Evil Abounding

     It seems evil abounds of late. A church was attacked; that event was followed by a massacre of horrible proportions in Nevada. These two events are just those that have happened most recently and in the area covered by the news organizations we usually see. Things like this, and some much worse, happen around the world all the time. Though we know all of this it doesn’t make it any better at all.

     It also doesn’t make it any better, but it is still important to remember that things like this have happened throughout recorded history. The expression “man’s inhumanity to man” is perhaps overused but if so it is for good reason. Too many people treat each other very badly. As I write, the authorities in the cases I reference have not released any conclusions concerning motivation for these shootings. Whatever the case may be, whether the loss of life was just one as in Antioch or over fifty as in Las Vegas, we should pray for the families and friends of the victims.

     As we watched the news from Nevada Monday, Ginger asked me, “What makes a person do such a thing?” My first impulse was to say that the man was either insane or evil or a combination of both. I really do not know if I can do much better than that.

My training is not in psychology; it’s in the Bible, communication, and history. But I do know that murder is sin. And we all know that hatred and murder are tied closely together in Scripture (1 John 3:15 and 4:20).

God’s Word is a sobering Document. Adam and Eve made a choice that caused them to be cast out of the garden to a life of labor. One of their sons killed his brother Abel. Perhaps this from Genesis 4 was in John’s mind when he wrote 1 John 3. What led Cain to do what he did? We know that the Lord respected Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. We also know that the Lord provided Cain a way forward but he did not accept it. Instead he rose up in the field and killed his brother. Now, you have heard the expression, “That just makes no sense.”

It also makes no sense that a man would go into a Bible class in Charleston, South Carolina or a church building outside Nashville, Tennessee and start shooting people. It makes no sense to attack an elementary school in Connecticut. And it makes no sense to murder people at a concert in Las Vegas Nevada. We all agree. None of these things make any sense.

     Well, they do not make sense to people who are thinking like people ought to think. I know in our present world we are not supposed to tell anyone how to think. But this is different. Everyone in every side and corner of society can and should be living by the Golden Rule. Jesus said in Matthew 7:12, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them.” I am quite sure that whatever the assailant in the cases I cited in the previous paragraph had in mind, it was not “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

When murder takes place at least two sins are committed. As we noted earlier, murder and hate are very closely related. All murder involves hate. A person may hate someone for personal reasons, out of family conflict, or for his victim’s race or origin. A person may hate himself and be driven by that self hatred to do evil things. The only solution to any hate is God’s grace mercy and love. That’s not “preacher talk.” That’s the truth.

     Again pray for all those families. And pray that our country will recognize its real need to turn to God’s fundamental principles of love and the Golden Rule.