When encountering moments of tragedy, only God can bring us love and peace, the Rev. Billy Graham says.
Graham, a prominent evangelical leader and founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, wrote in a recent post for the "My Answers" portion of his website that although there is frequently no explanation for tragic events, like mass shootings, such disasters remind us that the human heart is capable of great evil and therefore needs God.
"I doubt if anyone has a complete explanation for terrible events like this—even if there seem to be reasons behind some of them (such as domestic violence or employee anger)," Graham writes, suggesting that like in Genesis 6:11, our world has come to resemble earth before the flood: "Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence."
Although there is often no explanation for evil and tragedy, such events show us that we need God to wash away anger and hatred.
"[…] incidents like this remind us of a sobering truth: The human heart is capable of incredible evil. We like to pretend otherwise; we may even convince ourselves that the more civilized or educated we become, the less likely we'll be to fall into evil. But history teaches us otherwise," the evangelical leader explains. "Unless our hearts and minds are restrained by God's truth, anger and greed and jealousy and hatred easily consume us. And when they do, conflict and destruction follow in their wake."
It is because of the human heart's ability for evil that we need God in our lives, Graham continues.
"[…] only [God] can replace hatred with love, and anger with peace. When we come to Him and yield our lives to Him, He not only forgives us, but He promises to cleanse us and give us a new heart," the Baptist minister adds.
Graham's son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, has also addressed grief and tragedy in the wake of the recent mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida that left 49 dead.
Earlier this week, Graham announced on his Facebook page that during a recent Decision America tour stop in Springfield, Illinois, he led 5,800 people in prayer for the victims of the mass shooting.
Graham wrote that he and the audience began their Decision America rally "by standing together in prayer for the #OrlandoShooting victims, the medical teams caring for them, and those who are grieving lost loved ones after this horrific attack."
"We prayed for our country's brokenness and we asked God to heal our nation," Graham added.
The Rev. Franklin Graham said in a separate post that while more details need to come forth on the events that unfolded Sunday evening at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, right now Christians can offer their prayers to the "precious lives" and "family members of 49 people who will be making plans to bury their loved ones in the next few days."