'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting: Are Christians Responsible for Hiding the Light?
By Ruth Miyake - Crossmap On July 23, 2012
Following the mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater, Christians are weighing on the source of the tragedy. Amidst those who blame the evil, one Christian has pointed to the church for responsibility.
A total of 71 were shot at the shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado, at the opening night of "The Dark Knight Rises" Friday, turning the big event into a dark nightmare.
A heavily armed gunman, later identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, threw a smoke bomb and opened fire at the audience.
The suspect was heavily armed with four weapons, bullet-proof gear and gas canisters.
13 have died, and at least seven people remain in critical condition.
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Describing himself as "Joker," Holmes is in custody as police continue to investigate his motive.
Ahead of his first court appearance on Monday, Holmes was reportedly refusing to cooperate, according to authorities.
Aurora Shooting - Produce of Pure Evil?
Many Christian leaders pointed to evil and satan as the source of the deadly shooting.
"What happened up in Aurora ... was the product of pure evil. It was the result of a depraved individual taking his free will to the extreme," Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, said in a statement Friday.
"The Fall released human moral evil into the cosmos, and every single human being is a sinner, tempted by a full range of sinfulness,"
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote in a commentary.
"We cannot afford to be shocked when humans commit grotesque moral evil. It tells us the truth about unbridled human sin."
"It brings a whole new meaning to 'Dark Knight rising' – not in a good way," Greg Stier, founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries, told The Christian Post.
"You can't help but think of Satan – you know that dark knight who was once that white knight ... the highest of all angels who ... got thrown out of heaven and has now been on the earth perverting, killing, whispering in ears."
Darkness is There, but Where is the Light?
However, Colorado native David Jesse, took the issue to his website, challenging the readers whether the church is to blame.
And he thinks so.
His column titled "The DARK Night Rises: Where is the LIGHT?" opened fire at the Christians who are asleep and just shying away from the problems of evil in the society.
"In the wake of the horrific shooting at Columbine that resulted in 14 deaths and dozens of injuries, Christians all across the country jumped on the opportunity to blame society and Hollywood for the demise of culture," Jesse recalled of the Columbine shooting 13 years ago, which also took place near Denver.
"The terrifying shooting in Denver last night is not the fault of Hollywood; it’s not the fault of society; it’s not the fault of a world walking further and further away from the Truth. The shooting in Denver yesterday is the fault of the Church," he asserted.
"Yes, the world is getting darker. The movies out of Hollywood are getting more and more violent. Society is becoming more and more obsessed with evil. But these facts are not the problem; they are only the symptoms. When we see the world getting darker and darker, we have to wonder where the light has gone," he continued, quoting scriptures from Matthew 5:14-15, where Jesus called His disciples as the light of the world.
"At best, we are hiding our light. We have thrown up our hands and said, 'There’s nothing we can do about.' And let’s be honest enough to call this attitude what it is: sin," Jesse wrote on his website Third Option Men.
"Instead of looking at the world and shaking our heads, what if we had the guts to admit that we are largely responsible? What if we fell on our faces before our Savior who has left us in the world to shine His light, and asked forgiveness for our failure to make the world a better place?" he challenged Christians.
Jesse pointed out that the only people Jesus condemned during his ministry were the religious people who lived a hypocritical life.
"We (the Church) are living a hypocritical life," Jesse told CP.
"He is looking down on us right now and condemning us I believe because we haven't been what he called us to be."
He continues, "We are Jesus on this earth right now and unless we change the way we are doing things, and that begins with repentance and prayer, then we are going to be looking at this type of a tragedy or another tragedy that is even worse ten years down the road again and we are going to be saying the same things over and over again."
Greg Stier in his column for CP encouraged readers to live out the Gospel and reach out actively,
"The gospel ain't going to preach itself. We must preach it. We must love those around us and reach out to them with the gospel message. Who knows? Your next door neighbor may be the next lone gunmen that does something crazy, stupid and dangerous. In either case you have the gospel message that can rescue your friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates and co-workers from sin and Satan, from crimes big and small, from a wasted life."
Someone once said, "if you feel responsible for the problems of the world, God will use you."
In the wake of the tragic mass shooting, one thing is clear.
There is much more Christians can do in this world, to shine the light of Christ.