CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Americans are still reeling in the aftermath of a deadly mass shooting in Nashville, TN, that resulted in the death of three students and three adults at a private Christian school. While many have been calling for the government to take certain steps to stop future shootings from happening, Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., stunned onlookers by saying that he doesn’t think Congress should get involved and that he resents that the tragedy has been politicized. Urging Congress to pay attention to the mental health crisis that is feeding into these tragedies, Burchett commented that the government would only “mess things up” and that churches and religious faith leaders “need to come together and start preaching about love from the Bible” in order to make lasting change.
Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), responded to Burchett’s call for spiritual revival, noting that it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that America can be turned away from this dark and demonic path it is heading toward.
“When something so sordidly evil occurs as that of killing innocent children and adults in their school in Nashville this past week, it is extremely difficult to put into words all the thoughts and emotions that immediately rush through our minds,” Ginn stated. “Nevertheless, just as the horror of this unspeakable event began to sink into our brains, I’m willing to bet that all law-abiding Americans began in the recesses of their minds to hope that it was not ‘one of my tribe’ that committed such an inhumane act. In light of the culture in which we now exist, that thought is a very reasonable one to have. As it turns out, obviously the perpetrator of this heinous act was someone described, amongst other things, as transgendered. Wherever her confused imagination may have been leading her, in the final analysis, who she was or what she was is not the central issue. The reality is that this individual was caught up in the darkness of evil that she ultimately parlayed into the dastardly act of killing innocent people, particularly children. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that the same thing could have been said if she was a male, a white supremacist, a ‘black lives matter’ activist, ultra-liberal or conservative, or whatever other negative label you might want to use. Evil is evil no matter what stripes it takes.
“Therein lies the problem in America today. These United States were founded upon the continuity of morality that exists within all religious faiths particularly the high levels of morality bound up in the Judeo/Christian tradition. Those men and women who bore the heat of the day in the creation of what we now enjoy fully understood that any democratic form of government cannot long exist without a solid moral base. Nevertheless, we have as a nation over these past few years, through our actions or inactions, invited evil into our lives — evil that has taken many different forms. Because we have allowed the poison to seep into our freshwater system, we are now beset by a confused national paradigm that we in turn are passing to the next generations. As a result, the deluge has now befallen us.”
Ginn added, “Representative Tim Burchett, a Republican congressman from Tennessee, has caught a lot of grief over the past few days for saying that there is ‘not a lot that we [government] can do’ to curb the violence so prevalent in our society. While I cannot agree that there is nothing that individuals or our various levels of government can do, I am not so sure that Congressman Burchett is completely off base. His ultimate point is that the reversal of these horrific crimes against humanity ultimately requires a change of heart. The problem is that it is highly unlikely that our nation has the stomach or the fortitude to make such an about face.
“At Southern Evangelical Seminary we have seen this scenario being played out for over 30 years. Our answer has always been and will always be to stand steadfast in the truth. The real unabashed truth is that only a relationship with Jesus Christ can turn the tide of destruction now enveloping our country. This reality of which I speak is not the ‘namby pamby’ example of ‘Jesus loves me and accepts me just the way I am.’ Rather it is a faith that is life changing. As Pastor Sinclair Ferguson once said, ‘It is misleading to say that God accepts us the way we are. Rather He accepts us DESPITE the way we are. He receives us only in Christ and for Christ’s sake. Nor does He mean to leave us the way He found us. But to transform us into the likeness of His Son.’ It is the defense of this historic Christian paradigm and its spread throughout our culture that is a hill upon which we will stand and die if necessary. For with all things considered, it is the message of the Gospel is the only antidote for the malaise so prevalent in America today. Sometimes this hill gets lonely, so we welcome those who are like minded to join us in our pilgrimage. Our nation and the eternal security for those we love depends on our faithfulness.”