We're missing the root cause.
Sin and hatred have always been with us. Race wars and hate crimes are throughout the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience blame the tragedy in Charleston on any of the above since I firmly believe they are merely symptoms of the root cause. As Christians, we should know better; no need to hurl accusations and blame the peripheral issues.
The "accuser of the brethren" is out and about; he's on a seek and destroy mission. Sometimes he comes as a lion, other times he comes disguised as an angel of light. Either way he's out to destroy the mission we're called to; to advance the kingdom of God. He's out to distract us. He desires to convince us we need to blame the politically correct issues rather than to point the finger of blame at him. He's the one whose mission it is to prevent people from turning to God and knowing Christ as their personal Savior.
Some think banning guns will usher in peace. Or if we label everything a hate crime and serve justice on those guilty of it, we'll have peace. Jesus came as the Prince of Peace. He came to set the wounds of a broken world and broken lives right. Wounds caused by sin in each of our lives since the fall of man. Nothing or no one else can bring peace to this fallen world, or to our broken lives.
“We are not at peace with each other because we are not at peace with ourselves. And we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.” ~ Thomas Merton.
Peace comes through forgiveness. The kind of forgiveness that Christ bought on the cross for a world of individuals steeped in sin. He brought us peace with God. (Romans 5:1)
The survivors and victims of the tragedy in Charleston gave this young man and the watching world a taste of what the peace with God brings; the peace of God. (Philippians 4:7) From their example of extending forgiveness to the murderer, we see the supernatural peace of God.
The world is watching. They're looking for peace and hope. By God's unfathomable grace, let's be instruments of His peace to a lost world.
Let's pray for everyone whose lives were altered by this tragedy. Let's stand with our brothers and sisters in the AME community. Let's pray for peace.
Below is a beautiful song Steven Curtis Chapman wrote for the people of Charleston, SC.