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Mass Shootings: The Roots pt. 2

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In my previous article, I covered the root cause of mass shootings, which is sin.

“Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God.” – John Piper

“Sin is not simply making bad choices or mistakes. Sin is having the desire in our hearts to do the will of the enemy of God.” – R.C. Sproul

Original sin, therefore, appears to be a hereditary, depravity and corruption of our nature, diffused through all the parts of the soul, rendering us obnoxious to the divine wrath and producing in us those works which the scripture calls ‘works of.” – John Calvin

In this article, I plan on going more in depth regarding what happens to a person who is ruled by sin, and what a person ruled by sin has the capability of doing.

I encourage you to read Genesis 4 and meditate on God’s truth after you’re finished with reading this article.

Cain’s evil impulse

The story of Cain in Abel in Genesis 4 is a story of evil impulses, bloody hands, and human rebellion.  Cain is an example of someone who was a slave to sin and who was ruled by sin.

In this story, Cain is characterized by a lack of self-control while giving into evil impulses.  He was full of jealousy, anger, and deceit.  Cain harbored a sinful grudge and that sinful grudge was one of the main reasons why Cain killed Abel.  After Cain killed Abel, God confronted Cain and Cain lied to God.  Cain sinned against God, and consequences followed.

Sin was the root cause of all of Cain’s actions.

Cain killed Abel because of sin.

Cain harbored a grudge because of sin.

Cain disobeyed God because of sin.

It doesn’t matter if Cain used his hands to kill Abel or whether he used a rock to kill Abel.

The purpose of Genesis 4 is to demonstrate the sinfulness of man and the consequences that unfold when man is ruled by sin.

All have sinned

God makes it clear that all humans are sinful.

“As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’” – Romans 3:10-12 (ESV)

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 (ESV)

Depravity

The depravity of sin has infected us all from birth and the effects of sin continue to spread.

Sin is like cancer.  It will eat us all alive until we are dead.

The same sin that has infected Cain’s heart from birth is the same sin that has infected you, me, and every mass shooter that has ever lived.

How do we fix this problem?

What is the solution?

How do we prevent these mass shootings from happening?

Part 3 will reveal the mass shooter solution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Opinion

I’m a Feminist and I Have a Problem with the #MeToo Movement

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I know what you’re thinking. How can a feminist not unconditionally support #MeToo, arguably one of the most significant manifestations of the late 18th, early 19th-century feminist movement? Before you jump to numerous conclusions about how privileged I am or what direction my moral compass is pointing in, consider that there are many women, even victims of rape, who have qualms about #MeToo. And with good reason.

The first time I heard about the #MeToo movement was when actress Alyssa Milano came out with allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. My timeline exploded with one key phrase common to all posts: “#MeToo…” CBS News reported that the hashtag was tweeted nearly one million times in only 48 hours. About 4.7 million Facebook users globally posted over 12 million posts, comments, and reactions in less than 24 hours. At first glance, I thought, “Brilliant! Women are banding together to call out the toxic and perverted degenerates who have hurt them.” This was inspiring.

In what seemed like a matter of just minutes, more and more women began speaking out. Behind every woman who publicly made an accusation of sexual assault, an accusation that should never be taken lightly, there was an accused man. A filmmaker here. A Congressman there. Producers, coaches, actors, athletes, network analysts, chefs, political figures, businessmen, conductors, journalists, average Joes, you name it. All of these men…sexual predators? While it’s certainly true that there are disgusting and abhorrent men like Harvey Weinstein who have assaulted multiple women, there must be many more than just a small handful of men accused of sexual assault by the millions of women who came out as victims. Behind every single #MeToo post in the world, there is supposedly a morally corrupt, perverted, and sick sexual predator who caused immense pain and trauma.

It occurred to me that, if this is true, previous generations must have done something fundamentally wrong in raising the men of today. All of these men have somehow been conditioned to sexually assault as a product of upbringing, culture, and/or education. #MeToo’s contention is that close to 18 million women have been sexually assaulted since 1998. This then must mean that slightly fewer, considering some men assault multiple women, than nearly 18 million men are criminals. This just doesn’t make sense! That number is too high to be plausible. When I think about the 1 in 5 statistic that I heard so often before starting college three years ago, I also think about all the men I’ve encountered on Duke’s campus. How many of them are sexual predators? I believe that very, very few actually are. #MeToo, and the modern-day feminist movement in general, has turned into a man-hating frenzy, instilling fear in men lest they exhibit any behavior towards a woman that can potentially be called “sexual assault.”

