Like most Americans, I was overwhelmed by the images of Monday’s shootings on the Virginia Tech campus. My heart ached for parents around the nation who sought only to know if their children were safe. I will be sending a daughter to college this fall, and I cannot comprehend the thought that she may someday face a situation such as the one that occurred Monday.
It’s natural for anyone at a time like this to cry out to God, “How could something like this happen?” Over the years, countless members of my congregation – including our leadership – have dealt with serious illnesses in their families and heart-wrenching episodes involving their loved ones. There are no easy answers to any of those situations. Monday’s slaughter at Virginia Tech has made international news, but the emotions that it evoked occur to a lesser degree every day in homes like yours and mine.
After more than 30 years of ministry, I’ve learned that understanding situations like these is unfathomable without the knowledge that God created each of us with the freedom to choose His leading as well as the freedom to opt for our own path. Choosing a world view that excludes God and disregards the value of human life makes the unforgettable scenes from Virginia Tech possible.
What we saw Monday morning is nothing less and nothing other than the result of one young man’s sin – his determination to do what he wanted to do, rather than what His Creator would have him do. It’s a choice each of us faces daily. The only difference is that Cho Seung Hui’s choice led to historically tragic consequences and the attention of a horrified world.
Rod Parsley is senior pastor of World Harvest Church of Canal Winchester, Ohio. He is founder and president of the Center for Moral Clarity, the host of the “Breakthrough” television broadcast, and the author of more than 75 books and study guides. His latest book, “Culturally Incorrect: How Clashing Worldviews Affect Your Future,” will be published by Thomas Nelson in June.