Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
May 25, 1998
Last Updated :
November 20, 2011
More 1990's Incidents Regarding Hand Gun And School Violence, Should Educators Be Armed?, Conditioning People To Accept The Outlawing Of Private Ownership Of Guns, Supreme Court Upholds Second Amendment Right To Keep And Bear Arms, Dissatisfaction With Federal Government And Fringe Militia Groups, A House Divided Cannot Stand, A Man Of Peace Who Abhors All Violence, Guns Or The Lord's Divine Protection?, Violence Begets More Violence, American Society Full Of Violence And Fear, Greed And Selfishness or Love And Godly Reverence, Teach Children Decency And Respect For Their Peers, Time For America To Wake Up, Sow The Wind And Reap The Whirlwind, God Sometimes Uses Natural Disasters As His Instruments Of Divine Chastisement, The Patriarch Job's Afflictions And God's Firm Hand, Judgment Begins At The House Of God, Modern False Prophets, Southern Money-Making Bible Hucksters And Greedy Preachers, Donations Or Fees, Twofold More The Children Of Hell, Responsibilities As Christian Parents, An Invitation To Accept Salvation
Continuing our discussion from part two, believe it or not, only two days after this last incident, on April 28, 1998, CNN reported yet another case of teenage gun violence, in which two boys were killed, and another one was wounded, in Pomona, California, USA:
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"Two teen-agers were shot and killed and a third was wounded Tuesday afternoon while playing basketball at an elementary school in Pomona, California, police said. The shooting at Philadelphia Elementary School occurred about 5:20 p.m., said police Cpl. William Tucker. The names and exact ages of the victims were not immediately available, he said. No other injuries were reported. Pomona is about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles."
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The month of May, 1998 did not offer any respite from these crimes of gun violence committed by teenagers. Following are additional news clips from the Cable News Network. This first incident was reported on May twentieth:
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"A football player at a Fayetteville, Tennessee, high school was shot to death on campus Tuesday, allegedly by a teammate, school officials said. High school senior Nicholas Creason, 18, was pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds at about 2 p.m. The shooting took place in a school parking lot. Jacob Davis, another 18-year-old senior, was taken into custody following the shooting. He has been charged with first-degree murder and reckless endangerment, according to Fayetteville police."
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Only two days after the previous report, CNN informed the public of the following two incidents. In the first one, twenty-four students were victimized by a fifteen-year-old with a gun; resulting in two fatalities thus far:
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"A 15-year-old Oregon boy is facing murder charges after allegedly opening fire on his classmates with a semiautomatic rifle, killing one student and wounding 23 others. Two bodies believed to be those of his parents were later found at his home. Kipland P. Kinkel, a freshman at Thurston High School, was subdued at the scene by some of his classmates, who are being called "heroes" by police."
A day later, CNN reports:
"Softly answering a judge's questions and betraying no emotion, 15-year-old Kipland Kinkel made his first court appearance Friday afternoon, where he was charged with four counts of aggravated murder. Kinkel is accused of killing his parents, William and Faith Kinkel, at their home and then methodically emptying 51 rounds from a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun at classmates Thursday morning at Thurston High School, killing two students. Another 22 were injured."
The next day, CNN then added:
After he was arrested in a school shooting rampage that left two classmates dead, Kip Kinkel lunged at an officer with a knife that he smuggled into the police station, authorities said Saturday. Kinkel, who is also charged in the shooting deaths of his parents, had a hunting knife taped to his leg that escaped notice when he was arrested following Thursday morning's cafeteria shootings at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon.
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Thank the Lord that, according to the CNN news report, more senseless killing by violent teenagers was averted when local authorities discovered an ambush plan before it was actually executed:
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"Police in St. Charles, Missouri have uncovered a plot by three youths to shoot and kill classmates during a false fire alarm on the last day of school. The plot was discovered after police responded to a fight at Becky Davis Elementary in rural St. Charles County, said Lt. Dave Todd. The three sixth-grade boys modeled their plan on the recent ambush in Jonesboro, Arkansas, that left five dead. Todd said it was unclear what charges would be filed."
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Tragically, this is still not the end of the gun madness. Exactly how has the legal system responded to these violent acts committed primarily by minors? Consider the following story which originates in the state of Georgia, U.S.A. If school children possessing guns has you worried, consider what might happen if this legislator has his way. If such a law were actually enacted, public schools could literally be turned into warfare zones as armed teachers try to defend their non-violent students from those students who do carry guns:
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"Teachers' groups are blasting a proposal from a Georgia legislator who wants educators to carry weapons as a way to deter school violence. State Rep. Mitchell Kaye, a Republican from the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, said Wednesday -- a day before the school shooting in Oregon -- that he planned to introduce legislation next year authorizing teachers to be armed. However, on Thursday, he said his bill might not be necessary, because Georgia law may already allow teachers to carry weapons."
