By Betty Miller
October 1, 1997 in Pearl, Mississippi, the first incident in a recent succession of violent acts in schools began and has been repeated many times since then. In Pearl, a young teen killed his mother and then shot several in his high school. This did not prove to be an isolated event, but was to be repeated in the months to come as parents and society watched the news in horror.
The second incident happened in December of 1997. Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, witnessed a 14-year-old freshman turn a gun on his Christian classmates who were attending a pre-school prayer meeting. Three girls were killed while five other students were wounded. The press and law enforcement officials examined Michael Carneal’s (the killer’s) background for a motive. The incident has touched off debates on gun control and the influence of violent movies on behavior, as Carneal was reportedly influenced to kill by a movie he saw.
Next came the Jonesboro, Arkansas, slaughter in March as two boys, ages 11 and 13, killed four girls and one teacher in what police called a carefully planned ambush. The two boys were dressed in camouflage attire and shot a least 27 rounds of ammunition from stolen high-powered rifles and pistols. Nine other girls and one other teacher were also wounded in the attack at the Westside Middle School located in a quiet rural area just west of Jonesboro. It was not immediately clear what the motive of the suspects was, but fellow students said they were troublemakers and that one was angry because his girlfriend broke up with him.
Another shooting on April 25, 1998, claimed the life of yet another teacher. This killing happened at Parker Middle School in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, but as of this writing there has been no motive established. The 14-year-old boy, Andrew Wurst, who committed this act was arrested. He reportedly was a fan of Marilyn Manson and told two other boys, “He hated his life, he hated the world and he hated school.” He also told classmates he wanted to kill people and commit suicide. One friend said, “He had a really sick sense of humor.”
From then till date more more one hundred shootings have happened in schools in the US.
Why so much violence among our young people? A Department of Education Survey which analyzed violence in U.S. schools reported that public schools nationwide experienced more than 11,000 fights in which weapons were used, 4,000 rapes and other sexual assaults and 7,000 robberies. Other reports from Time and Newsweek magazines tell us the suicide rate among U.S. teens has risen 120% in the last 15 years while drug use has risen almost 80% since 1992. The Bible tells us about a time that these kinds of violent deeds and rebellious acts will be committed by children all over the world.
2 Timothy 3:1-4: (KJV) “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”
Proverbs 30:11-14: “There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”
Isaiah 1:4: “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.”
From these scriptures we see that the Bible speaks of a generation of youth who will be a curse to their parents. The youth of any nation are simply reflection of the parents of that nation. When sin is not dealt with in any society, the result of those sins will always produce violence. The generation living in the days of Noah was similar to our day. This is the time the Bible speaks of when Jesus Christ will return to this earth to judge the wicked and the righteous.
Genesis 6:11-13: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
Luke 17: 26-30: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
How can we prevent our children from becoming corrupt? How can we protect our children from violence? What caused these children to commit these tragic murders? The Bible has the answers to these questions. If all these killers were examined as to what caused them to become murderers, what would be the common thread running through each of them. I don’t believe there are any “pat” answers, but we can identify some of the things that cause children to do these horrible crimes. Evil deeds proceed out of a heart that is fed by evil that comes through the mind. What can we expect when our TV shows and movies are filled with violence, perverted sex and murder? Children learn what they see and hear. If the human mind is fed a constant diet of these things, then the devil comes to tempt our children to act out what they have seen. The Bible tells us to guard our ear and eye gates so as not to let things in that are evil.
Mark 4:24a: “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear.”
Psalm 101:3-4: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.”
Isaiah 33:15: “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high…”
Ezekiel 20:7: “Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”
Satan sends his demons to enter and overpower those who are not covered with God’s protection. Humans are spirits that have a soul and live in a body. If we embrace evil things this is an invitation for demon spirits to oppress us. Likewise, if we embrace Jesus and the things of God, the Holy Spirit will come and dwell in us. As Christians, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and when our temple has filth in it, demons are attracted to that filth. Just as in the natural a house that becomes dirty and is not cleaned frequently will attract flies, mice, roaches, bugs, etc; so it is with our spiritual houses. This applies to children as well as adults.
Many of the children who committed these grievous crimes have been exposed to evil and demons through sources of witchcraft and cultic teachings that opened the door for the devil’s thinking to enter their lives. Many parents do not realize when they allow their children to listen to hard rock music and go to rock concerts they are allowing their children to be exposed to possible demon invasion. Evil rock music is filled with themes of suicide, murder, witchcraft and sexual perversions. The musicians encourage the children to rebel against parents and authorities.
