Christian Leaders Respond to Sandy Hook

The response has been wide and varied in the religious community about the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Here are some of the responses I was able to find on the internet this morning:

Rev. Gary Hall, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral:

The Christian community, indeed, the entire American faith community, can no longer tolerate this persisting and escalating gun violence against our people. Enough is enough,” said Hall, who is the dean of the cathedral… The best way in my thinking to mourn the Sandy Hook shooting is to mobilize the faith community for gun control.”

Mike Huckabee:

When we ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability?

Max Lucado:

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas.  But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty.  Dark with violence. Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene. Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger. This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.

Evangelist Ray Comfort hopes people will watch his new internet movie to find the answer:

‘Genius’ points to what every murderer has in common, something the ‘experts’ either don’t recognize or avoid talking about. But it’s there… Something tragic is happening in our country, and most people don’t know what it is. Those who want to understand why these tragedies are occurring–and are likely to continue to occur–should watch the free movie.

John Piper:

…the murders of Newtown are a warning to me — and you. Not a warning to see our schools as defenseless, but to see our souls as depraved. To see our need for a Savior. To humble ourselves in repentance for the God-diminishing bitterness of our hearts. To turn to Christ in desperate need, and to treasure his forgiveness, his transforming, and his friendship.

Brady Boyd (Pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, site of a deadly shooting a few years back):

I am a gun owner and have been all my life, but I realize it is too easy for some disturbed people to buy them in our sporting good stores. If there can be helpful conversations between the mental health community and our legislators resulting in laws that could eliminate this from our society, then count me in for support… Let’s have these difficult conversations, starting in our homes and across the table from our friends, but let’s make sure we are tackling the root of the issue and not just the fruit.

Albert Mohler:

The Christian must affirm the grace of moral restraint, knowing that the real question is not why some isolated persons commit such crimes, but why such massacres are not more common. We must be thankful for the restraint of the law, operating on the human conscience. Such a crime serves to warn us that putting a curve in the law will inevitably produce a curve in the conscience. We must be thankful for the restraining grace of God that limits human evil and, rightly understood, keeps us all from killing each other.

Greg Laurie:

“The experts will opine on why this happened. All I can say is this was pure evil. The heartlessness and wickedness of this man that did the shooting is really unimaginable…I know from personal experience that the pain of losing a child is a fate worse than death for a parent… At times like this we must reflect on the essential message of Christmas which is Immanuel has come. Immanuel means God is with us.”

How has this story affected you and your church?

Did you take time out of your services yesterday to deal with this story?

Is your church taking any additional steps to monitor security or reach out to the people affected by this tragedy?

I’d love to hear your story…




  • Dan Turner December 17, 2012 Reply

    Most of the above are helpful. I instictfully distrust some one like Evangelist Ray Comfort who says click on my answer because distrust of “experts,”. We need the thoughtful help of experts in many fields. This answer is to close to the “conspiracy” theories language.

  • Roger December 17, 2012 Reply

    You need and the readers need to hear all Governor Huckabee’s response. This clip shared here doesn’t do it justice. It was brilliant. Max Lucado is always brilliant in settings like this as well as others.

  • Jim December 17, 2012 Reply

    We as Christians must not rely on or look to government as an answer to a sin problem. We live in a broken world. This heinous act was NOT a result of a lack of sanctioned prayer in schools but a lack of Christ in one’s soul. Do we really want to equate religious freedom to the effective application and acceptance of the Gospel message? Why are we, who are supposed to know better, looking for a carnal answer to a spiritual problem? How can we present comfort to a lost and dieing world when our solution is to call for and expect more Christ friendly behavior from a worldly government?

    • Pastor Tom Smith December 18, 2012 Reply

      And conversely, how can we expect the gov. to remove the ability of wacko’s to kill indiscriminately?

      I have to say, that the news of this crime has had an extreme effect on me, and my family, and congregation. I can’t even turn on the news any longer. Neither the left, nor the right, of the political spectrum, are doing anything but trying to reap political gain out of this tragedy. Shame on all of them.

      Our church is an inner city outreach to the children. They are seriously neglected, abused, and most follow the secular line preached in the schools. We can only preach God’s goodness to them, and lead them with a non-violent attitude, to Christ.

      My heart is broken, and all I can do, is hold our children close, and pray.

  • Dane Gressett December 17, 2012 Reply

    Maniacs mudring innocent children is not new to our world. Herod brutally murdered scores of little boys as a result of Jesus’ birth! And God knew that sending His Son would illicit this heinous response…and yet He did not stop Herod.

    I cannot imagine the pain that the parents in Connecticut are enduring right now. But I have experienced the death of many people I love. Actually, everybody I love will soon die.

    The question is NOT, “How could God let this happen?” But is rather, “Since death is a fact and a universal foe of all mankind, has God done anything to save us from this?”

    And of course, the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus are the answers.

    • Rick McGinniss December 18, 2012 Reply

      Well said. Thanks.

    • Pastor Tom Smith December 18, 2012 Reply

      Amen, thanks.

  • Cornelius Duncan December 17, 2012 Reply

    The question was asked, Where was God during the senseless murder of innocent children in Newtown, Conn. The answer to that question is very simple; when you look for God, He will be found.

    The question really is, What happened to One Nation under God with Liberty and Justice for all ?

