Columbine High School Tragedy - Why?

Richard F. Ames
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On April 20, two high school students with pipe-bombs and automatic weapons murdered twelve students and one teacher, and then killed themselves. Schools are supposed to be a safe-haven for education and enlightenment, so the bloody violence shocks us even more. As many facts came to light, one television reporter stated, "We now understand the how and the what, but we don't know the answer to WHY?" Yes, WHY did this tragedy occur? Both Newsweek Magazine and U.S. News & World Report magazine featured the probing three-letter word on their covers, "WHY?"

On April 20, two high school students with pipe-bombs and automatic weapons murdered twelve students and one teacher, and then killed themselves. Schools are supposed to be a safe-haven for education and enlightenment, so the bloody violence shocks us even more.

As many facts came to light, one television reporter stated, "We now understand the how and the what, but we don't know the answer to WHY?" Yes, WHY did this tragedy occur? Both Newsweek Magazine and U.S. News & World Report magazine featured the probing three-letter word on their covers, "WHY?"

What prompted these two murderers to violate the common standards of all civilized societies on earth? Was it the violent video games that some have called "murder simulators"? Had the electronic world made killing a reflex action? Was it the lack of parental involvement in their lives? Was it a tolerant world become so indifferent that it ignored the many warning signs of behavior and comments of the killers?

My friends let me tell you why! Certainly there are many contributing factors, but #1, contrary to the unreal world of video games, there is a real spirit of murder and evil in the world. Ever since Cain slew Abel about 6,000 years ago, the nature of hate and murder has characterized much of human history. The Bible reveals the existence of a REAL, UNSEEN EVIL SPIRIT called Satan the Devil. In the gospel of John, Jesus of Nazareth uncovered the the Devil's battle plan. Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." The life of a Christian is one of giving, serving, and preserving life. But that of Satan is to STEAL, KILL, AND DESTROY as Jesus said.

The founding fathers of our nation upheld the Ten Commandments, one of which is "YOU SHALL NOT MURDER!" But do we as a nation or a society teach the Ten Commandments? Even many Christian denominations teach AGAINST the Commandments of God. The Ten Commandments IF obeyed would guarantee peace in the community. One judge in Alabama was even sued for posting a plaque of the Ten Commandments on his courtroom wall! My friends, we are destroying ourselves when we reject the WAY of life that ensures peace in an orderly society.

It is the Bible, the Word of the Creator, which reveals the cause and effect laws that produce peace and harmony. But we as a nation are not even READING the Bible. Only thirty-three per cent of adults even attempt to read the Bible weekly! Are we blinding ourselves to true knowledge of how to live and what to teach to our children? Yes, we are! We increasingly don't even KNOW or even CARE what is right or wrong!

The famous 19th century American statesman, Daniel Webster, stated this about the Bible and our national future—listen to this: "If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."

How true and how prophetic those words are! That's what's going to happen to all Bible-rejecting peoples, particularly those who claim to be Christian nations. We applaud those teenagers who actively seek to live by the Bible and the commandments of God. But the REAL TRAGEDY is a society that rejects the TEN COMMANDMENTS and rejects the instructions of the Creator God who gave us all the blessings we enjoy in the first place! When our whole society increasingly IGNORES the instructions of the true God, when it continues to embrace the wild, amoral influences of the media, when it fails to seek the way of life as taught in the Bible, we, my friends will see more and more such tragedies. Perhaps then you will understand the real answer to the question, "WHY?"

I'm Richard Ames for the Living Church of God