Another Act of Madness: Gunman Told Christians “You’re Going to See God In Just About One Second”

Another Act of Madness: Gunman Told Christians “You’re Going to See God In Just About One Second” October 2, 2015

WF.001It was another act of attention seeking madness in this gun-crazed, violence-obsessed society of ours… and there’s no making sense of it. I resonate with the comments of President Obama yesterday – I feel numb; like a fog has come over my mind. But, I refuse to let this become normal.

The shooting hits home, because the gunman apparently targeted Christians.

CNN is reporting that the gunman entered a classroom saying, “I’ve been waiting to do this for years,” the gunman told the professor teaching the class before he shot him point blank. Anastasia Boylan, a victim who was shot and seriously injured reported the events to her father before going into surgery. The students fell to the ground. CNN says Boylan told her father that the gunman asked students to stand up, and asked them if they were Christians, “and they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second… And then he shot and killed them.”

The Daily Beast is reporting that the shooter’s online profile at a dating site “identifies his views as ‘conservative, republican’ and lists ‘organized religion’ as one of his ‘dislikes.'” The same article also says that he commented online about the Virginia shooter, Vester Flanagan, saying people “like him have nothing left to live for… On an interesting note, I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are… A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.”

In times like these, when I have no words to say, all I can do is turn to the Psalms of lament and let them help me find my voice. I will say what I always say & try not to let it become routine…

How long Oh Lord? You see us down here tearing people apart don’t you? How long until you step in and stop it?

I say what I will myself to say, and I can almost believe it when I do: refuse to believe that evil wins. I refuse to allow another violent mass shooting to breed bitterness in my heart, to make me hate. I refuse to lash out, and I will only love, love, love. I will believe that love is stronger than hate. I will continue to hope in the face of evil and it will be my ultimate act of defiance.

Don’t get used to it. Don’t become numb to it. Weep with those who weep, to be sure, but never let evil tempt you to hate. Refuse to let this be one more thing that causes us to lunge at each other’s throats. The most radical thing to do right now is continue to pray and act and think and live in hope. Hug your children. Pray for those whose lives have been ravaged by this madman.

Here’s what I’m reading this morning, from Psalm 44.

11You have butchered us like sheep
    and scattered us among the nations.
12 You sold your precious people for a pittance,
    making nothing on the sale.
13 You let our neighbors mock us.

    We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us the butt of their jokes;
    they shake their heads at us in scorn.
15 We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
    shame is written across our faces.
16 All we hear are the taunts of our mockers.
    All we see are our vengeful enemies.

17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you.
    We have not violated your covenant.
18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
    We have not strayed from your path.
19 Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home.
    You have covered us with darkness and death.
20 If we had forgotten the name of our God
    or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
21 God would surely have known it,
    for he knows the secrets of every heart.
22 But for your sake we are killed every day;
    we are being slaughtered like sheep.

23 Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Get up! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you look the other way?
    Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
25 We collapse in the dust,
    lying face down in the dirt.
26 Rise up! Help us!

    Ransom us because of your unfailing love.








Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Carosella

    How long? Interesting question. Why would you place this on God, either to stop or to be accountable? This is OUR doing. You, me, all our neighbors. We get the society we invest in. Where do we spend our time? How often do we nurture our vulnerable, weak, sick…lost? We can’t be bothered. Too much work. We’re too busy (Doing what? Chasing Mammon, and then, exhausted, drugging ourselves).

    God looks on and says, “Free will, guys. I gave you free will.”

    And She/He gave us a garden. That’s where we all live. In this magnificent garden.

    The thing about a garden is, you get what you cultivate.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      Victim blaming is never what hurting people need.

      • John Carosella

        Indeed. The question is, though – are we victims, or through our apathy, inconstance, and willful ignorance of what makes our government work (or not work), are we accomplices?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Those people just murdered and their families are victims. They are most likely even accepting of the theology in your original post, but that doesn’t make using their tragedy as a billboard for you to shame them right.

    • Guthrum

      Years ago I remember an interview with a concentration camp survivor. The question came up if he was mad at God or blamed God. He said no, that up until that time he had a blessed, happy life. Then he said “God did not build the concentration camps”.
      Thoughtful, and memorable response.
      It is also worth remembering that at that time, Germany was one of the most advanced countries in history. It had lots of laws, but had lost its values and moral bearings somewhere along the way. “I was just following orders”.

  • scott stone

    Thanks…I needed to hear this!

  • John Carosella

    Asmodevs, your comment is kind of random here. What does homosexuality have to do with this topic? What motivated you to comment here, with that comment, on this thread?

  • Giauz Ragnarock

    Your butthurt or headache? I myself didn’t think your head would make it that far up.

  • Guthrum

    I am not sure what the numbers are concerning gun ownership over the years. I remember that there seemed to be a lot more hunters when I was a child. Our high school even had a rifle team that practiced after school. There were no incidents or problems that I am aware of. There’s a lesson there somewhere.
    Everytime the government starts talking about new gun laws, it seems gun sales go up.
    Just what sort of gun laws are needed, specifically ? There are already gun laws. Are these not working ? Do they need to be modified ?
    Background checks – good, but would those have stopped some lf these mass shooters, such as Charleston, Oregon, Virginia Tech? Developing any sort of effective, nationwide background checks is easier said than done.
    Federal laws place restrictions on how much information doctors and psychiatrists can share. I cannot get even my own wife’s medical information.
    A lot of these people do not just walk into a gun shop and purchase their guns. There are a lot of illegal street sales. That needs to be stopped. Gangs need to be broken up and stopped. The drug laws probably contribute to a lot of violence because there is a ton of money to be made.
    Almost all of these mass shootings have occurred in suburbs, not in the urban areas. There is some kind of lesson there.
    Crime, on the whole, has been in decline.
    Parts of Detroit have seen a decrease in shootings and over all crime. Why ? Simple. There is a police chief that has been encouraging the citizens there to arm themselves legally.