Almost exactly a year ago Church of the Rock was headline national news. Two young people had stolen weapons and were planning on storming into our church building on a Sunday morning with a plan of killing as many people as possible before they got stopped. They had a goal of 100’s or even 1000’s of victims. Thankfully, they never got a chance to carry out this horrific act as some of their friends turned them in when they started bragging about what they were going to do. Our church was all over the front page of the newspapers. It was unsettling to say the least and attendance the following Sunday was actually up 10%. I guess there is no such thing as bad press. Say what you want, as long as you spell my name right.
Last month the two teens were sentenced to 2 years plus the one year already served. The media dutifully followed the story but in all that time nobody ever asked the question “WHY“? What was it that motivated such hate and violence that two young people would even think of doing such a thing? Here’s the answer! The two teens had entered the dark world of Goth. It is a growing sub-culture rooted in the literature and music of vampires, ghosts, zombies, graveyards and horror. It is becoming increasingly more mainstream with the popularity of teen movies such as Twilight which glorifies the lives of vampires and werewolves.
Members of the Gothic community claim to be non-violent in nature, but all one has to do is look a the names of the bands in a genre that is called death-rock to know that isn’t true. Try these on for size; The Damned, Sex Gang Children, 45 Grave, UK Decay, Dead Can Dance and Killing Joke. Sounds innocent enough, right? Ironically, the two youths that are now in jail were no strangers to us. One of them was part of our youth group and our youth leaders had worried about him as they watched him getting deeper and deeper into this dark and twisted world. You may be asking, “Well why didn’t they do something to help him”? They tried, but they only saw him for a couple of hours a week or less. It was what was going on the rest of the week that was the issue.
The bigger question was,where were the parents in all this? Many parents today are frankly just ‘clued out’ as to what is going on with their kids. Most teens spend hours unsupervised on the Internet every week. Many parents have no idea what their kids are into and who is influencing them. The vast majority of young people have never been to a church. They have been brought up in a spiritual vacuum and then the hapless parents say, “I just don’t know what’s wrong with little Johnny!” Well, I do… YOU. You are what’s wrong. Many of us have become inattentive parents that have neglected to instill a moral and spiritual foundation into our children. So when the devil comes a knocking, they don’t even recognize him. Make no mistake about it, these two teens could have been any one of our children. Yours or mine. They were not born the ‘seed of Satan’. They didn’t dream this demonic scheme up on their own. They came under the influence of some very evil forces and nobody had sufficient equity in their lives to steer them away.
I’m not a big fan of film producer Michael Moore primarily because he wears his politics like a cheap baseball cap and cannot approach a subject objectively. In Bowling for Columbine, I was disappointed with his mistreatment of Charlton Heston at the end of the movie (I mean after all the man is Moses, and you don’t mess with Moses). However, there were some brilliant moments in the documentary. Like the shot done in the Lockheed Martin plant located in Littleton, Colorado where the Columbine High School massacre took place. The PR man for the company, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer, is standing in front of a warhead wondering where two young people could have learned such violent behaviour. The ironic imagery is powerful. Here’s the clip if you care to watch it.
Proverbs 29:15-17 says The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall. Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. Too many parents are asleep at the switch, and that includes many Christian parents. Children are not only God’s greatest gift to us, but our greatest responsibility. I would love to think that our city learned something in our brush with disaster, but honestly I don’t think we did. I pray we don’t have to knock on Columbine’s door again to get it.