Mass Murder, Tragedy, and Unexpected Deaths
Rev. Jeremy Walker
LIVE Broadcast www.chalcedon.edu
Mass Murder, Tragedy, and Unexpected Deaths
On this episode, we will be discussing the recent mass murders that took place in Las Vegas, and other recent mass murders that took place in other places around the world. We’ll talk about other tragedies, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods, and other unexpected events that resulted in the sudden and unexpected death of various individuals. The question we will seek to answer is, What should we learn from all these things?
Transcript of Episode:
Jeremy Walker: You’re listening to the Breaking News podcast. I’m your host, Jeremy Walker. Today on this episode of the Breaking News podcast, we have news and updates concerning Christianities’ march forward to share with you, we also have our top story concerning the recent mass murders that took place in Las Vegas and, also, we’ll cover the tragedies and untimely deaths that took place all around the world.
The Breaking News podcast is a production of the Recon Resource Network. For more information, you can visit their website at www.thereconresourcenetwork.com.
The very first update we have for you this week, that we would like to make you aware of is a brand-new website and a brand-new initiative, brand-new in some ways and new to some people, but it’s been out for quite a while, and it’s come to our attention here, we’d like to share this with you, Chris Cheney’s march forward is all about new things that are happening in the world, Christianity and, specifically in the world of the recon reconstruction movement.
Now, this update is about the website www.reconstructionistradio.com. You can also find that only on their website everyconstructionsradio.com, but you can also find them on Facebook at facebook.com/reconstructionistradio. The Reconstructionist Radio podcast network is a reform network that includes a collection of shows that provide content relevant to all believers, primarily focused on practical applications of biblical principles. In the network, you will find interviews with well-known leaders in the reform community, global mission updates, discipleship lectures, culture analysis and commentary and more.
Now, this is something I became aware of a while back and I’m very excited to share this with you, if you have not heard of the Reconstructionist Radio Network and website, I definitely hope that you would go there now and check it out. Take a look at it. It’s really something I wish had been developed about 20 years ago so that I could’ve, when I was younger, taken advantage of all the materials that are on there, especially all the commentaries and the people that are there. The Reconstructionist Radio website and Facebook pages publish Christian podcasts on a variety of topics and subjects, and it also publishes not only that but audiobooks from well-known reformed Christian and Christian reconstructions authors as well.
Now, the Reconstructionist Radio audiobooks, if I was going to describe them, they’re very much audible, if you’re familiar with audible at all. Audible, of course is the Amazon program where there are books on tape, and this is reformed and reconstructionist authors in audio format so you can go ahead and tune into them, you can listen to these books. If you spend a lot of time driving maybe, or if you have time, or you prefer to listen to them … There are a team of people, volunteers, for Reconstructionist Radio who have come together and produced these various books with permission from the authors of course and whatnot, but I definitely recommend that you go there, take a look at it. I would definitely consider the audible of the reformed Christian reconstructions world. I wish this was something that was developed a long time ago, but I’m very excited about it, and I hope that the listener here is going to find this just as exciting and useful to them as well.
Now, Reconstructionist Radio is talking about and planning also to have a dedicated app for your smart phone so the listeners can more easily access all the content that’s produced and published by the Reconstructionist Radio website. Now, if you’d like to support them, you can also visit their website at reconstructionistradio.com for more information, but this is one of the first updates we have for you today and it’s something that myself has also gone into helping out with as well. It’s just something I find is a great initiative, something that’s a great asset. It’s a great tool to have out there for people. So if you have a couple minutes, you’d like to check this out, go ahead and check out the website, reconstructionistradio.com.
