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Kingdom Conflict 10/05/2006

Gunman Charles Roberts

"Charles Roberts was not an evil person," the Rev. Robert Schenck told CNN. The 32-year-old man reportedly dreamed of molesting young children, but instead he walked into an Amish schoolroom, bound the girls and shot them execution-style. Anyone doubting evil exists on earth, must acknowledge that for a few hellish moments, it manifested in that one-room Pennsylvania school.

Marie Roberts, now a widow after her husband ended his murderous spree with a bullet in his own head, released the following statement:

"The man that did this today was not the Charlie I've been married to for almost 10 years. My husband was loving, supportive and thoughtful -- all the things you'd always want and more. He was an exceptional father. He took the kids to soccer practice and games, played ball in the backyard and took our 7-year-old daughter shopping. He never said 'no' when I asked him to change a diaper. Our hearts are broken, our lives shattered and we grieve for the innocent lives that were lost today. Above all, please pray. Pray for the families who lost children today. Please pray for our family and children."
According to the person who knew him best, Charlie sounded normal. Despite the last hour of his life (and the lives of many innocent girls), this man does not appear to have been a monster. Present accounts seem to indicate that he didn't spend his life plotting wickedness and carrying out malevolent acts. He changed diapers, played with his kids and took his daughter shopping.

There is a conflict here. Something doesn't add up. How can a seemingly normal person commit such hideous acts? Is mankind so depraved that we are all capable of the worst atrocities? Do we all live on the verge of a physical or psychological imbalance that could, without warning, thrust us into Jekyll-and-Hyde rage?

I don't think so.

There is evidence through the catalogue of crime that is recorded in human history suggesting a universal struggle of darkness and light the classic "good versus evil" storyline that predates all of us.

The nature of these two realms a Kingdom of Darkness and a Kingdom of Light is revealed to us daily in these perilous times. By nature, the media tends to magnify some of the evil: suicide bombers in the Middle East, genocide in Sudan, a bomb-building dictator in North Korea, and a rash of school shootings in the United States. The Kingdom of Light tends to be revealed in smaller, less spectacular scenarios: a firefighter rescuing a child, a scientist conquering a disease, and a missionary delivering food to starving people.

Every day, these Kingdoms clash in a battle for the souls of men. All of us make daily decisions destined to further the cause of one Kingdom or the other. Bob Dylan summed it up when he sang, "It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody."

Those in the Kingdom of Light must understand that we are in a battle with evil forces and the weapons with which we fight are not fleshly; they are spiritual. None of us are free from the battle, but we can be free to fight victoriously. We fight one day at a time to alter the destinies of individuals and nations, but change cannot come through domination. It must come through inspiration.

Those of us who recognize the influence of the invisible realm on the visible must fight the right fight in the right way. The battle is raging within and without, both at home and abroad. We must refuse to be disheartened by any defeat. When knocked down, we must be determined to learn and stand up stronger. Love, compassion, courage, strength of character, harmony of heart, and every other virtue that overcomes the Kingdom of Darkness must reign in our personal lives in order to advance the Kingdom of Light.

Too many people live on the edge of Darkness. Even those who appear to be average, normal fathers, mothers and children could be a few bad decisions away from becoming another Charles Roberts. It is during these dark times that we must turn to prayer, while following the person who said, "I am the light of the world", because we need supernatural strength to win this fight. Good will ultimately triumph over evil, but each of us must commit ourselves to the positive influence and power found only in the Kingdom of Light.

Author: James Robison

Word Count: 749

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.