Another school shooting in America
What's needed to bring healing to this land?
By AiG-US Executive Director, Ken Ham
As another extremely sad act of school violence erupts in an American public school, this time in Santee, California (where I used to live, by the way), people are again asking 'Why?'
As I watched the news on television, I heard the new President of the United States say that young people in America need to be taught right and wrong. I totally agree. But as I heard these words, my mind went back to the words of the former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore. When interviewed on CNN's 'Larry King Live (May 6, 1999)' TV program, Mr Gore stated, in response to a question about school violence, that:
'You can hardly take your eyes away from it. I think that violence has that capacity because of our evolutionary heritage, because of the laws of nature—tooth and fang. And we have with our power of conscience, with our beliefs in God, if we have those, as most of us Americans do, we have the ability to—to overcome those impulses with higher ones. We have the ability to overcome evil with good... But I think that heritage is always present with us. It was for most of humankind's existence part of our way of surviving. And so I think it has a primitive appeal.'
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Genesis and the Decay of Nations
I believe Al Gore was right about one thing—there IS a connection between evolutionary ideas and school violence. But, Mr Gore, it's not because evolution is 'our evolutionary heritage.' It is because people in politics like yourself, many university professors, media leaders, and even many Church leaders have allowed students to be actively indoctrinated in evolutionary teaching.
Now, don't get me wrong. Evolution is NOT the cause of school violence. Sin is of course the root cause. But there is a connection between evolution and school violence. It's not that 'Johnny' wakes up one morning and thinks 'Oh—I'm the result of evolution. There's no God. Everything has evolved by natural causes. Death, bloodshed, violence, and suffering brought me into existence. The struggle for life continues on. Right and wrong is whatever I want to make it if I can get away with it. I think I'll go and shoot someone today.' No—it doesn't happen like this. What has occurred is more subtle—much more insidious.
As generation after generation of school students are taken through an education system that today is largely devoid of the knowledge of God, there are consequences that follow.
The more our culture has been told that 'science' has shown that the historical basis of the Gospel, the opening chapters of the Bible, are not to be trusted, consequences follow. We have seen the government largely throw out creation, prayer, and Bible readings from public schools. In recent times, students have seen many courts dictate that the Ten Commandments also be thrown out. At the same time, generations of students are being indoctrinated daily to believe that everything in the universe arose by natural processes—nothing supernatural was involved. They are led to believe they are animals in this struggle for survival involving millions of years of death, suffering, and violence.
So it makes less and less sense to believe in any absolute authority that determines right and wrong. Not surprisingly, as this education process continues, the culture has shifted from one having norms (some people call 'values') built on the Bible, to one where morality is considered relative. There really aren't any absolutes anymore—after all, there is no absolute authority, and that's what people have been led to believe. Whether it's sex, purpose/meaning in life, or how one treats one's fellow man, all is relative because of this culture shift.
As these new generations of young people are trained in a culture that has lost much of its Christian heritage, and most of the Christian worldview has been removed from the education system—Johnny has no basis but his own instincts, sinful as they are, to determine what he should do in life. With such a meaningless and purposeless outlook on life—no wonder Johnny, given certain background inclinations and pressures, sometimes sees nothing wrong in deciding to shoot his fellow students.
I agree with the President that students need to be taught right and wrong. But who decides right and wrong—and why? Just to tell them that violence is wrong is just an opinion, isn't it? After all, we used to tell them that sex outside of marriage was wrong, but that's sort of the norm now. We used to tell them that pornography was wrong, but that is increasingly accepted. We used to tell them that abortion was wrong, but that is now legalized. We used to tell them that violence was wrong, but Johnny thinks otherwise now.
When people say that students need to be taught right and wrong, what they really mean is that these students need to be taught Christian morality. But Christian morality is based on the Christian worldview. And the Christian worldview is based on the Bible being true. The Bible's truths concerning morality and salvation are dependent on Genesis being literal history. Uh oh! Hasn't science proved Genesis to be a myth? Doesn't evolution disprove Genesis? And if the history in Genesis is not true, then there is no basis for any Christian doctrine—no basis for morality—no basis for right and wrong! So much for trying to stop school violence!
But there is one more aspect to this that I think many have not thought about. Mr Gore in his comment on CNN talked about God and evolution at the same time. Sadly, this is true of much of the church. So many church leaders endorse either evolution or the teaching of billions of years (the latter undermines the Gospel and contradicts the Bible, and makes God out to be an ogre by allowing millions of years of death, disease, and violence before sin).
God hates compromise. Many in the church are puzzled at what is happening in America. Millions of people pray each day and millions attend church on Sunday. Why doesn't God appear to hear our prayers?
A number of times in Scripture when addressing the Jews, God chastened them for not obeying His Word. Even though they brought sacrifices, and celebrated special days, the Jews' prayers were rejected, and for all their offerings, they had not obeyed God's clear Word.
'To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil' (Isaiah 1:11-16).
Even though there are millions in America who attend church, bring a different kind of offering today (even sacrificially), and spend hours doing work for the church, so many of them have rejected the clear teaching of Scripture beginning with Genesis. They have compromised with the world's teachings. It seems like a minor thing to believe in billions of years of Earth history, for instance. But is it, when the majority in the church have in essence told God they don't believe His clear Word in the first book of the Bible—in such foundational, Gospel-related areas—and accept teaching which impugn His very character? I believe God is telling America through what is happening that He is not 'hearing' their prayers as He used to.
In other words, the solution to school violence is not just to return to teaching right and wrong based on the Bible—it's for God's people and the nation of America to return to the Bible and accept God's Word as written...without compromise. Perhaps then God will '... hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land' (2 Chronicles 7:14).