a mishmash of thoughts:
Last Friday, former governor Mike Huckabee spoke about the unspeakably evil school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Here he is, in his own words:
- I don’t think the former governor and traveling preacher is the average political opportunist. In fact, Huckabee seems to be a man of unusual character and integrity in the cesspool of politics and media. A rare man. While I might not agree with him on everything, he’s my brother in Christ and a fellow child of God.
- However, that video makes me sad and upset. Just like a presidential debate, Huckabee takes a real question (“How could God let this happen?”) and doesn’t even answer it. He launches into his personal talking points. Mr. Huckabee, people needed to hear about the love and hope found in Christ, not about your problem with the lack of prayer in schools.
Later, Huckabee said this:
- Notwithstanding his straw-maning of everyone who took issue with his words as the “predictable left,” Huckabee started to discuss the beauty of Christ’s love that shows up in the courage and grieving and comforting in Newtown. Shamefully, he wraps up the video with snark so thick you could take a slice home and snack on it later.
- Christians should not be condescending, especially when people are grieving and/or asking honest, legitimate questions. We don’t need to be more convincing or more “right,” we need to be more selfless and loving.
- I think Mr. Huckabee was right when he pointed out the irony of a post-Christian society clamoring for Christian values. But I must admit, this is the world of situational irony in which I live. I treat my wife with selfishness, but except her to remember God’s command to love me. I am often greedy, but call on God to remember his promises to provide for me.
- When someone says, “Maybe we ought to let [God] in on the front end and we wouldn’t have to call him to show up when it’s all said and done at the back end,” this is a prosperity gospel. It’s not as obvious as the crooks in suits on TV, but it’s the same lie: Follow some rules and God will give you what you really want. In our own ways, we all believe a prosperity gospel, and we have to be putting it to death at every opportunity.
- Friends, we must take exception with this contagious habit of clamoring for the good ol’ days when God was in schools and things like this didn’t happen. Do we long for the days when God was supposedly in our segregated schools? Do we long for the days when God was supposedly in our city halls but they did nothing for the orphan and the widow? Do we long for the days when people with genuine mental health problems where shunned or abandoned? There were no good ol’ days; sin has haunted humanity since Cain and Abel.
- When people come to you, curious for your answer as to why something this horrific could happen, please don’t jump into talking points. Be honest, be humble, and open your heart.
I’d suggest that perhaps none of us ought to talk about the why of the Sandy Hook shooting until we’ve shed tears about the reality that it did happen.