Updated October 4, 2015.
The nation is still reeling from the breaking news about the latest shooting rampage in Roseburg, Oregon. Christopher Harper-Mercer, the 26-year old man who authorities confirmed as the shooter, has now been allegedly responsible for killing ten people and wounding 7 others in a hate-filled shooting spree. What is not being widely reported is that Harper-Mercer listed the occult and black magick among his interests, potentially shedding more light on his motivation as he targeted Christians and taunted them for their faith before murdering them in cold blood.
According to reports:
A gunman opened fire at 10:38 this morning, killing 10 people, while wounding 7 others at Umpqua Community College. Three of the wounded are listed in critical condition, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said during a 4:45 p.m. press conference today.
The identities of the shooter and the victims were unavailable at press time. At least 11 had been transported to Mercy Medical Center, according to Mercy spokeswoman Kathleen Nickel, and two of those died. One victim was life-flighted north. As many as 10 victims were dead and the alleged shooter was reportedly killed. (source).
— Bodhi (@BodhiLooney) October 1, 2015
Relatives of several of the victims and one eyewitness to the shooting have all stated that Harper-Mercer specifically targeted Christians in his murderous attack. Stacy Boylan, whose daughter Anastasia was shot in the back on what was her fourth day of college, told CNN that Harper-Mercer’s shooting spree was motivated by anti-Christian hate:
“He shot the professor, point blank, one shot, killed him — took him right out of it,” Boylan’s father, Stacy [wearing a shirt bearing the anagram “CFL” and “Christ For Life” emblazoned on the chest], told CNN. “And then, this man, had enough time, I don’t know how much time elapsed before he was able to stand there and start asking people one by one what their religion was. ‘Are you a Christian?’ he would ask them. And if you’re a Christian, stand up.” “And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second,’” he continued, relaying his daughter’s account. “And then he shot and killed them.” (source).
Christopher Harper-Mercer’s Motivations: Connections To The Occult?
In the wake of the tragic shooting, the media is already searching the online life of Harper-Mercer to try and piece together the motivations for his deadly rampage. Many media sites have reported on social media websites where Harper-Mercer expressed an admiration for the Irish Republican Army, purchasing Nazi regalia and uploading documentaries on prior mass shootings. On a dating website profile Harper-Mercer, who went by the handle “IronCross45” a reference to the medal worn by Nazi officers, the killer’s interests gave insight into his spiritual state.
Among his interested he listed: “Doesn’t Like Organized Religion.” He also listed “Left Hand Path”, “Magick and Occult” and “Meditation.” The Wikipedia definition of the Left Hand Path states:
The terms Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path refer to a dichotomy between two opposing approaches found in Western esotericism, which itself covers various groups involved in the occult andceremonial magic. In some definitions, the Left-Hand Path is equated with malicious Black magic and the Right-Hand Path with benevolent White magic. (source).
The Bible reveals the connection between Satan and the left hand in the Old Testament book of Zechariah:
And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. – Zechariah 3:1-5.
In this vision the prophet saw Joshua, the High Priest of the Holy Temple of Israel in Zechariah’s day, standing before the throne of God. And standing next to Joshua to protest against his righteousness was Satan. The Devil was essentially lobbying to God for Joshua to be cast to hell. The Angel of The Lord, an Old Testament title for Jesus Christ, forgives Joshua of his sins and clothes him in clean garments – a symbol of the new righteousness a believer receives when they put their faith in Jesus Christ. In this conflict the Bible provides the specific detail that Satan stood at the right hand of Joshua. This is significant because both were facing God’s throne meaning Joshua stood at God’s right hand while Satan was at God’s left hand.
The right hand of God is a symbol for God’s glory and power. And often a reference to The Lord Jesus Christ. Exodus chapter 15 records the song Moses sang after God gave the Israelites victory over Pharaoh and the Egyptian armies at the Red Sea. In it he makes several references to the “right hand of God.”
Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy… Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. – Exodus 15:6; 11-12.
Other passages praise the right hand of God as a symbol of God’s mercy and salvation:
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. – Psalm 16:11.
Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. – Psalm 17:7.
Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. – Psalm 20:6.
According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. – Psalm 48:10.