Now, the second update I’d like to share with you as well is something from the Chalcedon Foundation, and that this update is about their live weekly broadcast that they now have going. Now, this is something that I found out about about a week ago or so, but they had a little blip about it, it said, “Decades ago Christian Reconstruction spread by word-of-mouth through books, tapes, newsletters, mailing lists and people sharing with other people. Now we have better tools to do this. So join us each Sunday right here for two live streamed events.” So these are your two livestream events that happen every Sunday. Another little blip says, “Imagine 30 years ago being able to watch sermons live from Chalcedon Chapel or have your Bible questions answered live by Chalcedon leadership.” Now, I was greatly benefited by many of the different [inaudible 00:05:42] tapes and things that he had, and one of the things that I thought was the most interesting was the Q&A sessions that they had, and so as I understand these are also going and taking place.
There’s a few more things that says, you can find them weekly on Facebook live broadcast each Sunday and you can also participate if you’re on Facebook because each Sunday Chalcedon broadcasts two live video stream events on Facebook page, along with a simultaneous broadcast on the website also for those that are not on Facebook. So on the Sunday whenever they do these they have live streaming on the Facebook page and on the website as well.
The first one is a live video broadcast of the Chalcedon Chapel service with expository sermon by Chalcedon president, Mark Rushdoony. That takes place, if you’re interested, on Sundays around 2:10 Eastern time. The second one is a live video broadcast of the Chalcedon Q&A with Chalcedon vice-president, Martin Selbrede. This takes place on Sundays right around three o’clock eastern time as well. If this is something that you’re interested in, go ahead and take a look at it. These are two live broadcasts. I find that, especially the Chalcedon Foundation, have been very instrumental for me as well.
It also has another blip on here about these Q&A sessions and things, it says, “Ask Martin questions live on Facebook or submit your questions now or during the broadcast via email.” Not only do they have that, but it says, “Be sure to share this with someone. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible.” So even whether someone you know is on Facebook or not, they can participate either on the website. It also says they look forward to seeing people. There are two different links here that can give you, if this sounds like something that’s interesting to you, I definitely think people should check this out. The first link is their website, which is chalcedon.edu. Chalcedon is spelled C-H-A-L-C-E-D-O-N.edu, chalcedon.edu. They also have their Facebook page, which is Facebook.com/chalcedonfoundation. Chalcedon Foundation is spelled C-H-A-L-C-E-D-O-N, Foundation, F-O-U-N-D-A-T-I-O-N. These are two of the updates we’d like to share with you, the Christianities march forward … I encourage you to check out these two new resources that are now available. I think that you will find these two resources edifying and a very great source of information. So our two once again, to recap, reconstructionistradio.com, invaluable, new resource to Christian reconstructionists and Christians in general, reformed Christians, and of course Chalcedon’s new live broadcast every Sunday. I encourage you to check those out. Those are going to be our updates for this week.
Now, for our top story this week, mass murder in Las Vegas. This is something that has gotten giant headlines over the past week or so, lots of commentary, lots of news coverage, lots of websites, lots of blog post, and even conspiracy theories. Now, my intention and the intention of the Breaking News podcast is not to focus on the news itself, necessarily reporting the news, instead we’re more evaluating the news, what can we learn from the news that we should learn? So we’re going to be covering not just the mass murders in Las Vegas but also tragedies in general, we’ve had quite a few of them around the world, and unexpected deaths, and what we can learn from all these various subjects and topics.
Let’s go ahead and start with just covering, if you’re not familiar with this event, this mass murder in Las Vegas, let’s go with some of the published facts. I know there’s a lot of different radio stations out there, a lot of different coverage, but let’s go with the general published facts of the event itself. It’s that a gunman began firing into Route 91 Harvest Festival from across the street from upper level of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Around 58 people were killed by the gunman and around 500 people were injured due to gunfire or from other injuries that happened during the chaos there on the ground. The shooter was identified as Stephen Paddock, age 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, who was found dead on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, and of course had many guns surrounding him, et cetera.
Now, these are the published facts of the event itself. Now, there have been a lot of conspiracy theories, and I think everybody loves a good conspiracy theory, there’s been a ton of them for this one, but let’s just touch on a few because even though we’re not intending to really focus on this issue, let’s just go ahead and touch on some of conspiracy theories, because the conspiracy theorists, of course, they have doubts.
