The school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has saddened our entire nation. How tragic that the lives of innocent elementary school children and dedicated teachers are cut short in a senseless act of violence.
And while the mental health of the shooter is in question, we must remember that there are many people who struggle with mental illness who don't become mass murderers. Thus, I believe we must look at our current culture.
We live in a culture without a moral compass and, unfortunately, we are seeing the results of this — the horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, at Clackamas Town Center Mall in Oregon, the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, Virginia Tech University and Columbine High School ... the over 50 million innocent human beings that have been systematically slaughtered in the wombs of their mothers, the uncensored violence on TV, movies and video games, rampant drug abuse, unbridled sexual promiscuity and the demise of the family. We have become a morally bankrupt culture.
How did we get here? By teaching that everything that exists came from nothing in a moment of explosion, and that we are here by random chance through the evolutionary process. There is no Creator, no purpose for our existence and, thus, no hope beyond this life. And without hope and purpose, we have nothing.
This hopelessness leads to anger, which results in the acting out of that anger in unspeakable ways. The natural result of natural selection is the devaluation of life and the rise of "self" centeredness.
Additionally, we are taught that truth is relative, based on one's own reality and experience, and all truths must be accepted as equally valid (the "new" tolerance).
"Self" has become the determining factor of right and wrong, the result being that human dignity and the sanctity of life have been flushed down the sewer of the "enlightened" idea that life is all about "me" — my pleasure, my happiness, my reality and desires, and who cares about anyone or anything else? The current buzzword of our culture sums it up precisely: "Whatever."
Bottom line, we are seeing the tragic results of a culture without God. Evolution and relativism have no room for the one true God. The ACLU, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and similar groups whose primary goal is to rid America of God are getting their way, and the results are terrifying.
We have expelled God from our schools, courthouses, public places and everywhere else we can, and He has left us to our own devices. And when we, fallen mankind, are left to our own devices, disaster is inevitable.
A culture without God is doomed to self-destruct. The events of the last few years have revealed this in the raw reality of these tragedies. Over the next few months, the "experts" will search hard for answers to our culture of death and immorality, but any solutions they come up with will just be Band-Aids on the symptoms. The root of the problem is in the heart, and only God can change the human heart.
The progressive "enlightened" activists have had their way long enough. And the church of Jesus Christ has been silent long enough. We, the church, have failed our society by not being the transforming influence that we have been called to be. How many innocent people will have to be sacrificed on the altar of Godlessness before we say, "That's enough"?
It's way past time to fall on our faces before our God, whom we've snubbed our pompous noses at, and repent of our sins and pray for revival. It's time for the church to stand in the gap and cry out to God on behalf of our nation.
The ball is in our court. God is waiting for us to come back to Him. It could be now or never. What will we do?
Pastor Frank Nolton leads New Hope Community Church in Lodi.