Why did God allow the tragic killings in Aurora Colorado? My heart is so heavy as I watch the events unfold. Anytime that the innocent suffer, our souls scream with this question. There is no easy answer to this question. The easy answers are never satisfying, and they are often based in the confused moral calculus of popular culture. We assume there must have been a political motivation, a psychiatric disturbance, a sociological pressure . . . anything that will offer a satisfying explanation that will assure us. Wave after wave of analysis is offered, and sometimes some horrifying clues emerge. But the moral madness of mass homicide can never be truly explained.
The human heart is capable of great evil, as well as incredible good. Human history includes a catalog of human horrors, and the power of human goodness being shown during those tragic moments. Those who carry out the murders themselves are even more haunting to us. The young man arrested in this case, looks disarmingly normal.
Human beings are capable of unspeakable moral evil. We are shocked by such atrocities, but only because we have some distance from the last one. We cannot afford to be shocked when humans commit grotesque moral evil. It tells us the truth about unbridled human sin. During times of great evil, the goodness of God can come from the hearts and acts of everyday heroes.
Why does God allow evil? There will be no fully satisfying answer to these questions in this life. Christians know that God is sovereign, and that nothing is outside of his control. Thomas Aquinas said “Good can exist without evil, whereas evil cannot exist without good.” God allows evil to exist, and human beings are capable of committing moral atrocities. But we cannot allow the sovereignty of God to be denied and evil allowed its independent existence. Nor can we deny the reality of evil and the horror of its threat to be lessened. All evil can be answered only by the cross of Jesus Christ.
The goodness of God shines during the moments that evil rears it’s ugly head.
We must grieve with those who grieve. We must pray for those in the Denver area who will be called upon for urgent ministry and service. We must pray for our nation and communities. And we must pray that God will guard ourselves from evil – especially our own evil. And we must point to the cross.