News: A fallen world grapples with evil

Published by: Dan Calabrese on Saturday December 15th, 2012

Dan Calabrese

By DAN CALABRESE - God, love and spiritual victory in the wake of Newtown.

Newtown is not the first unspeakable act of horror that has saddened the nation and caused us to engage in all kinds of self-examination. Columbine, Virginia Tech and even 9/11 itself were only a few of history's recent heart-wrenching atrocities. But Newtown seems worse by several degrees because so many of the victims were young children - and indeed it is for that very reason.

The usual political debates didn't take long to commence - the gun-control talk being the most predictable, the discussion of mental health care and the overuse of psychiatric drugs also coming into prominence. Some of these discussions are more worthy than others, but none really get to the heart of the matter.

Here is something many do not want to hear, but it is the truth: Media types and certain politicians will ask the predictable question, "What must we do to make sure this never happens again?" The answer is: Nothing. There is nothing that can be done because it is impossible to make sure this never happens again. This will happen again.

It will happen again because evil is real, and evil is the result of the decision made by people to disregard God. Responsibility for the shooting lies with the shooter alone, but since people are asking how we as a society must respond to such an incident, here is the answer: Devotion to God brings love, and love brings spiritual power, which brings victory over evil.

How this one man's soul became so corrupted as to bring about an act of evil this egregious, perhaps we will never be able to trace with precision. But in a broader sense, a culture that refuses to devote itself to God leaves itself open to the kind of anger, frustration and fear that creates the atmosphere in which unspeakable evil can flourish. I am not proposing a political or legislative solution here. None can achieve what's necessary. The problem is far more cultural than it is political. A culture that mocks faith and celebrates libertine sensibilities over obedience to the Word of God helps to create the environment in which Newtown can happen.

Why? Because rejection of God lessens the role that God's love plays in bringing peace and deliverance to a nation.

People of faith must also understand: Our imperative is to love far more than it is to condemn. I have never seen anyone argued into loving God, or argued out of living an immoral lifestyle. But I have seen many people brought to the arms of God because someone loved them, and that love brought the spiritual power that won a victory in their lives.

There is much that must be done to comfort the people of Newtown, but when we ask how we must change as a society as a result of this, we must recognize: Newtown did not happen because we have failed to enact the right set of rules. It did not happen because of the way we have allocated public money. It happened because evil is real, and no matter how many laws you pass, evil will find a way to perpetrate unspeakable horror in a society that fails to make the love of God its most precious commodity.

I am not suggesting there is some tipping point, some level of critical mass, some target percentage of the population that - by turning to God - can end all such incidents. Darkness fights back. The people of the light need to understand that. I am also not suggesting some massive new national initiative designed to bring people to God. There are already plenty of ministries that offer God's Word. The change I'm suggesting is that people listen and open their hearts.

There is a weapon we can deploy against such evil. That weapon is love, which allows us to live in the grace of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no guarantee that love will win every battle, or that we will never see the likes of Newtown again. But we know that God's love is eternal, and that the darkness that comes against it is not. This is the only answer for those engaged in soul-searching over yesterday's evil.

"The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace." - Romans 8:6