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At the time that CNN was reporting such a consistent string of incidents involving gun violence in the American public school system, it seemed highly suspicious to me. While I didn't doubt that any of these sad gun-related tragedies had really occurred; nevertheless, it made me pause to consider if perhaps there might possibly be some ulterior motive behind the frequency with which these incidents were being reported. I wondered if it was possible that the American public was being slowly conditioned to accept the day when the private possession of guns would be totally outlawed, even though the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution authorizes them to keep and bear arms for the sake of self protection.
As you may know, in recent years -- 2008 and 2010 -- the US Supreme Court ruled in two cases that the Second Amendment protects a person's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditional lawful purposes, such as self-defense within one's own home.
But at that time thirteen years ago, I wasn't convinced that it was purely coincidental that all of these tragic incidents involving teenage gun violence were being reported by the news media in such rapid succession, similar to an emotional and psychological blitzkrieg. I reasoned that while we could attribute this spike in gun violence news simply to the usual sensationalism and desire for increased readership and profit that news agencies are known for, nevertheless, there still seemed to be another objective behind it all.
Thus, I arrived at the conclusion that there were possibly certain parties which were purposely manipulating public opinion, so that when gun legislation was finally passed in the Congress, which would make it illegal for most American citizens to own handguns, the general public would gladly go along with it, just to stop all of the terrible gun violence that was occurring in the public school system and elsewhere as well.
Well, as I said, thirteen years have passed since I wrote the original version of this series, and American citizens still possess their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, with the support of the U.S. Supreme Court. Regarding exactly what the future may hold, considering the increasing level of dissatisfaction with the Federal Government, as well as the current mentality of some fringe militia groups which discuss overthrowing the U.S. Government, I honestly do not know. But it is my opinion that the very last thing that we need to see is Americans fighting against and killing other Americans, as in times past, because as Jesus said, a house divided cannot stand:
"But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth."
Luke 11:17, KJV
Before moving on in our discussion, let me just mention here that while I have been discussing the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms, as I explain in some of my political articles, personally, I do not like, and have never liked, guns in the least. They make me very nervous, and I have never owned one in my entire life. Furthermore, I don't intend to ever own a gun either. I have always been a man of peace who abhors violence of every kind. I simply trust the Lord to honor my resolve, and to continue to protect my family and I from violence and evil, as He has always done. As we are told in the Book of Psalms:
"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
Psalms 34:7, KJV
"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."
Psalms 20:7, KJV
If it comes down to guns or Divine Protection, I will trust in the Lord any day; because as Jesus Himself taught in His doctrine, violence simply begets more violence, as we see by this verse:
"Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
Matthew 26:52, KJV
Returning our attention to the issue of troubled teenagers and gun violence in the public school system, as I stated earlier, in my view, the blame still falls primarily on the parents who haven't properly raised their children in the fear of the Lord, and the gun owners who are irresponsible with their weapons. How many serious -- and sometimes fatal -- gun accidents have occurred which involve young children, simply because an irresponsible adult left a firearm in an inappropriate place?
Of course, this by no means excuses the gun violence which has plagued the American school system. It seems that it is at least due in part to the fact that we live in a society that is so full of violence, fear and prejudice, that a lot of people feel the need to buy such firearms for their own protection. Maybe if more people were motivated by Christian love and Godly fear, instead of by selfishness and greed -- which are the root causes of many of today's violent crimes -- all these guns would not even be necessary. Furthermore, perhaps if more parents taught their children to treat their peers at school with decency and respect, and to not belittle or ridicule them just because they are different in some way, emotionally-distraught kids would not be motivated to resort to taking violent revenge on their classmates.
If there is one thing of which I am certain, it is that it is high time for America to wake up. The internal violence which occurs on a daily basis from shore to shore, and the violence which the American Government and US military mete out to other nations both need to stop. If not, America may someday soon reap what she has sown. As Jesus said, violence reaps more violence, and as the old proverb says, "They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind". This proverb is in fact derived from the following verse that is found in the Book of the Prophet Hosea:
"For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up."
Hosea 8:7, KJV
I have often wondered if perhaps it is already too late for the United States. Maybe her moral stench and spiritual decay have already reached Heaven, and God has already determined to let His righteous Judgments fall. So is it possible that like ancient Israel, America has already passed the point of no return? As I explain in other articles, there came a time when the Lord simply ran out of patience with the rebellious children of Israel. They had gone so far astray, that at one point He finally told them the following:
". . . Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation."