  • Phillip Maine December 17, 2012 Reply

    The fact that this person was pure evil is not in dispute. Cain was also. Neither is the fact that Christ could have changed his life. There are only two issues that matter. First, which one of the Christians in Newtown shared Jesus with the shooter. Second, Why did he choose a gun free zone to do the shooting? The answer to the first question is None. The fact is that we Christians have abdicated our responsibility to be the guiding light in this dark world for our own comfort. We have become “Consumer Christians” , a term I coined more then thirty years ago to describe the do nothing but sit and listen to the feel-good sermon attitude overwhelmingly present in even our most conservative Christian Churches. The answer to the second question is he choose the gun free zone because he knew that there would be no one to stop him. All mass shootings happen in gun free zones, and statistics in Europe show that gun control does not stop them. It encourages the Mass Killings. Teddy Roosevelt’s axiom walk softly and carry a big stick is the only one that works.

    • Phillip Maine December 17, 2012 Reply

      PS, no other pastor uses the term Consumer Christian because they are afraid they would be ridiculed and/or removed from their pulpit. They are not willing to pay the price for being God’s man confronting our churches with the truth. It is we who call the name of Yashua that are Laodicean, not the world.

      • Rick McGinniss December 18, 2012 Reply

        Seriously? No other pastor will confront their congregation with truth?

        • Phillip Maine December 18, 2012 Reply

          For a while I sat under arguably the most conservative pastor in AR and he refused to lead the church in how to share Jesus. While he claimed that he was not predigest against the poor, only the upper middle class were made deacons, and those with low income were looked down on. If I would name him, some that read this would know of him. I personally led a church I was pastoring through how to share Jesus, and was told in no uncertain terms that the sermon and lessons were inappropriate Sermons in church. I was also told not to name ministries teaching heresy because some may like them. We pastors don’t even have the guts to tell the people that dismissing a pastor for reasons other then heresy and immorality is the #1 sin a church can commit.

    • Brent December 18, 2012 Reply

      Which statistics in Europe? The ones that show that the US, with the loosest gun control laws, has by far the highest rate of firearm homicides of any developed country, and it’s not even close? The one that shows that our homicide rate is 100 times greater than that of the UK, and 150 times higher than that of Japan, two countries with much stricter gun control laws? The deception of the gun rights lobby is frightening.

      Do people need Jesus and does the transforming power of the Holy Spirit change lives and stop violence? Absolutely. But while we live in a world that does not reflect the kingdom of God, we have a moral obligation to do everything we can to protect ourselves. Contrary to what the NRA says, putting a gun in everyone’s hand is not the answer. The “statistics” in Europe prove it.

      • Pastor Tom Smith December 18, 2012 Reply

        This forum should not be used for a certain political gain. There are statistics on both sides of the gun control question, (Enough to choke a horse). However, it still remains that, people are unspeakably evil, and this situation will not get any better, till Jesus Himself comes and puts an end to sin in this world.

        • Brent December 18, 2012 Reply

          The excuse that “things will not get better til Jesus comes back” denies the power of the resurrection and reduces the church into nothing more than a holding tank for souls. That is not the gospel Jesus preached. The power of the Holy Spirit can change things now and calls us, in an imperfect world, to fight for that change on individual, communal, and societal levels.

          Also, these incidents should bring up the political (and, theological in my mind) issue of gun control. Pastors (including myself) should know where they stand, theologically and politically, on these issues and not be afraid to share both views. The guns used in this massacre were created to be weapons that take the lives of people who bear the image of God. I believe the ease of which someone can gain these killing devices is a disrespect to the God who created us all.

          While I appreciate your sentiment in an earlier post about the news media, I disagree that all we can do is hold the children close and pray. We can fight, spiritually and politically, to change this world in a way that better protects our children. I intend to do that, whether or not I am labeled “political.”

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  • Donald Ferm December 17, 2012 Reply

    I totally agree with Mike Huckabee. As a nation we have done everything possible to take God out of the national conscience. Taking guns away won’t change peoples hearts, and that is what is realy needed.

  • Neil Schori December 17, 2012 Reply

    We changed out entire service to respond to this great tragedy. Churches need to be places where we create safe places for people to feel deeply and to reflect and to ask the hard questions that rattle our faith.

    Here is my message from yesterday at Naperville Christian Church:


    Neil Schori

  • Rick McGinniss December 18, 2012 Reply

    I don’t mean to be insensitive – what happened in Newtown was horrible. But what about other places in the world where innocent children are being brutally murdered? Should we be responding to those as well every week?

    When I look at the daily news where I live, I could talk about some horrible tragedy every Sunday. Is the criteria for what we address (or not) somehow determined by national media coverage?

  • turby December 18, 2012 Reply

    So many wonderful comments. We focus on the perpetrator and forget the children and their families. These 20 children were so innocent…I get these emails of all of them in heaven. Were they saved – who will judge this? Were they baptized into the faith. Did they renounce the devil and all his evil? Are we preparing all the other innocent for eternity? This is a call to preach the saving Grace and eternity. Adam Lanza brought these families to altar for addressing their relationship with Jesus Christ.

  • John Newsome December 18, 2012 Reply

    I addressed it briefly before going into our prayer time. I am in a series called The Christmas Prayer based on The Lord’s Prayer and on Christmas Eve I will deal with it more. I will look at the fifth petition “Deliver us from evil” and will couple that with Zechariah’s song in Luke 1:67-79.

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  • salagala,giri kumar April 10, 2013 Reply

    we are praying for u and u r ministries dear pastor with love pastor Giri and family

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