Bank bomber suspect's faith adds to the wounds

By Jeannie St. John Taylor
Oregon Author of Culture-Proof Kids

I expect you were as shocked and saddened as I at the recent bank bombing in Woodburn; I felt deep sorrow for the victims and their families. But my horror and shock grew when I learned that the family of the perpetrators not only called themselves Christians but founded Salem Christian Academy, an outstanding school. How could that be?

I immediately contacted a friend whose three sons graduated from there. She told me, “I have known the family all of my life. Bruce is my age; his grandfather . . . was a saint. The family was full of outstanding Christians and missionaries; I feel so sorry for his mother . . . she is a dear women.”

My heart goes out to the mother, too. As a Christian mom who wants godly children more than anything, I can’t bear to think about the agony she must feel. How did her son and grandson go so wrong? Only God knows, because the answer to that question lies in hearts visible only to him.

What I do know is how I am supposed to treat those men, because God gives specific directions in his Word. “A murder’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave. Don’t protect him.” (Prov. 28:17 NLT)

That means it is appropriate for us to be horrified by that terrible deed. It means we should never support those men by excusing their actions or working to help them escape human justice.

Instead, we turn the situation over to God who is able to create good in spite of tragedy and evil. And we can pray

• for the families of the victims
• the family of the perpetrators
• all Believers who will be looked down on because these men have opened the way for outsiders to condemn the body of Christ
• for the perpetrators, who can still be forgiven if they repent.

And most importantly, we must determine to always obey God and his Word so we don’t get off track and dishonor him.

— Jeannie St. John Taylor is the author of Prayers for Troubled Times and How to be a Praying Mom.

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