Much like Cain, the [Nashville] shooter was on a hunt for self-expression on her terms rather than God’s. Whereas Cain despised God in his heart and by his outward worship, she despised God in her heart and by her outward “gender identity.” There is no divine approbation for false worship, and there is no divine approbation for self-delusion, especially when it is imposed upon others. Without any sure foundation for her identity, she—like Cain—resorted to murderous terroristic violence.
Tragedy in Nashville
Recent horrors in Nashville, Tennessee have left Christians around the world brokenhearted, grieving with the families of the children, schoolteachers, and staff who were slain. At the same time, media pundits from across the social and political spectrum have sought for an explanation, appealing to various (and predictable) issues: the availability of guns, speculations about the shooter’s childhood experiences, the failure of pharmaceutical medical intervention, the violent anti-Christian register of transgender political rhetoric, and so on down the list.
The truth is that some of these factors—and many more besides—may be part of the eventual explanation for what transpired, serving either as a necessary condition or as a contributing cause. But the root cause is much bigger and goes much deeper than any one of these considerations. At root in this horrific tragedy is sin’s corrupting influence expressing itself in the killers’s three-dimensional hatred: hatred of self, hatred of God, and hatred of neighbor.
By the killer’s own admission to a former classmate immediately before her assault on the Covenant School, she was on a self-loathing suicide mission.1 In relation to God, her self-expression and identification as a man was a rejection of her Creator and how He designed her in her mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13), a hatred of God expressed in her destruction of six of His image-bearers. But most obviously, her massacre of innocent Christian children and adults was indicative of her hatred of neighbor spilling over into what some commentators have labeled an act of “transgender terrorism.”
With her Manifesto and plans currently kept under wraps during the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) investigation, there is little that can be said about the incremental steps she took in the ideation, conception, planning, and execution of Monday’s attack. In the analysis of the killer’s act of heinous sin, her Manifesto may reveal either a clearly expressed motive or a fog of mental derangement impossible to decipher. The eventual release of the shooter’s Manifesto is pending close inspection by experts in criminal profiling at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.2