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God's Wrath or Random Evil? Making Sense of School Shootings

The devastating tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday was horrific. Now, a week later, the shock is starting to subside, and the grief is fully present — especially for the families mourning the loss of their loved ones. 

Dark and evil events like this often cause us to ask questions like “Why did God allow this to happen?” or “Why didn’t God stop this evil?” or even “Has God left America?”

Some leaders believe this event points us to a larger theological perspective — one that says we have systematically escorted God out of our schools and out of our culture, and it’s not his fault but ours. This perspective might even go so far as to say the recent events were part of God’s wrath against our nation.

Other leaders believe that God can’t be chased out of town so easily and he is fully present with us in this time of pain and loss. This view represents a group of church leaders who believe these wicked shootings — and others like it — are the result of living in a broken and evil world, but they do not represent God’s wrath or punishment on our nation. 

Church leaders across the nation will continue to counsel, pray and guide God’s people through unspeakable tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook, and the way we do this is critically important. The way we talk about God has massive implications, both to our people and to a broken world. 

We want to ask you, our ChurchLeaders readers, how you make sense of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook? How are you comforting and guiding your people through events like this?

Do you see these events as God’s punishment or random evil from a broken world? 

We encourage you to watch these two videos and engage in the discussion:

Where Was God in CT?

Are Huckabee and Dobson Wrong?

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Brian is the General Editor of ChurchLeaders.com. He works with creative and innovative people to discover the best resources, trends and practices to equip the church to leader better every day. He lives in Ohio with his wife, Jenna, and four boys..