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Christian Concepts: A madman in Las Vegas

Stephen Paddock was the suspected madman of the Las Vegas massacre. I say, “was” because after unleashing a barrage of deadly gunfire on a crowd at a concert, with arrest imminent, he took his own life.

During the next few days, news commentaries will be awash with speculation as to why Paddock shot up a crowd of fun-loving folk who only wanted to hear some country music. The truth is we will never know why he did it. Even if he had been arrested and was later questioned as to his motives, could we trust the testimony of such a madman?

Jay Michaelson recently opined that “conservatives,” too readily blame the cause of such violence on this being a “sick world” because of our “theology.” What does he blame it on, that Paddock went on his murderous rampage because he was sipping from the jug labeled “the milk of human kindness?”

Every time evil rears its ugly head, fallen men fail to recognize we live in a sin-cursed world populated by people whose “heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). So they search about futilely for a cause, something or someone to blame.

He actually blames the massacre on Paddock being able to possess modern automatic weapons. I agree with Michaelson here, I see no need for an ordinary citizen to possess automatic firearms, but I also know Timothy McVeigh killed almost three times as many people (168) when he bombed the Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City with a truckload of fertilizer.

We cannot blame what Paddock did on guns, but there will be a debate on gun laws because of this fresh instance of violence. So let me clear the air on where I stand on this issue. I own guns, but I am not a member of the NRA. I have contemplated getting a concealed weapon permit; but in my heart of hearts, I would rather be killed than kill another.

The only other reason to get one would be to protect my wife and those I love should someone try to harm them, but if I can trust the Father with my own wellbeing then I think I can trust His capable hands to care for them. So this is not a gun issue for me.

The issue for me is that we fail to see that the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart. The first violent act in the Bible was a murder; and at its core, it was a religious conflict: Abel’s sacrifice was accepted, and Cain’s was rejected, and Cain killed him for it after God had given him sound advice.

When Cain turned his back on God’s counsel, he turned on his brother, and it has been that way ever since; as people turn away from God’s truth, they turn on one another. Our only hope as a nation is to repent and turn to Christ.

Gary B. King welcomes comments or questions and can be reached at Christian Concepts are archived at

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