Judges 10:11b-14, KJV
Considering some of the recent events which have occurred, it seems that America has already begun to experience the Lord's Judgments. We need to understand that it doesn't necessarily require an invasion by a foreign enemy in order to punish a country as often occurred in the days of ancient Israel. The Lord has other means of Divine Chastisement which can be just as effective in dealing with His wayward children.
In addition to an alarming rise in teenage suicides, high school gun violence, drug-related inner city violence and crime, citizens suddenly going berserk in post offices and restaurants, domestic violence, sexual abuse of children, etc., in recent years there has been a noticeable upsurge in natural disasters such as powerful hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms, mudslides, wide-area floods, droughts, etc., which have wreaked havoc on different population centers of the United States. Some places have even experienced strong earthquakes where they have rarely or never been felt before.
Consider a catastrophe which occurred at the time that I wrote the original version of this series in 1998, which left at least forty-three people dead. Then consider the recent string of deadly tornadoes in the U.S. Southeast, which demonstrates that these types of natural catastrophes continue to this very day, years later. What does it all mean? Is God trying to get our attention? Is He running out of patience with us? The following information is extracted from several CNN news clips:
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"The death toll has risen to at least 19 in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia after a line of fierce storms rolled across parts of the Southeast Wednesday night and Thursday morning, carrying violent winds and baseball-sized hail. An apparent tornado caused significant damage in several rural Alabama communities west of Birmingham where most of the deaths occurred, according to emergency management officials. Near Rock Creek, close to Birmingham, crews flashed search lights into the rubble of homes, seeking survivors."
"Vice President Al Gore on Friday will tour the storm-ravaged Southeast, where victims are trying to rebuild their lives in the wake of devastating tornadoes and thunderstorms that swept through the region late Wednesday and early Thursday. The storms killed at least 43 people in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Nearly 200 people were injured and 2,000 homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged. The worst damage occurred just west of Birmingham, Alabama, where an F-5 twister killed at least 30 people."
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While incidents such as the above are indeed tragic, and while we should feel sorry and pray for the victims of these catastrophes, and offer physical and/or spiritual relief if we have the means to do so, as Christians, we also need to learn to look deeper in order to understand why these things happen. I discuss this topic more at length in such articles as "Are Personal Tragedies Due To Sin?", as well as in the series "Hurricane Katrina And Other Natural Disasters".
As I explain in those articles, contrary to carnal, worldly men who attribute such natural catastrophes to geographical location, tectonic plate movement, meteorological conditions such as "El Nino", etc., we must learn to see the Hand of God in everything. If we truly believe that God is all-powerful, then we must also recognize that He could choose to prevent these things from occurring if He so desired. If He doesn't prevent them from happening, then we must ask ourselves why this is.
When God allowed Satan to afflict Job, the Patriarch knew right away that his trials and afflictions were ordained of and permitted by God for a specific reason. While his pride and self-righteous attitude hindered him at first, dear Job eventually learned the lessons that the Lord was trying to teach him.
Sadly, as I explained earlier in this series, it seems that some people's consciences have become so hardened, and so numb to hearing the Voice of God, that they readily welcome the lies, excuses and scientific reasoning of their fellow companions in sin. I can't help but wonder if it might be significant that some of these events associated with teenage violence and severe storms, are occurring in the southeastern area of the United States.
For my readers who live outside of the United States, allow me to inform you that this area of the USA is often referred to as the "Bible Belt", due to the strong influence of the Southern Baptists and other Christian denominations. These people are very proud of their heritage, and some of them very self-righteously so. In thinking of these disasters, I am reminded of the following verse from the writings of the Apostle Peter:
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
1 Peter 4:17, KJV
While the southern USA is noted for its staunch conservative attitudes, its plethora of Gospel singers, its wild fire and brimstone preachers, etc., is it possible that they are in fact guilty of making a lot of noise while their hearts have drifted far from the Lord? Consider the following verses:
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
1 Corinthians 13:1, KJV
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."
Isaiah 29:13-14, KJV
Allow me to share with you a real-life example which will clearly demonstrate what I mean.
