LIke so many others living in on the West Coast, I woke this morning to the devastating news that the lives of 50 people were snuffed out in Orlando Florida by the evil actions of an Islamic inspired terrorist. A man who pledged allegiance to ISIS, took up arms, walked into a nightclub, and shot as many people as he could before the police could stop him.

Sadly, many will ignore the source of evil and will instead lay blame on the instrument of that evil. There is a philosophy, a worldview, a theology that drove this man to kill, yet some would rather focus on his methodology and weaponry.

As politicians turn evil onto opportunity to advance personal agenda (often in ignorance of the evil itself), there is a line from the Hobbit that has meaning.

“There is something at work beyond the evil of Smaug. Something far more powerful. We could remain blind to it but it will not be ignoring us, that I can promise you.” — Gandalf

We can pass laws to restrict guns, but there is something more powerful at work that inspires men and women to kill. The Orlando terrorist used a gun, but confessed his solidarity with the Boston Marathon terrorists who made bombs from pressure cookers. The Orlando terrorist used a gun, but aligned himself with a group who routinely turns people into human bombs with dynamite strapped to their bodies.

Can we improve our laws to keep guns from terrorists? Maybe. I hope so. But without guns, terrorist will find ways to kill. No law will address the more powerful evil that drives these men and women who will kill anyone who rejects their sect of radical Islamic faith.

You can remain blind to the theology that drives these terrorist, you can ignore the ideology that inspires them, but the evil won’t ignore you.

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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