At the wake of the Red Lake teenage school shooting that shocked the nation Tuesday, two Christian ministry groups offered solemn advice for families and teens on how to cope with the suffering and prevent similar situations in the future.
In an article titled, Preventing Future School Shootings, written by the president of Dare 2 Share Ministries International, parents and students were encouraged to open their hearts to God's healing hands and to embrace those who are suffering from the tragedy.
Called the worst school shooting since the Columbine massacre, a teenage gunman named Jeff Weiss shot nine people - including his grandfather and an unarmed guard - to death before killing himself, according to police. The incident occured at the Native American reservation in Red Lake, Minn..
In the article, which was also posted by Focus o nthe Family, Dare 2 Share head Greg Stier tells those who are suffering pychologically and emotionally to open their eyes to the "hands of Christ".
He urges families to open their doors to the teens and other people nearby who they know have suffered trauma.
Greg Stier wrote, "There were many of the same external issues that we saw in the Columbine case. An oft-made-fun-of-teen who wore black, thought of himself as the angel of death, [and] had been showing signs of potential violence. School officials were afraid he would try something soon, and their worst fears came true on Monday afternoon."
Behind this tragic event that has now become national public news is a tragic story of pain that was unseen and hidden inside a lonely teen's heart, the article explained. This teen's father committed suicide four years ago, and his mom is incapacitated due to brain injuries after a car accident.
"Only God knows the strain and pain that racked his soul before he went on his violent, selfish rampage," writes Stier. Pointing to his selfishness, nevertheless, Stier illuminates the pain that must've been inside of the young man up until his suicide.
"The anger, disillusionment and despair exploded like a volcano on Monday afternoon when he destroyed not just lives but the psyche of this peaceful community," states Stier.
The question now for Christians is, 'What can you do to prevent this?'
"There is an angry young man at a public school near you right now, thinking about doing the same thing, maybe even at the school your teen attends. What can you do about it? How can you prevent a massacre in your neighborhood?" Stier writes.
Security, though a logical answer, has holes, and most schools "cannot afford" the level of security that would "truly prevent a teen intent" on "destruction of his fellow classmates."
Moral education is another option. However moral education centers around situational ethics, which change depending on the situation, not "timeless" biblical principles.
Of this option, he states, "When we keep God out of education, we keep true morals out as well."
Instead of true biblical principles, schools teach teens that they are the random result of accidental evolution and there is no place for God. Rather, "human goodness" is just a higher level of "animal ethics," and in this Darwinian world of "Survival of the fittest," the strong survive and the weak die. This teen was now the strongest and the fittest, and the weakest were about to die. The irony is that this teen also happens to shoot him too.
"Increased school security, moral education and governmental intervention, at best, are hacking at the leaves of evil. So what can we do as Christians to hack at the root?" asks Stier.
"Only the gospel of Christ" has the transformative "power" to pull the root of evil that dwells [inside of hearts]" Stier states as the ultimate solution to this growing violence among schools is to train teens to share the gospel with other teens, states Greg Stier.
This can be done by becoming "lighthouses to our communities." By this, he means, to reach out to those in pain and reveal Christ's love, even if this may sound dangerous. In fact, "It's dangerous not to!" states Stier.
D2S urges people, specifically, teens to reach outside their comfort zones and share the gospel of Jesus Christ on their campuses, and crossing those "cafeteria boundaries that most teens never cross."
Teens can go places where youth workers can't, said Rick Bond, Vice President of Youh Evangelism Explosion.
Stier states, "They need to see the students on their campus with the eyes of Christ. How did Jesus see?" And he answers, "Jesus empathized with the crowds of hurting people who were following Him. He felt their deepest hurts."
Not only should these teens have the compassionate eyes of Jesus, but also "the hands of Jesus."
"After Christ saw their pain, He met their needs. He fed them, healed them, taught them and loved them. Our teens must be equipped to do what Jesus did. They must engage these hurting teens on their campuses, listen to them, love them and share the gospel with them," wrote Stier.