About ten days before I wrote the original version of this series in 1998, I was given a ride by a fellow who hails from the American state of Kentucky. Being a former lumberjack, he began to tell me how he had suffered a serious back injury which had forced him to change occupations. As it turns out, this accident was due primarily to his own pride and youthful foolishness. One of the things which really shocked me about this man, is that while he claimed to be a Christian, stating in fact that his father is a Southern minister, as he told me his tale of woe, he cussed just about every other sentence. I am not exaggerating in the least. What is worse, he apparently saw absolutely nothing wrong with his colorful language. I am reminded of what the Lord said in the Gospel of Matthew:
"Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."
Matthew 15:17-20, KJV
After relating his tale, this Southern preacher's son then had the gall to tell me that he was working on a book which would explain the truths of the Bible like they have never been explained or understood before. This is precisely the proud, misguided mentality which I expose in such articles as "Elijah: Where Are the True Prophets of God?". These men who claim to be modern prophets of God who are sharing the truth of the Scriptures for the very first time are a dime a dozen on the Internet. I have seen enough of their websites to know. Furthermore, over the years, some of them have also emailed me their work as well, or else their ads to entice me to purchase their books. I never have, and I never will.
When this Southern preacher's son learned that I do not sell my work, rather, that I write and distribute my articles for absolutely free, he then began to mildly berate me, and tell me that I was failing God. What? God expects me to earn lots of money from my work?! You can imagine what came next. He then prescribed his method for making money from my work on the Internet. It was the typical formula: Offer my readers the first few pages for free in order to entice them, and to attract their interest, and then require a "donation" if they want to read the rest of what I have to say.
As I have mentioned before, when Christian writers require a so-called "donation" before we will allow our readers to read our work in its entirety, then it really isn't a donation; it is in fact a fee. We are actually selling our work, plain and simple, just like other worldly merchants. I for one refuse to do that.
At any rate, even though I humbly shared with this Southern preacher's son several times Jesus' own words when He said "Freely ye have received, freely give", he became even more forceful in expressing his opinion, to the point of being quite obnoxious and unbearable. Thank the Lord that I had a pending appointment, and I was able to quickly excuse myself from his presence. This man clearly represents everything I wrote against in "Money-Making Bible Hucksters And Mammon!". I can't help but wonder if his materialistic attitude is one reason why the Lord has begun dealing with Christians in the southern United States.
The fact that this man -- the son of a Southern preacher -- refused to freely share the Gospel of Christ, brings us back to the central theme of our children. What is happening with and to them is but one of many symptoms of a major spiritual problem within the United States of America. She is reaping what she has sown by leading her children down the path of darkness, instead of sharing with them the glorious Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus accused the ancient Jewish spiritual leadership of withholding the truth from the common people, because many parents of America have failed to teach their children the ways of the Lord, those kids are now becoming twofold more the children of hell than the parents themselves. As Jesus said to the Scribes and the Pharisees of old:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."
Matthew 23:15, KJV
Thankfully, there are still some God-fearing parents left in America who have faithfully planted the Seed of Faith in the hearts and minds of their children. I don't know exactly how many still remain, being as I have not lived there in many years, but it seems that they still greatly outnumber the atheists by a sizable percentage. Rather than bringing grief and heartache to their parents, these wonderful children are growing up in the fear, nurture and admonition of the Lord. I am reminded of the following verses:
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Ephesians 6:4, KJV
"And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."
Job 28:28, KJV
Clearly then, so much rests on us parents. While our children are still young and malleable, we must take every opportunity to fill their minds and hearts with the Light and Truth of God's Word, and to teach them the ways of peace, and not the ways of confrontation, violence and death. We must teach them that patient diplomacy is better than brute force, and that love, patience and kindness are stronger than prejudice and hate. We must help them to trust us as their parents, and we must make it easy for them to confide in us when something is troubling them, before it grows into an emotional monster which they cannot control. Of course, this all begins with knowing the Lord ourselves, knowing His Word, and having a strong relationship with Him.
If as a parent you have not yet accepted the Lord, then I encourage you to do so now. Just humbly admit to Him that you realize that you have made a lot of mistakes in your life. Tell Him that you are sorry, and that you are now ready to accept His help. Ask Him to forgive you for your rebellion and your unbelief, and then invite the Spirit of the Lord to come to dwell in your heart and in your life. He eagerly waits for you to cry out to Him. He will not force Himself upon anyone. However, once you do seek His face, He tells us:
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
John 6:37, KJV
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
John 10:28, KJV
Once you have accepted Jesus Christ into your life, it is then your responsibility to teach your children the ways of the Lord as well. Please don't wait another day. Begin by planting the Seed of Faith in their young lives today. As you begin to read and share His wonderful Word together, your faith will grow and blossom. Believe me; someday, you will look back and realize that you made the right choice. With these words, I bring another series to a close. I pray that it has been a blessing in your life.