Questions Surrounding Mass Murder Reveals Gaps In Moral Relativism

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   7/30/2012

From a Biblical worldview, it's not so surprising that someone commits sin-- even mass murder. What is surprising is that we ask, "Why?"

The most recent mass-murderer in the news has been James Holmes, who is accused of opening gun fire in an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre on Friday, July 20, resulting in 12 deaths and 58 injuries.

Ten victims died at the theatre while two others died at the hospital.

Interestingly, type into your internet search bar "James Holmes motive," and a plethora of articles arise. It appears many people are asking the "Why" question.

One blogger, named "Gurdur," addresses the possibilities. He proclaims himself to be an atheist, yet I agree with his overall message: we can't blame guns, Holmes' state of mind, the devil, or even a death-obsessed culture for the acts of a mass murderer. Gurder concluded that the blame for Holmes' actions lies in, "only himself, only the choices he made. People aren't usually machines."

Gurdur is right. God didn't make people to be puppets or machines who react predictably to their environment. He made us with free will, and we can't even blame the devil for our sin (as Eve did). We alone are responsible for our sin.

Our culture, however, tends to point fingers at a surprising host of things as responsible for where we are today. Ray Comfort pointed out in a WorldNetDaily article that our government has recently voided businesses from being responsible for their economic failure. In the same way, we often hear sociologists point to a criminal's background as responsible for the poor choices he's made to land him in jail. At what point does one take responsibility for one's sin?

Perhaps the most difficult finger-pointing going on in the Holmes' case is toward his parents. A news story from NBC discussed the public's reaction to the parents of Holmes. Many assumed Holmes' parents brought him up wrong. How else would he have turned out so wayward? One parent expressed sympathy, then stated that it wouldn't have happened to her sons. (I'm reminded of the scripture, found in 1 Corinthians 10, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!")

Are We gods?

Blaming the parents is indicative of our culture's tendency to find someone else to blame for our own actions. It's a symptom of moral relativism- the belief that we can decide what is right and wrong. In essence, moral relativism makes us like god. This high-and-mighty perspective gives us the permission to point fingers. But since moral relativism gives everybody this right, it merely circles opinions and never truthfully verifies or answers the question: "Why?"

God provides an answer. It's conclusive, after examining life with scripture, that we all have sinned greatly, and we all have the potential to sin even more.

It's also assured that God will not tempt us beyond what we can bear, and will provide a way out so that we can stand up under temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Scripture is also clear about the small decisions we make impacting the direction of our lives. Psalm 1 describes the joy for those who don't follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. Instead, meditating on God's law bears good fruit.

I'm sure Holmes didn't aspire as a 5-year-old to kill 12 people in one night. His heinous action came through small thoughts that led to small steps and, finally, to murder.

Ray Comfort pointed out the differing worldviews at work in understanding how one could open fire in a movie theatre. He told WorldNetDaily, "'the humanistic worldview... says that no one is born with a sinful (evil) nature. All human beings are inherently good, and when someone goes off the rails, there must be some mitigating factor-- he was bullied, was a loner... While some of these are serious issues, millions of people get through them without going out and killing other people.'"

On the contrary, Comfort says, "'The biblical worldview isn't that anything went wrong. Here was a normal sinful human being involved in an evil act of murder.'"

Sin is powerful and sin is deceptive. The pride that "this" could never happen to us is sin- the start of another dangerous road.

This reminds me of Romans 2 which, after listing a host of sins that prevent us from having heavenly fellowship with God, says, "So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?" And we know where Jesus drew the line: anger is as bad as murder. So those of us who have been angry at someone, we'd better put our finger down.

Where blaming-at-random-with-an-angelic-crown-on-our-head seems to be encouraged amid moral relativism, the Biblical worldview offers something more real.

Biblical Worldview Has Answer

We are responsible for our own sin. And we are not immune to sin- we all have sinned, and we all have the ability to sin more. Yet God's redemption is available to those who put their trust in Him. Not only will He forgive us of our sin (even Holmes, if he repents), but He will also help us to live without sinning.

He will help us examine our thoughts and motives so that we make steps away from the destruction of sin. Surely, it's by God's grace that I have not taken steps toward greater sins!

This acknowledgement takes ME off the thrown and places God, His grace, and His judgment on the throne. That's difficult for many to accept.

Comfort pointed out to WorldNetDaily the danger of our culture ignoring their responsibility to God for their sin: "'We have turned our backs on God, and given Him lip-service by maintaining a belief in His existence and at the same time embracing that which is abhorrent to Him; things such as homosexual marriage, abortion, adultery, fornication, pornography, lying, theft and blasphemy... Few have any fear of God, which the Bible says is the "beginning" of wisdom.

A wise man once said, "Most I fear God. Next I fear Him who fears Him not." When someone doesn't fear God, they give themselves to evil. This was clearly the case in the latest mass murder.'"

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