Now, one of the conspiracy theories we heard was that how can one man pull this off all by himself? He was all by himself, how can he possibly do this? Another conspiracy theory was that it was a government coverup. The other one was that the shooter was a government spook, some kind of a CIA agent scapegoat kind of thing. Another one was that there was more than one shooter. That was a very popular one. Another conspiracy theory was that they were … Where were all the bullets in the room? Once they released the footage of the hotel room, the question was where are all the bullets at? There was lots of different photos that came out in the media and then all the conspiracy theorists started to tear them apart. Not only that, but the sound of the guns and the sound of the bullets, and all the conspiracy theorists came out and started trying to tear these apart and give videos for people to listen to and all the rest that came with it. Now, even went so far as to go further into that where they were then saying that witnesses who saw more than one gunman were now being found dead, just to further promote the idea that it was a government coverup and whatnot.
Now, one thing you have to know is for sure is that you’re not always going to have the facts. Even if there were 10 people in a room who all saw the same event, they would all have 10 different stories. It’s just the way it is. There’s a great book out there called The Invisible Gorilla, and it was done by two Harvard graduates, and these two Harvard graduates were focused on perception. One of the things that they came to with perception was that people always have a different point of view, they always see something different. In fact, one of the very interesting experiments they did with their study on the invisible gorilla, which you can find it on the internet, I won’t spoil it for you, but I definitely think you should check it out because it’ll give you a better idea of what I mean by perception. Check out YouTube, search The Invisible Gorilla, maybe it’s Invisible Gorilla test, I’m not sure what it might be under, but you should find it, and go ahead and watch the video. At the end, it should give you a pretty good idea of what these guys were talking about and the view of perception and how it is. There could be so many conflicting reports, and the reason is because people see things from their own perspectives.
No one is saying the conspiracy theorists don’t have really good points and objectives and nobody’s saying that people don’t cover things up and give you half-truths, but I think that the important part here is that that’s not really the focus of what we’re trying to learn about because irrelevant if all the publish facts are correct, or if there is any truth whatsoever to the theories of conspiracy or of the conspiracy theorists, there is one undisputed fact, and that’s that 58 people went to a concert with friends and loved ones in the hopes of hearing good music and just having a good time, but none of them expected that they would never return home to their loved ones, or that this was the last night that they would have on earth. Now, this is something that nobody expected, note, none of the people going to this event expected that that was going to be their last day, and that’s kind of what we want to focus on is that these people lost their lives and there’s something we can learn from this.
Now, jumping from the murders that took place in Texas, there have been other tragedies around the world, one of those I actually was involved in myself here in Florida, which we recently had hurricane Irma and there’s been also hurricanes there in Texas recently as well, flooding, severe winds, people lost their homes, some people lost their lives, and so hurricanes can be very deadly and people can think they’re okay, think that everything’s going to be hunky-dory-doo, they’re going to be fine, but the unexpected happens and people lose their lives not knowing that that was their last day. There’s earthquakes, we recently had them in Mexico. I know a young guy who is there in Puebla, Mexico, and he’s listening to this, you know who you are, but he was very close to the epicenter of these earthquakes, but the earthquakes apparently hit Mexico City harder. I’m guessing because the structures of the buildings, maybe the age of the buildings, but there, during these earthquakes, schools collapsed and just felt pieces and people lost their lives. Schoolchildren, people in apartments, people who went to school, parents who sent their kids to school, and not a single person expected that that was their last morning they were to say goodbye to their children and nobody thought that it would be the last day that they would be alive that day.
Beyond that, between tragedies that you see and hear about, the ones like earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes and mass murders like we were talking here about in Las Vegas, but you also have just unexpected deaths in general. I listed a couple here that I know that I’ve seen either on a personal level, I’ve seen or that I know about or have heard about as well. There is one, I know a man who just went golfing one time and he was just on the golf cart and the golf cart … He was having a good time, golfing with his friends, and the golf cart hits a rough patch as they’re driving, they’re on the sidewalk where they’re supposed to be driving, not doing anything crazy just normal, and it apparently buckles, apparently hits something, shakes the golf cart and the man was not seated properly and he falls out of the golf cart. Well, he hit his head on a rock that was nearby and died.
