Pastor Ryan Conrad Of SolidRock Church Responds To The Sandy Hook School Shooting

By: Curtis Ophoven 0 Comments   12/27/2012

ST. CLOUD - Two weeks ago Pastor Ryan Conrad had prepared his Sunday sermon on Monday and Tuesday, but he didn't deliver what he planned on Sunday morning. The tragedy on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School demanded a response.

As Ryan learned more about the tragedy on Saturday he felt compelled to change his entire sermon he planned for Sunday morning.

This is what great leaders do, they respond to events with insight and wisdom. I'm sure many other pastors responded as well, but let me share this one with you.

This tragedy confirms that what we teach our children matters. There are direct consequences to what children are allowed to do and learn, which is why parents have a vital role in society and why marriage matters. This event reveals just how important all of these things are.  

By now we all know there were mental health issues with the young man involved, but that was not the only issue.

Here is a summary of what Pastor Ryan said; You can listen to the full sermon here.

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“We have got a sin problem.  The trouble is that as a nation, we’ve kind of actually started cuddling up to sin. 

We don’t really like to talk about sin in terms of it being a foul and repulsive thing, we kind of snuggled up to it … until boom our children are getting slaughtered in our schools. …

Like a nation of people in a zombie trance, we are just slowly going along [thinking] sin is not that bad, until we get over here on Friday morning and we startle ourselves awake and say my goodness how did we get to this point.  Well it started over here, where we just started snuggling up a little, what we thought were harmless little sins. …

The good news is that we have the answer. We have the light that will penetrate the darkness and will bring life to a nation that is dying.

I want to read this morning out of Isaiah chapter 30.

“Woe to the obstinate children, declares the Lord, to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge. “

What you have is a situation where Israel is actually turning to Egypt for military and financial help. They are turning to their old nemesis because they are in a situation.  It’s almost like someone that is in an abusive relationship… who keeps going back. …  Israel is saying, yes I know that for 400 years you bound us into slavery and we know it was difficult, but we are going to give you another shot. … We are going to forget all the history because you have something that we need.

And God says, basically, what are you doing? …

That is the same thing we do with sin.  … we often go back to those things that enslaved us … but why, why do we go back to those things.

But listen to what the Lord says, skipping down to verse 3;

“But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shame will bring you disgrace. 4 Though they have officials in Zoan and their envoys have arrived in Hanes, 5 everyone will be put to shame because of a people useless to them, who bring neither help nor advantage, but only shame and disgrace.”

That my friends sums it up right there; there is nothing back there for you in that old sinful life. … If you turn to it, if you go back to Egypt, and you start cuddling up with old ways of bondage and oppression, there is nothing but disgrace and brokenness and hurt and heartache. Why would you want to go back?

This is what the Lord said;

… “9 For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction. 10 They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. 11 Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”

Wow, is that our nation in general? Our nation has said; you know what we don’t want to be confronted with truth.  We don’t want to be confronted with reality. We don’t want you to preach to us things that are going to convict us. … we would rather have you give us the sugar coated version. That is what America has told its preachers. …

The trouble is then every once in a while we wake up to Friday morning and say “we didn’t bargain for this” but hold on now, yes we did, yes we did. Because, like I said, we cuddled up to sin a long time ago.

We started saying yes to these things a long time ago.  

Everyone is heartbroken over what happened on Friday.  … It is evil on so many levels.

As I thought about this, I began to think about what was happening at home before any of this took place.  What was this young man allowed to watch, consistently on TV?  … What kind of video games what this young man allowed to play, consistently in his home?  … What kind of music what this young man allowed to consistently pump into his brain?  

It starts with us at home.

Let me continue; (Isaiah 30:12)

“Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, 13 this sin will become for you like a high wall,  racked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant.”

Isn’t that what happened on Friday? Suddenly in an instant, things come crashing down on us and suddenly it’s like America is awake and saying, what do we do?

“14 It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.”  

“15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. 16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! 17 A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” - Isaiah 30:14-17

You know what God said there in those passages, he basically says look if you want to rely on your own strength and your own ability and you think that you can continue to do things the way that you have done them and it's going to work out, then you can be my guest, you go ahead and try, but I’m warning you ahead of time that there is going to be destruction that pursues behind you. It’s going to happen. He is giving us a fair warning. And I will give you the same warning.

You can blow off what I just said about all the stuff in the home, you can blow that off and you see where that gets you. Go ahead. See if you don’t end up with teenagers that are dealing with rebellion and dealing with foul language, and dealing with depression, and dealing with addiction and the things that are built into the media that is being pumped into their brain.

There is a better way than that, and you don’t have to go down that road.

Here is some hope for our nation, verse 18;

“18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Wow. That is what we need. … if we will cry out to God. … God have mercy on us. We have cuddled up to sin and treated it like it is no big deal and we only react to it when it bites us in the hand. God forgive us. "

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Thanks Pastor Ryan for that excellent message.  The knowledge of the Lord matters.

What Jesus taught us isn't just something to think about and forget, our lives depend on it. (Proverbs 4:13) What we learn and teach our children guides their actions. Realizing that all of humanity, including each one of us, is not naturally good, but wicked at heart is not easy to swallow. We would rather believe most people are good at heart and only a few are bad.

The truth is that all people are born craving selfish desires, which produces temptation in our minds, which leads to sin and when sin matures it results in death.  (James 1:13-15)

Because of this truth that Christ revealed to us, we need to take every action to protect against it. We cannot just learn about this and not do anything about it. Teaching our children about this truth is the only way to protect them against their natural desires that are out to destroy them. The truth is that we are all natural born killers.

That truth demands a commitment by all of society to address our natural condition. What we teach children at school and at home is important. If we don't teach them this truth, we are giving them no hope, no chance at dealing with what is already in them.

The natural state of rebellion that children are born with will destroy them without someone teaching them how to restrain it. If not addressed, the natural state of rebellion born within each one of us will mature into anger against God and all that he has made.  This is why when a child is not taught this truth they are at a severe disadvantage in life and when a nation restricts teaching children this truth they become their own greatest threat.

So if your school does not teach your children about the Lord, then it's even more important that you do and find a few other ministries that reinforce the knowledge of the Lord. Their entire future depends on it.

SolidRock Family Church meets at Parkwood Cinema in Waite Park, MN - Sundays at 10am. http://www.solidrockmn.com/

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