Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
Eight Christians were slain at a bible study inside the historic Emanuel-AME-Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Another died later of injuries at a hospital. One hate-filled, young man shot them and fled the scene. He was arrested later.
Having worked many shootings I can visualize the crime scene investigation in the church.
- Investigators meticulously comb over the scene looking for physical evidence of exactly what happened.
- Measurements, photographs, perhaps videos, will be taken.
- Bullet trajectories will be calculated and recorded. Bullets and bullet fragments will be marked and gathered.
- DNA and fingerprint evidence will be collected for laboratory analysis and matching to the victims and suspect.
- Physical evidence will be gathered to explain what happened in that church.
A young woman (@DeannaFarley_) tweeted “Disgusted with the evil in this world. It’s sad that innocent people can’t even feel safe in church. #PrayForCharleston.” She was correct. It is sad. We cannot feel safe in church. We should not feel “safe” anywhere in this world.
None of us is safe in this world because of hate. When Christ, God in the flesh, walked among us He kept his faithful safe. He went away promising to return. Hatred followed them the rest of their days. His faithful will not be safe from earthly harm until the day He comes back.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said, “The only reason someone would walk into church and shoot people praying is hate.” I don’t know the mind of the suspect or if hatred of the victims’ ethnicity or their faith filled his heart. The mayor was correct in his statement.
I am assuming the nine victims are children of God, so at this very moment they stand in the presence of life and glory itself. If they were killed because of their faith then crowns will be given to them as well. They need fear nothing ever again.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously coined the words, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” What we really need to fear is hatred itself.
Regardless of the evils we see, hear, or feel, the one thing we must not do is let hatred gain a foothold in our hearts. We have been warned sin crouches at the door waiting for us to step into it. That warning, given by our Creator to the first murderer, is valid to all His children to this day.
Hatred crouched at the door of Dylann Roof. He stepped out alone and it devoured him. Outside influences may have led him to this heinous choice. It was, in the end, his choice to make. He must be tried in a court of law and eventually in the court of Heaven. Never doubt that hatred prowls the streets of every ethnicity and level of society. Alone you are no match for it. In submission to Christ you are. Do not let it devour you.