On April 27th, 2019, a man most have identified as John Earnest, entered a Jewish Synagogue and began firing an AR-15, killing one and wounding three. This teenager, John Earnest, while not being completely identified as the murderer, has been identified as the most likely perpetrator. He was nineteen at the time, and appeared to have no remorse at his actions. But, this is what’s crazy:
“Before he allegedly walked into a synagogue in Poway, Calif., and opened fire, John Earnest appears to have written a seven-page letter spelling out his core beliefs: that Jewish people, guilty in his view of faults ranging from killing Jesus to controlling the media, deserved to die. That his intention to kill Jews would glorify God.” (Zauzmer 2019)
John claimed to be a Christian. In fact, he didn’t just claim belief; he truly believed he was a Christian. And yet, for good reason, I don’t believe that John was a Christian. A belief that one is a Christian does not make you a Christian. We still have to allow Christ into our lives, giving Him room to work His holy will.
Sadly, a man can be so delusional that he believes God will be glorified through the death of Jews. In fact, a man can be so delusional that he, a psychopath murderer, will believe that he can both murder and glorify God. These two factors don’t add up. A man cannot have true belief in God, and yet go and attempt to kill people that are doing their best to serve God. No Christian, even one that believes he is one, would commit such a heinous act.
My point is this: even the most delusional, psychotic man can believe he’s a Christian. Self-deceit can run so deep, we never even give it a second glance. When encountered with these situations, the best thing we can do is pray, both for removal of self-deceit from our lives, and for God to work his will in our hearts and minds. Also, we need to disprove the theories abounding on the internet about Christian murders. John Earnest, if he did commit this terrible crime, was not a Christian. Despite this, we need to prove that we, as Christians, are not remotely like him. We should not allow the people angry over this tragedy to become angrier. Give grace and love, especially to the Jews. They have suffered as much as we have.
Zauzmer, Julie. “The alleged synagogue shooter was a churchgoer who talked Christian theology, raising tough questions for evangelical pastors.” The Washington Post, May 1 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/05/01/alleged-synagogue-shooter-was-churchgoer-who-articulated-christian-theology-prompting-tough-questions-evangelical-pastors/?noredirect=on