Tuesday morning, April 9th, at approximately 11:20am, on the Cypress Campus of Lone Star Community College in Houston, Texas, a lone student, 20-year-old Dylan Quick, attacked 12 students on the campus with a knife, slashing at his victim’s heads and throats. The student was finally subdued by authorities, which brought the senseless violence to an end. Two students, at the writing of this release, are still in critical condition.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and the students whom we collectively represent, remember in prayer all of those innocent victims who have been affected by this tragedy through no fault of their own, and ask especially for the Lord’s healing power and grace on behalf of the two critically injured students. At a time like this, we are reminded of the horrific realities of a fallen world and how many human beings, even against their better judgment, often choose by their own free will to embrace that which is contrary to Jesus Christ. We are reminded that the influence of the evil one is real and affects us all and, most obviously, those souls of those who may be tempted to perpetrate these awful crimes. For though there is nothing that can justify this kind of irrational and senseless violence, we must, at the same time, realize that the evil one is pursuing our souls unceasingly, persuading us to participate in the ill treatment of those around us at all levels. While it is proper and right for us to feel justifiable anger towards these terrible actions as well as to openly denounce both the actions and the persons who might find such actions acceptable, hatred towards the perpetrators is unacceptable (as is all hatred) and only fulfills the evil ones objective, while encouraging us to mistakenly feel a sense of misguided self-righteousness and additional “soul-judging.”

The attacker, Dylan Quick, who “told police he had fantasized for years about stabbing people to death,” finally responded to his fantasy, and here, is the point. We live in a world that now says, “if you feel it, respond to it. No matter the thought, urge, or impulse, you’re having these feelings and thoughts for a reason, and you should explore them and even respond to and fulfill them.” Our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Epistle of I John 4:1 tells us otherwise, saying, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” When one holds a worldview that negates God’s Presence and Love, it will only become natural for us to begin to believe that we are god, and can choose by our own accord what is acceptable behavior by the standards of our own, current culture.

All people, kind and gentle as they may appear, struggle with thoughts that are not from Christ. We all experience various kinds of thoughts, violent ones, ones that might be sexually inappropriate, unkind, cruel, selfish and mean-spirited thoughts that do not come from our Lord. Yet in today’s world, one might be lead to believe that all thoughts have merit, all impulses must be submitted to, all urges explored. The Orthodox Christian is different because he or she chooses to submit to Christ and His will alone. We know that all thoughts must be carefully examined; we also recognize ones that do not come from Christ, and by prayer, fasting and participation in the worship of our Lord, seek to overcome their influence. For these thoughts cannot simply be overcome simply by therapy or just talking about them or even just ignoring them. They will require a lifelong commitment to striving against them, with the Lord Jesus Christ as our guide!

We have an obligation to keep all of those harmed in this tragedy in our prayers. We also have an obligation within our own lives, to fight against the impact of those whom would seek our destruction, the evil one himself and those who serve him. For the evil one hates man and he hates life, and when we witness this kind of violence against the body, we know the evil one is hard at work. For the evil one seeks the destruction of the human race, for any means necessary to achieve this objective will work well enough. Whether this spirit encourages us to despise or distrust one another, to experience envy or jealousy regarding another person, or to inflict harm on another for any reason at all, we must fight these tendencies and sins at all times, with the Lord as our sure trust and guide.