To the residents of Newton, Connecticut:
My name is Arthur Christopher Schaper, a resident of Torrance, CA. Please forgive my presumption in writing to the Newton, CT community, but I wanted to give some peace and comfort, truth in the midst of the terrible tragedy which took place in Newtown.
I am devastated by the alarming events which transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is impossible for me to empathize with the staggering loss of young lives and the caring staff who died protecting them. What I want to share with everyone who has been affected by this terrible tragedy is a response to a report which I read shortly after the mass murder took place. A number of parishioners rushed to churches, asking "Why did this happen?"
I want to comfort as many as I can with this statement: God did not make this happen. God is not punishing anyone in Connecticut, nor is He punishing anyone else in this country. Do not let anyone guilt-trip you or any other into believing that those precious children were killed because God was judging some parent or teacher or other individual for some wrongdoing.
The next question which may be racing through people's minds: "Why did God do nothing to stop this insane mass-murderer? Why do these tragedies continue to occur if God is just and faithful to forgive us all our sins?"
Many people have been very confused, even upset because they believe in a God who is all-powerful. Indeed, He is, but because He cannot lie, He cannot go back on His word. Sadly, this world is a fallen earth, and it is not God's fault. Blame the first man, Adam, who ate from the tree that he was forbidden to eat from. God made a covenant with Adam, that he could freely eat from any tree, that he could be fruitful and multiply. However, in order to permit Adam to love God freely, God had to give him a choice to show his love. So, God permitted one forbidden tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, to stand in the Garden of Eden. The covenant with man was based on one provision. "If you eat of this tree, you will surely die" (Genesis 2: 17).
Deceived by the Outlaw Spirit Satan, Eve then Adam ate from the Tree, and as a result all Creation fell, and every man since then is born in the likeness of Adam: dead in sin.
This is an unfair situation, many will rightly charge. But from that moment on, God prophesied that the seed of the woman would crush the head of Satan, a prophecy which foreshadowed the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind who came to die for all our sins and to give us His Life, if we receive His grace by faith (Ephesians 2: 4, 8). In fact, God's Son Jesus was set apart before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1: 20) to be the Sacrifice to reconcile fallen man to Almighty God.
God is not mad at the world, and He has provided a way or man to overcome the evil in this life, through His Son. God took out all of his Holy wrath on His Son at Calvary, where Jesus Christ died for all the sins of the world.
Now, regarding the lives of those precious children, I am resolute in sharing with you that everyone of them is in heaven right now. For every parent who believes on Jesus Christ, they too will be able to see them again.
I hope that these words bring comfort to all in Newtown and in the adjacent neighborhoods in the region. This fallen world filled with fallen men doing fallen things is not going to go away any time soon. I do believe that for every person who receives the righteousness and grace of God through Christ Jesus, they can rest at ease knowing that He loves and cares for us, and that even in death we can be more than conquerors through Christ Jesus (Romans 8: 37)
In no wise am I claiming to alleviate or minimize the intense pain of this time. I pray that God's Holy Spirit will minister peace all who have been so terribly affected in this trying time.