Are School Shootings the Judgment of God?

People around the world are trying to make sense of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It is a terrible tragedy and it has touched us all.  I believe there is an important place for people of faith to speak into this situation.  However, some Christians have a specific and unfortunate take on what happened.  Christian leaders, including James Dobson, have suggested that this is a part of God’s judgment on America for tolerating same-sex marriage and abortion.  You can hear Dobson’s comments here (around the 16 minute mark).

To be fair, I understand that the Old Testament does provide examples of God’s judgment against nations (usually Israel) for their sins.  But it is another thing to suggest that this shooting is a part of God’s judgment.  The examples in the Old Testament were extraordinary circumstances and should not be seen as typical events.  Also, those examples were understood to be judgment as a result of prophetic revelation.  Are people such as Dobson, suggesting such insight?

Here is the problem with saying that this shooting is God’s judgment.  This would require some deeper reflection.  Does it mean that God made the shooter act in such a way to punish the nation?  Does it mean that God would have stopped it if the nation had rejected same-sex marriage and abortion?  Would God have sent angels to take out the shooter?  Would he have surrounded the victims with force fields?  Think about what you are saying when you say this is judgment.  Follow the logical conclusions and see if it makes sense.  Instead of taking this tragedy and using it to promote an agenda, see it as the tragedy it is and demonstrate the love of Christ.

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