Image result for metoo movement

 

I recently read a New York Times article reporting that Mia Merrill, a feminist and former art history student, began an online petition to take down a 1938 painting by the artist Balthus from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art because it depicted a young girl in a “sexually suggestive pose,” which apparently constituted sexual assault. The petition had thousands of signatures. This ridiculous story reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend over dinner during winter break last year. We were talking about the image of modern-day feminism and she recounted her experience of what she directly called “sexual assault,” which went something like this:

“Last week, I was assaulted. I was sitting in a cafe and a man I had never seen before came up to me and told me I had really beautiful eyes. He continued to stare at me for about a minute before he left, and I felt very uncomfortable.”

What these two stories have in common is that they are heavily misleading. The Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “sexual activities that occur without the explicit consent of the recipient, such as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling and attempted rape.” To say that experiences like that of Ms. Merill or my friend constitute sexual assault and have just as much gravitas as any other experience of sexual assault is offensive to real victims. The #MeToo movement’s conflation of someone being catcalled on the street and Annabella Sciorra being violently raped by Harvey Weinstein is highly problematic. In failing to make an essential distinction between nuanced sexual experiences, the movement is undermining itself by giving so much attention to radicals who claim that sexual assault can mean anything from a nonconsensual touch on the arm (or bad sex) to forced penetration.

While it may seem as if such outrageous stories are rare, they’re actually more prevalent than we think. Their ubiquity makes sense. Why? Because it is highly, highly improbable that so many men, all the men who #MeToo blames, are sick enough to actually commit an atrocity like sexual assault. It makes no sense for all of these men to bear even the slightest resemblance to a monster like Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics physician and child molester who sexually abused more than 150 women and was recently sentenced to 40-175 years. My contention is that women are prescribing a very loose definition to sexual assault and this “anything goes” mentality is hurting legitimate victims. Just like the story about the boy who cried wolf, there are only so many times women can cry assault before people stop listening. They not only stop listening, but they also begin to question the legitimacy of certain complaints that are, in fact, very valid.

As a traditional feminist, I believe women should be strong. They should certainly fight for their rights, but not demand special privileges to compensate for the years of oppression women endured when they didn’t have the right to vote or when marital rape was legal. As a feminist, I want feminism to be taken seriously. But assigning victimhood to an entire gender is not feminism; it’s a bad idea. It’s a reason to not be taken seriously. Calling millions of men sexual predators and condemning masculinity as a propeller of sexual assault is not feminism; it’s just making women look weak. Marching around calling people names and wearing pussy hats is not feminism; it’s failing to realize that we are undermining the struggles of actual victims.

 

No one is arguing that sexual assault shouldn’t be talked about. It has been and to this day remains an extremely important issue, objectively. But let’s not forget how blessed we are to be women living in America. We live in a country where today, everyone is equal before the law. Our ancestors have fought tirelessly so that women can have access to countless opportunities and enjoy the same privileges as men. Our ancestors have fought courageously so that a young girl growing up in society today knows that she can do anything she sets her mind to. Women comprise 60% of students on college campuses nationwide and win more than 80% of custody battles. Meanwhile, in Africa, Asia, and South America, over 30 million girls will never have the opportunity to attend even a single day of school. It is objectively true that American women as a collective are of the most privileged in the world.

The only way the #MeToo movement can become a better movement is if feminists are more-open minded to criticism. Yes, the stories are personal and incredibly important, but that’s exactly why we should be striving to create a movement that serves those stories justice and doesn’t blow everything out of proportion. We need to take off our rose-colored glasses and recognize that #MeToo is not flawless just because it deals with an important cause. It needs to be better. Much better.

Does that mean trying to work with our President, despite disagreeing with him, instead of constantly labeling him as a misogynist and refusing to even consider anything he says or does? Does that mean listening to conservative women and realizing that they, too, believe it or not, have very important things to say? Does that mean taking a step back from being so self-absorbed in our “daily struggles as women in the United States” and paying more attention to women in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe, recognizing that our privilege puts us in a position to make their lives better? Does that mean hesitating before making an incredibly strong accusation like sexual assault? Does that mean being loud, strong, and resolute, but also open-minded, grounded, and rational? I think yes.

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Opinion

Mass Shootings: The Roots pt. 3

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If you haven’t read my previous articles on mass shootings, please read them here:

Part 1

Part 2

Review

In part 1, I briefly touched the question as to why these mass shootings happen.  In part 2, I went deeper into the sin issue, which is the root of the mass shootings.  I provided a small amount of Biblical evidence regarding the sin issue.  I discussed the importance of the story regarding Cain killing Abel, and why Cain killed Abel.  I detailed all of the sin Cain dealt with and mentioned the fact that the same sin that Cain dealt with is the same sin WE deal with as humans.

