I’ve learned that when chocolate chip cookies don’t turn out well, there are many different reasons for that.

So many variables! It could be too much flour, too little baking soda, an oven that’s too hot — or maybe cooking that’s gone on too long.

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When I think about why there are so many school shootings today, compared to 40 or 50 years ago, so many variables come to mind.

It isn’t just one thing, such as the presence of guns.

Just think about how our entire American culture has dramatically changed (for the worse):

  • No more prayer practiced or encouraged in public schools
  • Foundational rejection of the existence of God and our personal accountability to Him
  • The slow disappearance of Christian morality and basic biblical, Judeo-Christian values
  • The loud rejection of God from the public square
  • The breakdown of the traditional family
  • The steady rise of divorces and children raised in broken homes
  • The lessening of the value of all human life
  • The rise of absentee fathers — deadbeat dads who aren’t providing steady love and leadership
  • The decline of strong masculinity that respects others — and especially respect for women
  • The exponential growth of violent video games that promote shooting and killing — creating desensitized consciences
  • The steady decline of church attendance and basic Bible literacy — for instance, the Ten Commandments
  • The slow disappearance of spanking and corporal punishment, which confronted wrongdoing and blatant disrespect for authorities
  • The continued redefining of bad behavior as “disease,” in which individuals are no longer responsible for their own actions
  • The growing disconnect between fathers and sons — sons who don’t know what mature masculinity looks like. Ever notice that it’s always a male doing the school shooting, not a female?

I could go on, but here’s the point.

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Before you march on Washington or call for the collection of America’s guns, please realize that our issue is so much deeper than guns and bullets.

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This is about our own hearts — our own society — and the results of our slow but steady march away from God and His truth.

Related: Hero Who Foiled California Shooting Advocates Arming Security Officers

Help us, Lord Jesus. We need true transformation from the inside out.

Pastor Ryan Day is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where he has served for 18 years. He is a regular contributor to LifeZette. This piece also appeared in the Hazleton Standard Speaker