As I tuned in periodically to inquire about the motive behind the December 14th school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, I heard a common denominator on cable news networks. Whether it was a pastor, politician, priest or psychologist, each so called expert or guest panelist mentioned the presence of evil as the cause or reason. During his State of the Union Address on January 29th, 2002, President George W. Bush used the expression “axis of evil” to describe the forces and powers that contribute to the existence of terrorism in our world. The Bible breaks down this axis of evil into 3 distinct areas which is vital to fully understand how a 20 year old could commit such a heinous crime.
According to Dr. Ed Murphy, an associate professor of Bible and Missions at San Jose Christian College in California, there are 2 kinds of evil that exist on earth: natural and moral. Natural evil results from natural elements of the universe like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Moral evil occurs when man or woman exercise their freewill, resulting in crime, drunk driving deaths, road rage and behaviors mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21. However, evil exists on 3 levels: within our own sinful nature, the temptations and darkness of the world and in the spiritual realm through demons and evil spirits.
The prophet Jeremiah first spoke about the first level of evil in the Old Testament within Jeremiah 17:9. Since the origin of sin in the garden, Genesis 3, hearts have been poisoned due to the curse, as everyone born since has been born into a sin nature. Thus, Adam Lanza’s heart was vulnerable to deceit. In fact, Jesus equates murder with hatred in Matthew 5:21-22, making it conceivable for Adam to fall prey to jealousy and hatred like Cain in Genesis 4.
The second level of evil consists of all the distractions which pull you away from God. While visiting Athens, Greece, the apostle Paul was greatly distressed by the idols which blinded people from knowing the one true God in Acts17:16-23. Unfortunately, the era of Happy Days is long gone as most Americans have turned away from following God with their whole heart. Instead of the church influencing the culture, this post-modern society is weakening many believers, resulting in a luke warm Christianity. It’s likely, no one demonstrated the love of Christ to Adam while he was alive which led him to fall in love with the ways of the world, 1 John 2:15-17.
Finally, the parable of the Sower suggests that the Devil or demons can snatch away the seed of the gospel sown into an individual’s heart, Matthew 13:18-19. The apostle Paul believes that the god of this age, Satan, Ephesians 2:2, has blinded the minds of unbelievers, preventing know from knowing God, 2 Corinthians 4:4. Furthermore, Ephesians 4:27 opens up the possibility of allowing the devil to have a foothold in your life. If this is true, then Adam could have been ensnared into a real life James 1:13-15 situation. Once these evil thoughts entered his mind, he reached a point of no return.
I don’t claim to know what happened. Only God knows the answers to this tragic event. However, I just wanted to illuminate a possibility, using scripture as a road map to show others how the sinful nature influences the heart, which yearns for the world and can come under the influence or possession of unseen forces, leading someone to do the illogical described in Romans 7:14-20. May this event serve as a spiritual wake-up call, like 9/11/01 did for many, to lead people back on the straight and narrow path, Matthew 7:13-14. Continue to pray for the Newtown community as they wrestle with God, trying to come to grips with what just happened. In this time of darkness, remember the promise of Romans 8:38-39.
by Jay Mankus
A student who is continuing to learn about the spiritual realm.