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Christian Concepts: The Loss of Internal Controls

The continued gun violence we are witnessing here in America has many clamoring for “deeds and action, not simply thoughts and prayers.” Politically speaking, they want stricter gun laws.

Taking a step back from the hysteria that characterizes much of the dialogue on guns, I think we should take the advice of Jesus, “Do not judge according to appearance but judge with righteous judgment,” (John 7:24.) That’s right, Jesus commands us to make judgments about things, but to avoid doing so in a carelessly superficial way.

I graduated from the University of North Florida, where I majored in Criminal Justice. We were taught that crime is addressed by external and internal controls.

External controls are things like society’s rules of behavior; we call them laws. Internal controls are a person’s conscience, a sense of what is right and wrong when properly socialized by the institutions of family, church, and school.

Sociologists recognize that external controls, with its sanctions, may serve as a deterrent, but they are ineffective at preventing crime. A person’s conscience that has been instilled with a proper sense of what is right and wrong; is more effective at preventing crime. This is observable truth.

In 1963, the United States Supreme Court in Abington School District v. Schempp, ruled Bible reading and prayer unconstitutional, removing from our public school system two practices that encourage internal controls.

Some have said the Supreme Court banished God from our public classrooms, but such a view overlooks two facts. The real Supreme Court does not convene down here, and mortal man is wholly incapable of banning the ever-present, Almighty God from anywhere.

But what that ruling did do was create an environment that ignored God’s presence, and precluded supplication for His aid, and removed the influence of His word on the minds of our school-aged children. The Ten Commandments, the sixth of which says, “You shall not murder,” are banned.

Our children cannot be taught the creation narrative that we were created in the image of God, not because the creation narrative is scientifically untenable, but because it is biblical. So they are taught they are the descendants of apes, and though highly evolved, are still animals.

All of the school shooters were either a current or former student of the school they attacked. If we teach our children they are animals, Why do we think they should not act like animals? We spin our wheels trying to change external controls like gun laws instead of fostering internal controls that would prevent much of what we witness now.

The first murder in the Bible was when Cain killed his brother, Abel. We do not know how he killed him, but I am convinced he did not use an assault rifle. Maybe we should be teaching our children they have an image to live up to instead of a lineage to live down.

We thought we were wise to ignore God but we have become fools (Romans 1:22), and our children are paying the price.

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