(A fresh look at the potential causes of the Va. Tech massacre)

by Dr. Fillmer Hevener, Pastor

When farmers sow seeds, they expect an increase, and they often get an increase of 10, 100, 1000 percent or more. When society sows seeds. it can also expect an increase. Society is constantly sowing seeds of good or seeds of evil.

In the days of the Prophet Hosea (about 750 B.C.), the Israelites had been sowing seeds of evil and had chosen to separate themselves from God. As a nation, they molded gods of gold and silver, were thieves, were liars, and frequently practiced fraud. They were regularly sowing seeds of sin and evil.

Through the prophet Hosea, God told the Israelites that those who sow evil, will reap evil, and those who sow the wind, will reap the whirlwind (Hosea 7, 8, and 10.) Unless they repent, God promises that He will destroy them, their treasures, and their false gods. They will die by the sword, their children will be torn to pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open (Hosea 13.) What unspeakable violence is promised to those who follow sin and evil, who depart from the teachings and ways of their Creator.

On April 16, 2007, in Blacksburg, Virginia, a gunman massacred thirty-two people and then killed himself. News reports tell us that this was the worst such massacre in the history of the United States. Although the answer as to "why" is obviously complex, there are certain influences that surely had their impact on the violent gunman.

Over the last several generations, moral values in our country have been under attack by those who would undermine the values outlined: in Genesis one and two, in the Decalogue, and in the Sermon on the Mount. The result is the same, whether or not these forces have intentionally staged an attack upon moral values - sowing the wind, is reaping the whirlwind!

Allow me to point out three practices in our society that, surely, played their significant part in leading to this terrible tragedy on the campus of Va. Tech.


The first societal force devaluing human life, is the theory of evolution. Since Darwin came out with his theory, there has been societal and "intellectual" movement toward that theory and away from Genesis, Chapters one and two, in which is found the inspsired account of creation by our Creator God.

Although there is no demonstrable evidence for macro-evolution, so-called scientists have given the fairy tale of evolution, stature by calling it "factual" and "scientific." It is nothing more than rampant imagination gone awry. For example, in the book Darwin In the Genome, by Lynn Caporale, Ph.D., Dr. Caporale states on page one: "There was a moment in time when the dust itself edged, in slow motion, over a boundary into life." What nonsense! Is this science? Objective readers are shocked that a prominent graduate of the University of California and a researcher at Sloan/Kettering Cancer Center would be so bold as to attempt, in the name of science, to propagate such clap-trap!

Such nonsense has reduced the value of life by putting in the place of a Creator, chance. If you and I are the result of chance rather than an intelligent Creator, why should we value life highly? According to many materialists, humans, like mice and apes, are nothing more than the products of chance, so why place great value on their life. These people would argue, if a fetus is annoying to one's lifestyle, why not eradicate that fetus just as we eradicate annoying mice?

No, friend, we are here because an infinite Creator put us here with purpose and design. Therefore, we are responsible to that Creator, and some day we will be called before Him to give an account of our time, our actions, and our service to Him and His children. Friend, your heart is beating and pumping blood throughout your body. LIFE, YOUR LIFE, IS A MIRACLE FROM GOD; THEREFORE, YOU AND IT ARE OF SUPREME VALUE!


A second societal force that had tended to devalue life is the practice of abortion. The sixth of the Ten Commandments states that one should not murder.

Unfortunately, many today look at the Ten Commandments as archaic and outdated, having little relationship to our modern society of today. This assumption is patently false. These ten laws are universal and are as up-to-date as the calendar hanging on your wall.

A brief, limited definition of "murder" is: "the killing of another innocent human being." Books have been written on the act of killing, but for our purposes, here, this limited definition will serve well as a focused, working definition.

According to estimates by the Guttmacher Institute and the National Right to Life Committee, in 2005, abortions in the U.S. passed the 47,000,000 mark. Since 1975, our country has witnessed more than one million abortions each year. Friend, do you know that the 47,000,000 figure is larger than the population of some countries? How much brain-power, intelligence, creativity, and productivity have we lost because of this barbaric practice of abortion? Someone has said that the moral tenor of a country can be gauged by how that country takes care of those who cannot care for and speak for themselves, especially the unborn, the mentally handicapped, and the poor and infirm elderly. Our country needs to put in context the enormous sin that it is committing by practicing mass abortion.

What does this practice do to our perception of the value of life? Clearly, when we abort living fetuses, we are saying that the value of this human's life is of little or no value and can, therefore, be destroyed with impunity. However, there will be a final day of judgment before the One Who created those fetuses. At that time, all who take the lives of the innocent will be required to give account. Yes, abortion devalues our perception of the Divine and miraculous reality of human life!


A third practice of our society that tends to devalue life is the overwhelming abundance of violence in our media.

Media is readily available in our home as well as in our communities. In 1950, only 10% of American homes had a television; today, 99% of homes have a television. In fact, researchers find that more homes have a television than have a phone.

According to "Facts about television and Effects on the American Family," children spend more time learning about life through the media than in any other manner. The average child spends approximately 28 hours per week watching television. Before the age of eighteen, the average child will witness over 200,000 acts of violence on television, including 16,000 murders. The same source reports that longitudinal studies tracking viewing habits of single individuals, found that eight-year-old boys who viewed the most violent programs while growing up, were the most likely to engage in aggressive behavior by age 18 and serious criminal behavior by age 30.

The Parents' Music Resource Center reports that American teen listen to 10,500 hours of rock usic between the 7th and 12th grades, just a bit less than the hours that they spend in school over the twelve year period. Seventy-five percent of the top forty songs contain profanity and lyrics dealing with drugs, sex, and violence.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over 1000 studies confirm that viewing media violence can lead to aggressive behavior in children. Media violence often fails to show the consequences of carrying out such acts.

Yes, solid evidence indicates that media sources are playing a marked role in devaluing the life of humans in our society. To a large extent, we in America have become victims of our own electronic inventions and the warped values that these inventions convey to us and our families.

Remember Hosea's warning to Israel: "They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind."

At Va. Tech., we have experienced the whirlwind, which found its origin in such societal "winds" as: (1) the doctrine of evolution and its materialism, (2) the legalizing and practicing of killing human fetuses, and (3) the glorifying of violence in much of our mass media.

May all thinking Americans seriously consider the following admonition found in Deuteronomy 30:19: ".I have set before you life and death, blessings and cursing; therefore, choose LIFE that both you and your seed (children) may LIVE. ( Bold print mine.)


 © 2005 Guthrie Memorial Chapel