America's Hope: Gun Laws or Spiritual Transformation? (1)- Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols

America’s Hope: Gun Laws or Spiritual Transformation? (Part One)

America's Hope: Gun Laws or Spiritual Transformation? (Part One)

As gun law debates rage in the media and the government bodies of this nation, a deeper, more critical issue is being overlooked—the only issue that can change the tide of violence in our nation.

I recently saw the video below of Darrell Scott’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. Mr. Scott’s daughter, Rachel Scott, was killed in the Columbine High School shooting. His son, Craig, is a survivor of the shooting.

Mr. Scott actually missed a memorial service for his daughter in order to give this gripping testimony in which he accurately identified the real cause of the tragedy. If it wasn’t guns, what was it? Mr. Scott answers…

Darrell Scott Testimony

Testimony Of Darrell Scott Before The House Judiciary Committee, May 1999:

Testimony Transcript:

Darrell Scott

Darrell Scott

Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and evil in the heart of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Able out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart. In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.

I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy – it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies. Much of that blame lies here in this room. Much of that blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. It was written before I knew that I would be speaking here today. I’d like to read it:

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.

Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”

You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand
That God is what we need!

Men and women are three-part beings. We have a body, and we have a soul, and we have a spirit. I believe we fail to recognize that third element that really does need to be recognized by the legislative bodies of this country….

Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. And we know this is a historic fact.

Columbine Aerial View

Medics tend to the wounded in the wake of the massacre. Photograph: Rodolfo Gonzalez/AP

What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in doing so, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs – politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that continue to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by more gun laws or metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. And there is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched.

We do not need more religion. We don’t need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people’s basic needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and humble acknowledgement that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God.

When my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes – he didn’t hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America and around the world to realize that on April 20,1999 at Columbine High School – prayer was brought back to our schools. Don’t let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millenium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your conscience and denies your God-given right to communicate with Him.

To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA – I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before you cast the first stone! My daughter’s death will not be in vain. The young people of this country will not allow that to happen. Remember that even a pawn in a Master’s hand can accomplish much.


Our Greatest Need

As our nation has continued to experience tragic murders in the years since Columbine, sadly Darrell Scott’s statement remains true.

In the aftermath of more tragic shootings, we’re desperately seeking answers, asking “Why?” and debating more laws. Yet we’ve failed to understand that God is what we need. As Mr. Scott aptly said, men and women are three-part beings. We are comprised of body, soul, and spirit. The need of the spirit for God is being ignored.

Although government has legislated God out of the public arena, impacting our private lives, the solution cannot be found in government. What occurred in our government was secondary—it happened as a result of spiritual decline. Otherwise, we would not have elected representatives who believed God was an offense to be removed. It all comes down to the hearts of individuals—hearts that need redemption.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Personal Evangelism

Our spiritual decline as a nation can be attributed to many things. Much of it I can do nothing about, but the most critical thing that could bring spiritual transformation to this nation I can do something about. And I should do something. I can pray for my friends and neighbors and share the Gospel with them. I can go and make disciples! (Mt. 28:19)

During Pursuit 21 this year, God convicted me about my lack of personal evangelism. He led me to set a goal to share the Gospel with others more often in the coming year.

Then last week, as I saw the final episode of The Bible series—saw the apostles persecuted and murdered for sharing the Gospel—I was ashamed. Watching it, I felt as if I were in the scenes with the apostles. It made the point hit home. They didn’t hesitate to share Christ in spite of the high cost. They weren’t at risk of mere embarrassment or loss personal comfort for telling others about Jesus, they were at risk of torture and death! And here I, at risk of losing nothing for sharing the Gospel, don’t share it as frequently as I should. I’m spiritually cold. Indifferent. Selfish. Temporal minded. Disobedient.

I’m guilty of the very thing Darrell Scott identified: ignoring my friends and neighbor’s need—the need of their spirit for God.

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you’re convicted too…but maybe you aren’t quite sure where to start. In part two of this post, I write about an excellent place to start. It’s an organized outreach that gives you all the tools and makes it as easy as merely inviting someone to watch a video on your phone, iPad, laptop or TV.

Question: Do you believe that what we really need as a nation and as individuals is God? If so, how can we turn the tide of spiritual decline in America?

Part Two: America’s Hope: Gun Laws or Spiritual Transformation (2)



Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Shades of Grace will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

One Response to “America’s Hope: Gun Laws or Spiritual Transformation? (Part One)”

  1. Waseem says:

    thanks for sharing

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