In the wake of the shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where at last report 12 people were killed and several dozen were wounded earlier today, AiG reached out to our friends at Calvary Chapel Aurora this morning. AiG President Ken Ham conducted a seminar at this church last month. The church informed us that Pastor Ed Taylor and other pastors on the staff were at area hospitals to minister to the wounded and their families, and also to family members who are grieving the loss of loved ones. As we post this web item, Calvary Chapel Aurora did not know if any of the victims had a tie to its church body.
When AiG conducted its seminar at the church—located a few miles from Columbine High School where in 1999 a shooting rampage killed 15 people—Ken dealt with the question, “Why does God allow death and suffering in the world?” He explained that the Bible provides the history of what’s wrong with this world. In Genesis 3, God teaches us that death, bloodshed, diseases, and suffering are consequences of sin. Yet even with sin in our world, Ken declared that people can know there is meaning and purpose in life through Jesus Christ, and by receiving Him, they can be saved for eternity.
Right after 9/11, AiG produced a witnessing booklet titled Why Is there Death and Suffering? It is appropriate once again to share with you a PDF of the booklet (revised since 9/11) for you to read and forward to people who may be struggling right now with the question of why God allows bad things to happen.
Many members of Calvary Chapel and other Christians in the area have been equipped with the answer to that tough question of why there is death and suffering in the world. Please pray that they will minister effectively to people in the Denver area using God’s Word. The solution to increased violence seen around America (and in nations like Norway and Finland, which have also witnessed mass murder in recent years) is for people to return to God and the teachings of His Word, including an understanding of what God said in Genesis 3 about the origin of death—and who is to blame.
Update: Late Friday morning, Calvary Chapel Aurora sent us the following update (abridged here):
Thank you so much [for the web article]. We know that at least 4 Calvary Chapel pastors were in the theater last night. They had the opportunity to pray and tell others about the hope that is in Jesus; some even assisted in carrying people out of the building. We will be holding a Prayer Meeting for the city tonight [Friday] at 6pm. Please pray that people would come and hear about Jesus's hope in light of the tragedy. Thank you so much for sending us your article; your ministry is a blessing, and send wishes to Ken for us, too.
Also Friday morning, Ken went live on the radio with Pastor Taylor of Calvary Chapel on the station operated by the church (89.7 GRACEfm in Denver) to discuss the tragedy and share biblical insights.
Saturday morning, our regular News to Note feature will have a follow-up article on the massacre in Colorado titled “A Dark Night Indeed,” with additional commentary. Please check back.
Friday morning, the church issued the following email prayer alert:
Tragedy in Aurora, Colorado
July 20, 2012
Please be in Prayer. . .
As not all of you may know, there was a very tragic shooting incident in Aurora (Denver area), last night.
They have confirmed that 12 people died in this awful tragedy at the local mall in Aurora and many, many more injured.
So far our fellowship is safe and all of our pastors are at the different hospitals where the injured have been taken.