On 12/14/2012 in the quiet town of Newton, Connecticut, Adam Lanza, 20 years old, made a choice to kill 27 people including his mother, teachers, and 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the end Lanza turned the gun on himself and sealed his fate in eternity. Many words have flooded the news wire: tragedy, evil, debased, outrage, sadness, loss, and the hanging question…why?
Before we focus on the question why? I would like to express my condolences to all the families that have lost loved ones out of this evil act. In this dark hour, I share Philippians 4:6-7 to you in this time: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. May God give you comfort in this time of loss. While those young children are with Jesus now, a hole has been left in the lives of many parents and loved ones that will remain until through belief in Jesus Christ (Jhn 3:16, Rom 10:9-10), will one day be reunited with them in eternity.
While it is too early to know and indeed we may never know what Lanza’s motivation was to commit this atrocity, the question arises, what sends a human being over the edge of reason and into the pit of evil depravity?
Adam Lanza. Mentally Disabled or Spiritually Possessed?
There has been much speculation that Adam may have had a mental disability that may have driven him to mass murder. While the physiological symptoms of various mental illnesses seem to point to a chemical imbalance in the brain that impairs the persons faculty of reason, and perception of reality, the question that still looms is: what causes the imbalance?
Unfortunately many scientist view the human body through an evolutionary standpoint rejecting the idea that the Bible is a scientifically accurate book to be relied upon. My hypothesis is that the chemical imbalance that causes pathological deviations are triggered from spiritual sources. Either demonic or from a human spirit that has succumbed to a total focus on self. Or a mixture of both.
Jeremiah 17:9 states: “The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Without knowing who God is and choosing to follow after Him, this verse shows us that even without the meddling of a demonic spirit, mankind left to its own desires would come to depravity.
I do not know Adams Lanza’s formative years as a child. Was he taught the Word of God? Did his family follow after Jesus Christ with all their heart? From his actions, I would say probably not (…by their fruits you will know them Matt. 7:20-21). But what if he was? One of the most infamous and tragic historical figures in the Bible was Judas Iscariot. Even after being taught at the feet of the Son of God Himself, his greed and bitterness grew from Jesus allowing costly oil of spikenard to be used instead of being sold so he could gain some profit. (John 12:3-8)
This greed and bitterness in his heart blossomed into full sin when he chose to act on his evil desire and sold Jesus’ life for 30 pieces of silver. From this point, Judas was no longer submitted to Jesus. Whether it was anger, self-pity, or selfishness, Iscariot was now being directed by the wickedness in his heart. And then the Bible states a chilling fact, a human spirit not submitted to God is open to obsession or possession by a demon. In Judas’ case, in John 13:27 states Satan himself entered Judas.
In the end, Judas realizing what he had done and filled with remorse, committed suicide by hanging himself. (Matt. 27:3-8)
Sound familiar? In so many of these cases of mass murder, what starts out as a self- focused bitterness, jealously, depression, etc. culminates in an action of murderous depravity only to realize at the end of such an act that they had just “killed” a unique human life specially created by God. In a final act of trying to escape the reality of what they just did, they choose to murder once more as they take their own life.
How to stop this from happening again…
Sorry people, the solution is not gun control, psychotropic medications (which oddly; usually have stated possible side effects of aggressive or suicidal behavior), or a nanny state. These are all just knee jerk (and bad) solutions to treat symptoms of the core issue of the wicked heart that resides in all of us.
First it starts with each one of us and the personal choices we decide to make. The most important choice of free will you can ever make is to decide to follow after Jesus Christ and receive His free gift of salvation (Jhn 3:16, Rom 10:9-10), the second is to repent (turn away) from your sinful nature.
The book of James 1:12-15, 3:14-16, and 4:7-8 teaches us how to overcome temptation and in the end submit to God:
Blessed [is] the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking [exist], confusion and every evil thing [are] there. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [you] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [you] double-minded.
And Second, we need to repent as a country and turn back to God.
Can we be surprised of such atrocities when our society and country in a large part has turned its face from the God of the Bible and replaced the unwavering statements of Biblical right and wrong with the relativistic, politically correct, atheistic truth of our day? It should not come as a shock for us to see a rise of evil in our land.
Without the standard of God and His Holy Word firmly planted in the family structure, lived out and modeled by the parents, how can the children know the difference of right and wrong? When the schools abandoned the Bible and the Ten Commandments, how can the children know when people are right or wrong? When the government of United States has turned away from the Holy God of the Bible and replaced Him with a “god of many faiths”, how can we expect our children to remain under His protection?
In conclusion, as humans we ourselves will never be able to completely rid the world of sin. Aside from people who choose to turn away from God, we also have to contend with the fact that 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to: “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
This is where protection starts; repentance to God and to follow after Him. It starts with you, your family, your friends, your neighborhood, your town, your country. May God Bless America as we turn back to Him and serve Him!