The right hand of God signifies prominence and rank in Heaven. 1 Peter 3:17 says of Jesus: “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” Hebrews 12:2 says: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Because Jesus Christ gave His life on the cross, enduring the wrath of God as He took the punishment for all the sins of the world, He is now seated at right hand of the throne of God. The significance of God’s right hand as being His authority, glory and symbolic of Jesus Christ Himself.
Thus the “left handed path” is a blasphemous reference to the Satanic side of spirituality. It is a tribute to those who choose to follow the Devil and his ways in rebellion against God. And this sadly, was the interest of Harper-Mercer. Far removed from God, his conscience became so seared a hot iron, that he was ready to murder the innocent. In a blog post made a month before the shooting, Harper-mercer expressed admiration for murderer Vester Flanagan, who recorded and uploaded his shooting of a newscaster and cameraman to the internet.
Flanagan indicated he was motivated by discrimination against him for being gay and retribution for racially charged police shootings. But on-camera shooting and subsequent social media posting showed he wanted notoriety before his death. A desire for fame and recognition and revenge on the world indicates a cry for help and brokenness. Like many today, Harper-Mercer expressed a hatred for God. In a society that is growing increasingly hostile to Jesus Christ, the Bible and any reference to God in public, many are finding solace in attacking the Christian faith. On his torrent uploading page, Harper-Mercer uploaded an album by the Finnish metal band Grave Pleasures.
The group which describes itself as “apocalyptic death rock”, makes music that treats life as having no purpose. Here are some lyrics from their song ‘Nuclear Winter’:
“When reapers of the rift pull your name from bony lips
you better stand up on your grave and surf the apocalypse
Rails laid for funeral trains,
another sip of bile again,
heading for the palace of the gutter,
shaking like a quarrel of mothers,
come cry in the wrath of love,
don’t dream of a heaven above,
’til Christ warms his campfire warboots,
let the tongues of a corpse address you!” (source).
Rather than moving from God, we should move to God to heal the emotional and psychological pain and angst we feel as a result of being sinners in a sinful, depraved world. Jesus Christ said: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:9-10).
The “thief” is Satan who wants to lure all people into sinful rebellion so he can steal the joy from their lives and kill and destroy as many as possible. Encouraging people to “don’t dream of Heaven above”, mocking God and believing that life is pointless and you have no value are temptations Satan wants in a person’s life to make them broken and bitter like Harper-Mercer and other killers. Giving oneself over to the Devil is opening the wrong door for all manner of evil to enter one’s life. Jesus Christ gives the life abundantly by providing free forgiveness for one’s sins and giving every believer a new spirit that is at peace with God and secure in the knowledge that you will have eternal life.
As more details emerge, it’s clear that Harper-Mercer did choose the left hand path. Former classmates told media outlets that the shooter had an obsession with death and would draw coffins in his notebooks during class. A source close to the investigation gave some details about the manifesto Harper-Mercer wrote and handed to someone at the community college before commencing the killings. The racist, anti-Christian rant had a “666” scrawled on the top of it. 666 is the number of the Beast or the Antichrist in the book of Revelation. Additionally the murderous Harper-Mercer expressed a desire to go to hell. “I serve darkness”, he allegedly wrote, according to a source who spoke to People magazine. In his letter, which has yet to be released he boasted that he would be “welcomed in Hell and embraced by the Devil.” (source).
‘The guy did this strictly for satanic purposes. He did it to become a god in hell. He wants to be evil. That is his goal, to serve Satan,’ the source said.
Prayer Is Enough For The Victims
Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. – James 5:16.
Pray for the victims and families of this most recent tragedy. And for those who are bitter at God and society and presently considering hurting someone in retaliation. While there will be much debate over gun control, the second amendment and other measures to stem violence, true source of the problems plaguing society is sin. It is our own sinful nature that has brought the violence, evil and death into the world. And the solution for changing the heart of a sinner is salvation in Jesus Christ.
Pray for this tragedy to provide a witness to the light and love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Praise God for believers who in the face of death were not ashamed to stand up for their Savior and proclaim their faith and pray for healing the tiny town of Roseburg as they attempt to recover from such wicked act of violence. There is true peace. There is true joy. And there will be a world without hatred, violence or death. And it will come through peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world..” – Jesus Christ, Matthew 25:31-34.