Other activities that also open the door to demonic attacks are certain computer and video games that have witchcraft and occultic subjects. Parents beware!! Do not allow your children access to every game room on the Internet. Many of these evil games will pervert your children’s minds and hearts. One need only preview the titles of the games that are being offered our young people and realize the danger to which they are exposed. The names of some of the worst games are Battle zone, Blood, Armageddon, Dark Forces, Diablo, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Dungeon Keeper, Half-Life, Kingpin, Postal, Resident Evil, Total Annihilation and Quake just to name a few. There are also board games that attract demons such as “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Ouiji Boards.” Even comic books and posters that have these same themes are dangerous for young people, as it draws them little by little into deeper levels of the glorification of violence.
CHRISTIANS SHOULD PRAY AND REACH OUT
Another factor that encourages these things to happen is the lack of Christians to be “light” and “salt” in the earth. We have failed to share the gospel with those who are misfits in society. We have not taught our children to reach out either. These outcasts and misfits need to know that we all have sinned and all have imperfections and flaws and all of us need a relationship with Jesus. It is in Him that they will find their acceptance. One of the major ways we can all reach out is to pray for those around us instead of just doing those things we like to do and want to do. We have failed in witnessing to the lost. In fact, many times members of the church are involved in the same activities that the world is involved in. i.e.: watching violent movies on T.V., playing war games, etc.
The other area we have failed in is we have become apathetic in our Christian involvement with the things of God. We had rather go to ball games than to prayer meetings. We seem to have a “Nero” spirit, we are fiddling while Rome burns. We are so involved in our jobs, entertainment and other pursuits that going to church and praying have been abandoned by many “so-called” Christians.
PRAYER IN USA SCHOOLS ABANDONED
The United States Supreme court made a terrible decision when they ruled to have prayer removed from schools in 1962. Statistics show that rebellion and violence have dramatically increased since that time. I believe this is another contributing factor to our children’s decline since then. The article below was taken from the book America: To Pray or Not to Pray:
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THE PRAYING STOPPED
How did the removal of voluntary prayer from the schools of the United States affect our nation as a whole? That question has been answered in detail by a research company in Texas which has gathered and tabulated statistics from hundreds of sources relating to the rates of moral decline in America.
Specialty Research Associates, of Aledo, TX 76008, under the direction of David Barton, released a report entitled America: To Pray or Not to Pray with over 100 pages of graphs and statistical analysis to prove that crime, venereal disease, premarital sex, illiteracy, suicide, drug use, public corruption, and other social ills began a dramatic increase after the Engel vs. Vitale Supreme Court decision was made in 1962 which banned school prayer. The rate of violent crime alone, has risen over 330 percent.
War games in all forms are molding not only the minds of our children but adults as well. Children who have been continually practicing war games, embrace these evil thoughts and then are more susceptible to act out the murderous actions in real life. When we first moved to Arizona, there was a local group of people who went to the forest every weekend and played games of war with guns that ejected “bullets” containing capsules of red paint. We prayed and the Lord stopped this activity by denying them access to the forest. However, as we followed the reports of some of the people who were involved in this, they were later arrested for a cache of illegal arms they had hidden away. One of the saddest things about this was the fact that one of those who was in trouble with the law was a former pastor. He was deceived by the devil. First, he was led into the war games, then other deceptions followed. The devil robbed him of his ministry through what seemed like “fun and games.” Never should children use play guns to aim at one another. They should understand that guns are used for hunting and protection. Target practice should never be aimed at another human being.
Our society has such an obsession with guns and war that even Christians are falling into the deception of allowing their children to play games of war too. In many of the U.S.A. cities, games for kids called “Laser Quest” and “Laser Tag” impact some kids negatively. When they enter these local game rooms, the kids are first shown combat strategies on video monitors. Then, they are furnished with guns and are given protective vests. The firearms resemble machine guns that project laser beams from them. The kids are divided into teams that go through dark mazes of rooms trying to destroy each other by shooting one another down with their laser weapons. The most shocking news to me was that many of their customers at these game rooms are Christian youth groups that are going out for a night of fun. Killing one another–even in pretense–should never be a Christian endeavor. No wonder Christian youth are also receiving demon spirits that drive them to evil deeds.
Guns and weapons in our society today have their proper place: for hunting animals, for personal protection and for use in our government agencies that police our cities and nation. Even for these uses they must be used responsibly and with care. The Bible does condone weapons for these causes at the civil level of society and government so that the wicked in the world would not destroy the good. Civil authority was ordained by God to maintain order and peace in societies so that the gospel can go out.
Romans 13:1-6: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”
We are admonished to pray for our governments so that the leaders of nations will be righteous and good thereby keeping our world a safe place to live.
1 Timothy 2:1: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
SIN BRINGS DEMONIC ATTACKS
The majority of Christians today are totally ignorant of the nature of evil spirits (demons), and many would prefer that they were not even mentioned. They choose to ignore this portion of God’s ministry because they are fearful of things beyond their understanding. The result of this ignorance is that multitudes live in needless torment. One of the deadliest misrepresentations of the truth of God is that a Christian should not be concerned with thoughts that a demon could be their problem. This is taught within many churches and gives the devil a “field day” to bring fear, mental torment, jealousy, hatred, murder, suicide, lust, pride, self-pity, addiction, gluttony and many other forms of bondage, oppression, and defilement.
