Doug Phillips' Politicization of the Virginia Tech Tragedy
Today, the nation mourns the senseless murder of thirty-two men and women who were gunned down in cold blood. The slaughter of students at Virginia Tech constitutes the largest campus killing spree in American history. The murderer was a fellow student, twenty-three-year-old Cho Seung-hui of South Korea. Though little is currently known of his motive behind the murders, it is clear that his plan was calculated and carefully executed. He was premeditated and thorough. Doctors report that not a single victim had less than three bullet wounds.
Thousands will be deeply affected, probably for the rest of their lives. The most serious pains belong to the mothers, fathers, and sisters and brothers of the murdered victims. What shall we say to them? What are we to learn from these events?
First, we must remember the answer to the question “why?”
When people ask: “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” or “How can such a terrible thing happen?”, we must point them to the fundamentals. First, all of us deserve death and all of us will die. The only question is when will we die, and what will be the state of our eternal soul at that time. Every breath is a gift of God. None of us deserve it. We have no rights or demands we can make to our Creator. In fact, apart from Christ, we stand condemned to a fate far worse than physical death — eternal punishment. And there is a reason for all of this. God is God, and we are His creation. Understanding the distinction is everything. He sets the rules. He determines what is just. And His plan is always good, even when we do not understand it. Not only is he a loving and kind God, but He is also infinitely just. This justice has implications for man. It was God who created the world and man “very good.” But man sinned against an infinite and holy God. The penalty for this sin was physical death. Because of man’s sin, all of creation became subject to death. Our bodies and the world around us die and groan as a reminder and a punishment for our rebellion before the Lord. Everything would be supremely hopeless, but for one important truth: Though the wages of our sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. It took an infinite, perfect, and holy sacrifice to atone for our sin against an infinite, perfect, and holy God. Christ was that sacrifice. This means that all whom the Father calls, and who repent and believe in Christ, shall not perish but have eternal life.
Thus, the question is not, why did God allow the tragic death of these students, but why does He allow any of us to live? We deserve death. Every breath of life is a gift. It is only by His grace and mercy that we live and breathe and have our very being. He is our Creator and He is just to determine the beginning and the end of our existence. Beyond this, we must remember that even the tragedy of death is part of the eternal plan of God to bring glory to Himself. The fact that we do not understand the infinite purposes and counsels of the Triune God only means that we are creatures and need to trust Him. That is why He has given us His Holy Word. The Bible is the revealed mind of Christ for man. It reminds us that all things — including the murder of the innocent — work together for good to those that are the called of God. It cautions us to flee to God while we yet have life. It reminds us that the victory of Christ is greater than the grave itself. It warns us that without Christ there is no hope whatsoever. When we see the horror of death, we must be convicted of sin and flee to God. We must be emboldened in our sense of urgency to communicate to others the only source of hope from death. We must treasure the preciousness of life as God’s sacred gift, and we must wisely invest in meaningful Kingdom work this brief whisper of an opportunity called — our life.
Second, we must acknowledge that the rise of community violence is a judgment of the Lord.
Our nation has broken covenant with the God of our fathers. We have forsaken the law of God and have worshipped before false idols. We have sacrificed our children, not only spiritually and intellectually to the high priests of a new secular religion in our government schools, but have quite literally sacrificed baby boys and girls to the gods of convenience in the abortuaries of America. One out of four Americans is not here because they were aborted by their mothers.
The modern trend towards school killings must be considered in terms of the hopelessness and evil which is being communicated to the children of this generation through the music culture, the entertainment culture, the sexual culture, and the intellectual culture of evolution and meaninglessness — all of which converge in the modern schools. Our children are being taught the Gospel of evolution and man. It is a religious faith that ultimately teaches that transcendent truth does not exist; life is meaningless, being the product of chance. Why are we surprised when the present generation acts upon the logical implications of this false gospel? If we do not see the connection between this false faith and the culture of death, we are blind bats, or willingly ignorant. The answer for us as a people is repentance and restitution, which begins by turning from our sins and reclaiming the ancient paths of the Lord wherein there is hope.
Third, the worst response to school murders that our politicians could make would be to further disarm the American citizenry. The heavy death toll may in part be attributed to past legislation making it difficult for citizens to carry sidearms. But, if even one of the students in that university had been armed, Cho Seung-hui could have been stopped. A strong case can be made that in a violent society like our own, it is the duty of every Christian man to be armed such that he is ready, willing, and able to come to the immediate aid of his neighbor in the face of the ruthless behavior of lawless men. We have one of two futures — a police state full of regulation and controls, where only the state and criminals have access to guns, thus leaving most women and children defenseless to evildoers, or an informed, well-armed citizen population, which is, to my mind, the surest safeguard against lawless men.
Fourth, every tragedy is an opportunity God gives to reflect glory and honor to Him. We give glory to Him as we reach out to others and lead them to the great Comforter. Now is the time for Christians to reach out in love to those who are in unimaginable pain, as well as those who are just shell-shocked by the horrible news. There is a time to mourn with those who mourn, and now is it. Let us mourn, love, and encourage, and let us give God the glory in everything — even death.
Now, there is a time to be bluntly honest and a time to be consoling. Though IMO Phillips article is dead right theologically, in that death is the result of human sinfulness, his timing is LOUSY. The theology could have waited a few days — “though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”
Still, I was almost agreeing with him until he went and ruined it by turning it into a political speech. Honestly–” if even one of the students in that university had been armed, Cho Seung-hui could have been stopped”??
Phillips is actually advocating that students carry guns into the classroom????
Now there’s an agenda if ever I saw one. And, 2008 is an election year....
READ BETWEEN THE LINES, FOLKS. Doug’s "sermon" is not just about government schools. Doug is calling secular government itself an idol, and he is calling secularism a religion. In other words, if you are not FOR theocracy, you are necessarily against it, and have “broken the covenant”. Doug is preaching against democracy itself, and calling all who do not support his religion idolaters.
Now, I don’t usually call names, but the time has come to call this spade what it is — a dangerous cult run by dangerous nuts who would like nothing better than to bury democracy and establish their brand of theocracy as the order of the day. The rot going on in our country is bad, but the state-church harlotry that is Doug Phillips and his Constitution Party friends' “vision” for America would be infinitely worse, were it ever to be realized.