Following Monday’s horrible shooting at the Covenant School, a Christian elementary school in the state capital of Tennessee, which claimed the lives of three children and three adults, Metro Nashville Police have continued to provide information.
After hours of conjecture, investigators confirmed that the murderer was a 28-year-old woman who initially identified as a boy while attending the school as a girl.
She meticulously prepared the attack, according to the police, and she also left a manifesto.
The manifesto’s contents hadn’t been made public as of Tuesday morning, but given the existing information, it appears reasonable to believe this was an anti-Christian hate crime.
The Nashville Police Department tweeted an update on Monday evening that may have provided the most ominous glimpse into the shooter’s mental state yet. The department published pictures of the three murder weapons alongside images of the damage done to Covenant Church and police vehicles.
A number of weird symbols are engraved on the two rifles and one handgun.
The word “Hellfire” is scribbled in red and black near the top of the rifle in the first picture, though it’s hard to make out. This clearly indicates that she intended to use the weapon to damn Covenant children and instructors.
Despite her best efforts, the shooter was unable to unleash any hellfire.
By God’s grace, despite the fact that she killed six people and left their bodies behind, their souls now dwell in paradise rather than damnation.
Although it is not specifically stated in the Bible that shooting victims go to paradise, there is plenty of scriptural support for this idea. The three 9-year-olds, Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, are now in the presence of the Lord in paradise.
Jesus reprimands his followers in the Gospel of Mark for trying to prevent children from approaching him, telling them to “Let the small ones come to me and do not hinder them, because to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus warns his followers earlier in Mark that they would never enter the kingdom of heaven unless they change and behave like children. The greatest person in the heavenly kingdom is one who humbles themselves like this child.
John Piper, a well-known preacher and author used Romans 1 to explain why children who pass away are saved.
The situation is a little bit more difficult when it comes to the three people that were killed, custodian Mike Hill, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, and school principal Katherine Koonce.
Although it is impossible for us to know the thoughts of these victims, there is compelling evidence that they are also in heaven, making the shooter’s attempt to damn others to hell a complete failure.
According to all information found on the websites for the Covenant School and the associated Covenant Presbyterian Church, both institutions have a strong commitment to the Bible.
According to The Covenant School, their goal is “to support Christian parents and the Church by offering a superb academic experience centered on and influenced by the Word of God.”
The school also makes available on its website the statement of faith that each of the three employees was likely asked to sign:
The Covenant School, a ministry of Covenant Presbyterian Church, upholds a strong biblical theology. The Westminster Confession of Faith, which is a reliable statement of reformed biblical theology, is subservient to the Bible, which is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and serves as our doctrinal foundation.
The Presbyterian Church in America, to which Covenant Presbyterian Church belongs, upholds the 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith. It is a comprehensive book with beliefs that certain Christians from certain denominations disagree with, yet at its core, it is genuine orthodox Christianity.
There is no question that Hill, Peak, and Koonce are currently in heaven if they have agreed to the Covenant School’s Declaration of Faith. The six people may be paraphrasing Genesis 50:20, where Joseph tells his brothers, who kidnapped and sold him into slavery, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”
God’s grace has defeated Satan. In times of great tragedy, it can be challenging for us to see the ultimate truth, yet it is true all the same.
They believed they were putting an inconvenience to rest when the Jewish authorities and the Romans conspired to kill Jesus, but they couldn’t have been more mistaken. Instead, they unintentionally carried out God’s omnipotent plan for his people’s salvation.
And that’s how it was at Covenant School. Six people have been sent to eternal glory as a result of one of the most diabolical plans Satan could have concocted; countless others will undoubtedly hear the Gospel as a result.
The shooting at the Covenant School is a demonstration of Christ’s ultimate triumph over sin and death, among other things. Satan is now helpless to destroy individuals who have genuine faith because of Jesus’ self-sacrificing sacrifice on the cross. Jesus sums up the gospel in the oft-quoted verse John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The tragic events on March 27, 2023, will have a lasting impact on both the relatives of the victims and the priceless youngsters who were present in the school. Please keep them in your prayers as they experience a level of grief that is beyond our comprehension. May God give them entire comfort in the knowledge that their loved ones are, in fact, in a better place.
Jesus taught to a crowd gathering at the temple that no matter what human plots are made against him, those who come to him in faith are eternally saved:
“My sheep recognize my voice and follow me because I know them. They have life forever that I give them, and no one will ever take it away from me. No one can take them from the Father’s hand because the Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all. (John 10:27-29)
In times like these, the timeless song “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” serves as a reassuring reminder. Whilst the entire song is worth hearing, these last few lines stick out:
They may kill the body, but God’s truth endures, and His Kingdom endures forever.
God be praised for that.