There was recently in the internet, you see stuff all the time, and there was a video of a bodybuilder, a very well built man, clearly took care of his body, spent his entire time beating his body into submission, and he was at an event, a bodybuilding event of some sorts, he was coming out to see the crowd and when he did, he decided to do a back flip, obviously something he’d done plenty of times before but this time was different because as he went out there to do the back flip, he missed. Maybe he slipped, something happened, but instead of completing his back flip, he landed on his neck and it took about 10 seconds before people determined that this was not just an accident, but he had actually died. This man had come out there expecting a good event and did not go home.
I know a man who also, before had dropped off his children at school and say goodbye to everybody, said goodbye to his son, got in his car and within 10 minutes he had been in a car crash, and he was dead and was gone. Other people who seemingly had healthy children, who were older … There’s one I know in particular who was older and a child woke up, complained of a headache, good health, no problems and then shortly later on that day, the child fell over and did not respond and had died as well, aneurysm in the brain. Not a single person knew or expected this to happen. The child himself did expect this to happen, no one knew that this was going to be their the last day.
Now, I say all that to say this is, and I think we’re going to jump into these last pieces here, but what we can learn about all this, and I’m going to go through this rather quickly because I do want people to catch on to it, but it goes like this, what should we learn from mass murders, tragedies around the world and unexpected deaths like the ones I’ve described? I think what we should learn is this, is number one, we should be very careful not to think that people who have had tragedies befall them are under judgment for evil deeds.
There is a passage in Luke 13, verses one through five, where Jesus is talking to people and there is a a tower, the tower of Salome, that had fallen on people, and there was another place where Pilate had to taken Galileans and had killed them as well, and he was asking the people if they thought they were great sinners and this is why these events had befalled them, and Jesus warned them not to do this, not to think about these people as if they were great sinners, but to look about themselves, to think about themselves, that if they themselves don’t repent, they themselves don’t get themselves right with God, that they would likewise perish, not necessarily in the same events but that judgment would come upon them. So it is important for us not to look at things that befall other people as if they’re judgments that we know these people are doing terrible and evil things and that’s what they got in trouble. The case of Job is next, which is coming up and we’re going to mention here that bad events that happen to people are not always because the person has done something wrong. We like to call it Providence.
Now, number two, the thing we should learn, is not only should we not be overly critical of people thinking that they’ve caused this thing, these terrible events to happen to them, but number two is we should be careful not to foolishly accuse God of evil. If you read Job 1, I’ll just give you some references here, you can go look it up if you like, Job 1, 20 through 22, Job 2, 9 through 10, Job 40, one through four, and Job 42, one through six, these four passages are great just little tidbits about Job, what happened to him.
In the first part, of course, Job loses all his money, his 10 children die, he loses all his health, every thing happens to Job all in the same day, and his response was that naked had he come out of his mother’s womb, and naked he’d also return, and the Lord gives and the Lord takes way. Blessed be the name of the Lord. That was Job’s response. Job’s wife’s response, however, was not that way. Her response was, “why is that you retain your integrity? Curse God and die.” His wife wanted Job to be angry with God for what he done to Job, and then Job of course called her foolish and he said that we received good things by the hand of God, should we also not receive evil? This was Job’s response. He understood that you get the good from God, and also the bad from God. They both come from God’s hands, providential hand. No matter what happens, it all comes from God.