You and I are not exempt from this sin problem.

we are all fallen creatures standing before a Holy God who demands righteousness and obedience.  The sin that infected Cain has infected us all, and we need help.  The sin issue is the root cause of all mass shootings, and every mass shooter that has ever lived is sinful (like you and I), and they will have to stand before God one day just like you and me.

This is the final part of this mini series.  The reason why I wanted to write some opinion articles on mass shootings is because  society as a whole is missing the mark on why these mass shootings happen.

Society is scratching at surface level symptoms, and I wanted to get to the root of the problem.

Welcome to part 3.

We’re all sinful

The Apostle Paul makes it clear in Romans 3 that we are all sinful.  He says there is no one that is good.  Paul says that we have all “fallen short” of God’s glory.  This is you, this is me, and this is every mass shooter that has ever lived.  We are totally and utterly depraved.  Apart from God, Ephesians 2 says that we are “dead in sin”.

So now what?

The solution

Jesus Christ is the solution.  Jesus Christ is the Gospel.  The Gospel means good news.  He is the answer to every problem we see around us, including mass shootings.  The truth is, we all need Jesus just as much as mass shooters need Jesus.  We need God to save us from ourselves, because when we are left to ourselves, we will continue to choose ourselves over Jesus.

The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (ESV)

Jesus calls us to repent and believe in Him.

Repent simply means to change our mind about who we are (sinful), and who God is (Holy).

Repentance leads to the total surrendering of yourself to God.

Belief simply means to trust fully in who God and what He says in His Word, the Bible.

My hope

So there it is, the solution.  It might seem simple, but we like to make it super complex.  My hope is that Jesus will transform destroyed homes and broken hearts.  My hope is that Jesus will convict sinners and will give fathers the courage to lead their homes in grace and truth.  My hope is that Jesus will repair the sinner’s heart and transform that heart into a heart that desires to obey God.  My hope is that the people in America will stop looking for faulty solutions to the mass shooting problem and will look to Jesus for guidance.

I’m not here to speak about comforting lies, I’m here to give you uncomfortable truths that lead to a life of fullness with Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the only solution to mass shootings.

Nothing less, nothing more.

We all just need Jesus.

Soli Deo gloria**

 

 

 

**If you’re interested in the solution, feel free to watch this video

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Opinion

Mass Shootings: The Roots pt. 1

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What are the causes of mass shootings? What are the solutions to prevent these horrific crimes?  What steps do we need to take as a society in order to prevent them? How can someone commit such a horrible crime?

These are some of the basic questions I believe everyone asks whenever these shootings occur, but one question always remains stuck in my head when these tragedies strike the heart of America.

Why do mass shootings happen?

Worldview

All people everywhere will answer the question in different ways depending on what your worldview is.

Your worldview is the way in which you view the world and everything in it. Your worldview answers basic questions such as this:

1. Why am I here?

2. What is my purpose?

3. What is wrong with the world?

4. How can what is wrong be made right?

When it comes to mass shootings, your worldview has the potential to answer the question as to why these tragedies occur, and why murderers commit these atrocities. Your worldview has the potential to objectively call every person who commits these murderous acts evil. This is why your worldview is important, because without a correct worldview, you won’t be able to answer these questions.

Now that I’ve gone over a basic overview as to why your worldview is important, I’m going to go back to the original question and answer that original question through my personal worldview.

Sin

Why do mass shootings happen? Sin. Sin exists, and sin is everywhere. Sin is the reason why we live in such a fallen and broken world. Sin is the reason why so many kids go to school without hope and go home to destroyed homes. Sin is the reason why kids are finding their identity in everything that the world is offering rather than finding their identity in things that could satisfy their hungry soul. Sin is the reason why rampant leftism has spread everywhere, especially within the education system in America. Sin is the reason why parents think they know their kids, but will turn on the news to find that their child was the next school shooter.

Here are a few Bible verses that speak about the sinfulness of man and the destructive nature of sin:

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. – Genesis 6:5 (ESV)

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. – Psalm 51:5 (ESV)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)

 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. – Mark 7:21-22 (ESV)

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. – John 3:19-20 (ESV)

Surface Level Symptoms

I’m not here to argue about what you might or might not believe, rather I’m here to simply provide you with the truth.  Without the truth, you cannot come up with a rational explanation as to why mass shootings happen.

You say mental health?  I say the sinfulness of man.

You say broken homes?  I say the depravity of mankind.

Broken homes and mental health issues are all surface level symptoms of the root problems mankind deals with on a daily basis, which is the sinful nature he was born with.

Why do these mass shootings keep happening?  Sin.

How do we prevent these mass shootings from happening?  I will provide the answers to that question in the upcoming articles.

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