflowing with crumbling families and an
abandonment of basic values and decency.
What’s the solution?
From my perspective,
the only solution to our current crisis is spiritual revival.
such a statement, but it was John Adams who famously noted, “Our Constitution
was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the
government of any other.”
Yet powerful forces in our culture are more
intent than ever on removing God from the public square. As they do, the
void is filled by the increasing chaos we’re witnessing in our society.
Please join me in prayer, won’t you?
Please pray for the families in Ohio and Texas whose lives have been turned
upside down by this tragedy. Please pray for the first responders and grief
counselors in those areas who are overwhelmed both physically and emotionally.
Finally, please pray for revival! It was the
late pastor Dr. Adrian Rogers, a former Focus on the Family board member, who
once remarked, “God has always sent revival in the darkest days.”
May the Lord have mercy on those hurting and
grieving. Indeed, He is “close to
the brokenhearted and saves those
who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
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