In Job we 40 had where God confronts Job when he asks Job if he’s going to contend with God. I mean these, people are going to say “Why, God? Why did you allow this to happen? You shouldn’t have allowed this? If I was God, I wouldn’t have allowed this to happen.” This is a very foolish thing to do. This is not something that people should do, try to instruct God. “If you were a good God, why would you let these things happen?” It’s not something that we should do. Job’s example is where providence is what it is. It’s not something that we can know exactly why things take place, but like in Job’s case here, he did not foolishly accuse God of evil, and that’s very important. In fact, he says he put his hand on his mouth and refused to speak.
Then at the end there in Job 42, Job declares that there were things that were to wonderful for him to understand, and that’s something that I think we should understand as well. Providence is not something that we can necessarily comprehend. It’s a very complicated subject, and we barely understand what we’re doing tomorrow or what we’re doing right now, much less knowing what things should be done in the course of the entire events of history. So we should be very careful not to foolishly accuse God. That’s something that we should learn in the midst of tragedy is not to blame God, but to thank God for all the good times, as Job said, all the good things are from God, and also the tragedies too.
The third thing we should learn is that we should be reminded that we are not promised tomorrow. That’s not something that you promise. All these people that we’re talking about here, didn’t get a tomorrow. In James 4:14 it says, “Yeah, you do not know that your life will be like tomorrow. You’re just a vapor that appears for little while and then vanishes away.” That’s what life is like. You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Your life is like a vapor that’s here one day and is gone the next. It doesn’t matter if you’re here … Like these people had tragedy befall them or if you live to be 80 years old, it’s still a blink. I’ve talked to people who are much older and that’s what they say, where did it all go? Where did the time go? Even if you live a long life and you don’t die until your 80s or 90s, it’s still a vapor. So this is something that we should think about, we are not promised tomorrow, not matter who we are.
Number four, we should be mindful to spend our time upon the earth very wisely. Since you don’t know how much time you’re going to have, you should spend it very wisely. In Psalms 90 verse 12, it says, “So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” What it says here in Ecclesiastes three is very important because Ecclesiastes 3, 11 through 15, says, “He has made everything beautiful in his time. Also, he has set the world in their hearts so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from beginning to end. I know that there is no good thing in them, but for man to rejoice and to do good in his life and also that everyman should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor. It is a gift of God and know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever. Nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it, and God do with it that men should fear before him, that which hath been is now, that which is to be hath already been, and God requires that which has passed.” Providence of God is something you can’t escape and therefore Solomon here in Ecclesiastes 3 says the best you can do is to eat and drink and enjoy the good of your labor.
This is a gift of God, to do good in this life, to apply your heart to wisdom, which is, of course, the obedience of God’s commandments. Spend your time wisely, you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.
Number five, we should remember that death is not the end, we should therefore purposely seek to live in obedience to God who will one day bring us into judgment concerning the life and time that we were given. Every person was given a different amount of time, a different amount of responsibilities, a different amount of wisdom and so you are going to be one day judged based on these things. Ecclesiastes 12, 13 through 14, says, “Let us hear the conclusion, the whole matter, fear God and to keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man for God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” So the fifth thing to learn from all these events, mass murders, tragedies, unexpected deaths, are these five things. The last one being is that not only are we not promised tomorrow, we should spend our time wisely, but that one day we’re going to have a judgment. It doesn’t matter if it’s today, or if it’s tomorrow, or if it’s after you’re 90 years old, but one day there is a judgment coming and you want to be able to hold your head up high and say that I ran the race, as Paul said, and you are rewarded a crown for this.
This is something that we should learn from these tragedies, from these events that take place is that one day very soon, it could be tomorrow, as all the people we’re talking about here, did not know that tomorrow was the day where they would not be back. So we should all live in expectation that today might be the last. As Solomon said, eat and drink, enjoy the good of your labor, do good, enjoy your life and thank God for it.
In closing, I hope this gave you some things to think about that will help you and to edify you. We do want to thank you for joining us for another episode of the Breaking News podcast. We do look forward to sharing more with you on our next week’s episode and, of course don’t forget that you can find all the episodes on the Breaking News podcast website at reconresourcenetwork.com. Thank you and [inaudible 00:27:02].