Why Are Church Shootings on the Rise?

| by Answers in Genesis

By Bodie Hodge

There Is a Problem

When a man walks into a church and guns down the pastor, perhaps the question
we should ask isn’t “Why did this happen?” but “Should we really be surprised?”
In a society where people live by their own whims and ignore God’s rules (even
those in the church), such as not to murder, we continue to reap the bitter
fruit of such a philosophy.

Judges 17:6
In those days there was no
king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Christ is King and sits above any authority on earth (of course, some reject
this, but Christ still reigns—whether they want to admit it or not.) The King
says not to murder. But people are taught that they are their own authority.
Hence, the King’s rules are often neglected as people raise their own beliefs to
be greater than God.

Violence Increasing

If people set their own rules—and many in today’s humanistic culture have
been taught to do this from an early age—then be prepared. School shootings,
church shootings, and other acts of violence, sadly, will increase. For a
listing of some of school shootings in the U.S. please visit this off-site
website, Keys to Safer Schools This website used to keep a map of the
U.S. school shootings, but it was forced to stop updating it in 2006 because
there were so many. The site claims, “We are unable to keep up with a graphic
view of school violence.”

Many of you may recall the shooting in Columbine and other
high schools, but even universities have suffered such tragedy, such as Northern
Illinois University on February 14, 2008, and Virginia Tech on April 16,

Now even churches are becoming targets of violence. In late 2007, a shooter,
who had a Christian background, went into a mission and a church and became a
murderer. And when someone claims to be a Christian, but defies God’s Word and
murders, then they have raised their own beliefs above God’s Word, showing
humanistic influence.

But shootings are not limited to the U.S. Perhaps the most famous
international school shooting was a student in Finland who, due to evolutionary beliefs, decided to put
“natural selection and survival of the fittest back on tracks!”


On Sunday March 8, 2009, violence erupted in Marysville, Illinois, in a
Baptist church. A shooter opened fire on pastor Fred Winters, who was standing
in the pulpit. Our hearts and prayers go out to the pastor’s family and others
in the church, specifically those who were injured trying to subdue the

When such tragedies strike, people often want to assign blame. Sometimes
there are other pertinent factors, but ultimately the root cause is sin. We are
in a sin-cursed world because our ancestor, Adam, sinned against God. Because
Adam sinned, we all have sinned and continually choose to sin.

We were all in Adam when he sinned, just as Levi (Abraham’s great-grandson)
was in Abraham when he tithed to Melchizedek (Hebrews
). But we can’t simply blame Adam for all the problems
because we sin too. It may seem like a difficult situation with no escape, but
through repentance and faith in Christ, one can be saved. But being saved does not mean that there will
be no hardships as long as we remain in a sin-cursed world; however, the sting
of death, which is the ultimate punishment for sin, will be thwarted (1 Corinthians

What Can Be Done?

In today’s society, Christians are letting the philosophy of “people setting
their own rules” go too far. It is time for Christians to challenge humanistic
ideas on all fronts to “cast down arguments and every high
thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought
into captivity to the obedience of Christ
” (2 Corinthians 10:5) The
humanistic philosophy that has taken over society, particularly in the past 50
years, is bearing ugly fruit. If this fruit continues to grow unabated, it will
bring our society crashing down around us.

The first way to counter this is to begin with ourselves—then our families,
then our churches, and then our culture. We need to have answers about why the
Bible is true, why it is the authority, and about the God to whom we are