When anyone practices sin willfully or ignorantly, Satan eventually sends one of his demons that is compatible with that particular sin to dwell within them. Then each time they give way to that sin that spirit takes over. Since their personalities mesh with those of their victims, it takes spiritual discernment to detect them. We must remember that demon spirits are “invisible beings” with wicked intelligence that seek bodies through which they can express themselves. These spirits are emissaries sent from Satan having personalities and characteristics that make up an intelligent being. They walk, hear, speak, see, obey, seek, think, know and dwell in the body to accomplish their evil purposes (Matthew 12:43-45, Mark 1:23-24, 3:11). Each principal demon or “strongman” has a particular mission which we are able to recognize by its fruit or manifestation. We need to seek God and study His Word to find the truth about this controversial subject. As Christians we do not need ever to fear the devil or his demons. They are made subject to Christ and believers by the atonement, the name of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to this earth to give us the victory over Satan and his devils and through the power of the Holy Spirit we can banish them from our lives. For more teaching on this subject of how to overcome demons you can click here to go to: What the Bible Says About Demons
1 John 3:8: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
There are three main identifying marks of evil spirits. They enslave, they defile and they torment. If a person has renounced evil and committed his life to Christ but still has not found peace, the problem is very likely due to the influence of evil spirits. The sooner one recognizes this evil force and accepts God’s way of being freed, the sooner he can go on to a normal, happy life.
Some children are born under a curse and have demons that cause their erratic behavior. Parents are in ignorance as to why some young children beat their heads on the floor in rages, scream and yell uncontrollably, bite themselves, or have continual nightmares. Many children do have demons and need to be set free. There is an account of this in Mark 9:20-21, “And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.”
Killing is not limited to our schools. Street gangs are fighting it out and senseless murders are taking place in our major cities every day. The family structure in our nation has been breaking down over the last few generations with so much divorce leaving children without the proper supervision and home environment to keep them safe. What is the answer to this national crisis? Most Christians agree that we must come to a national repentance that changes individuals, thus changing homes and society. Our nation stands on the threshold of a national judgment for the sin in our nation. Our national soul is perverted and sick by its indulgence in sin. Children who murder is only one of the symptoms of our national depravity. We must all repent and turn back to God to save ourselves, our children and our nation.
There is a day coming soon when Christ returns to this earth and sets up His kingdom and there will be no more war and all weapons will be gone. However, that day comes after the devil is removed from this earth and he no longer will cause men to war against each other. The Lord Jesus told us there would be wars and rumors of wars in this day but we were to look up for our redemption was near. Today, as Christians we must pray for those in our society that do not know Christ and we must cover our children and loved ones in prayers of protection against Satan’s plans of destruction. The Lord promises to keep us as we walk with Him.
Isaiah 2:4: “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Psalm 91:9-11: “Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”
SUMMARY OF WHY CHILDREN BECOME MURDERERS
These are some of the things that sum up the contributing factors that I believe are the main reasons children are murdering others:
(1.) Our national preoccupation with violence that has saturated all forms of the media which desensitizes human emotions by exposure to so much murder and preoccupation with death.
(2.) The absence of strong parenting due to the increase of both parents working. Also, the lack of a strong father figure in homes due to divorce rising.
(3.) Ignorance of Biblical truths that show parents how to deal with problem children. Parents don’t recognize that their children need deliverance from demonic influences. This is a spiritual problem and cannot be solved by just therapy or medication alone.
(4.) Lack of prayer for our youth in our homes and our schools. (Since prayer was removed from our schools in 1962 the rate of crime among our youth has escalated).
(5.) The influence of occult and witchcraft practices in our society.
(6.) The failure of Christians to reach out to the misfits in our society with the gospel.
(7.) Lack of discipline with a permissive humanistic influence toward children.
(8.) Lack of teaching our children standards and absolutes as outlined in the Bible.
(9.) Lack of regard for human life as demonstrated through abortion, euthanasia and evolutionary teachings of the survival of the fittest.
(10.) The lack of teaching our children Biblical truths that promote character and teach them how to deal with the emotions of anger, hatred and revenge that lead to murder.
Bottom line… our problem has been one of sin and selfishness in this nation and now we are reaping the fruit of that sin. Unless we all take responsibility for repenting and doing our part to change this world for the better, tragedies will continue to increase and get worse. Many have thought the gun and violence issue was the result of poverty in the inner cities or a lack of education, so more money was poured into our education system. It is not a lack of money but a lack of God and character in our society that has produced this violence and until we come back to Christian principles in our world evil will continue to abound.