Church at Addis
However I would like to entertain the idea that guns are not the main cause of the increase of mass shootings that have been skyrocketing (in fact tripled) since 2011.
The issue is the breakdown of the family. Strange, maybe, but bear with me. While the sanctity of marriage is being torn up and thrown in the proverbial trash can, fatherlessness in the home strikes a loud chord. It has increased exponentially right along with the rise of violence. Adam Lanza, Elliot Rodgers, Dylan Roof, Stephen Paddock, and the latest Nikolas Cruz all have a common denominator despite being involved in mass shootings… They did not have a father figure in their life.
Couple this equation with no direction, and following only what a world void of moral absolutes has to offer and the result can make for some profoundly disastrous choices. Our dollars do not need to go into gun control; they need to go into the shoring up of the family! 72 percent of murderers grew up without a father, and 70 percent of juveniles in State institutions grew up in single parent or no parent home.
I believe what we need to do is get back to a place where our churches have more of an impact in the community, specifically in the area of shoring up the family. If we prioritize a balanced family it will in fact raise a better child. We need to place our effort there. Don’t misunderstand. This is not a slight on the single mom and dad. What we need to do is break the chain of sin or generational curses we have perhaps inherited.
The Bible says the cure for a generational curse has always been repentance. When Israel turned from idols to serve the living God, the “curse” was broken and God saved them (Judges 3:9, 15; 1 Samuel 12:10-11). Yes, God promised to visit Israel’s sin upon the third and fourth generations, but in the very next verse He promised that He would show “love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6).
My mom was an abusive alcoholic. She was that way, because her mom was an abusive alcoholic, and my grandma was that way because her mom was the same way. So guess what? My five siblings and me inherited the same thing. What was modeled for us was not necessarily good. Exit my father at the age of 6 and I was left to figure out a lot of things by myself. There was no direction, only what was modeled for me and what I saw around me.
I believe what our world needs is Jesus Christ. Not to have Him shoved down our throats, but to have a model of loving others the way we need to be loved… Unconditionally.
Pastor Tom Shepard is the Lead Pastor for the Church at Addis serving two locations: Addis, LA and a Baton Rouge campus at Park Forest. They have helped launch and sponsor, True Hope Baptist Church, in Plaquemine, LA.