Where does murder come from?

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With recent events in America, one wonders, “Why?  Why are people killing others?”  Meanwhile the left is using these tragedies as an excuse to shift the blame to an inanimate object.  This of course makes the right angry enough to commit murder of the heart, while the left is angry enough to actually commit murder.  Their pundits are encouraging it on the nightly news, if that is what you call it.  Of course on the right we’ve taken to calling if fake news, because we are tired of all the lies, half truths, and godless, communist, propaganda.  Before you run off, assuming this is a political rant, I urge you to keep reading.

Murder is nothing new.  Mankind has been killing since the beginning.  The agnostic, or atheist left would have you believe it is a matter of education.  They assume that people are naturally good intentioned, and if they grow up to be hateful, bigots, evil conservatives, or murderers, it is simply because they were given wrong, or inadequate education.  As a Christian, a Father of 4, and a Corrections Officer of 24 years, I can assure you that is not the case.

We are born with one thing on our minds, our own individual pleasure.  Our flesh is the most important thing to us.  We learn to love our parents, because they take care of us.  It still boils down to self.  Without them, I would have nobody to feed me, clean me, comfort me.  We don’t wonder why they do those things at first.  We just accept it.  We must have some quality about us that is worthy of that kind of affection, but then the lessons begin.  Punishment for doing bad things.  Rewards for doing good things.  Well the nature of a child loves rewards.  The flesh loves goodies, and compliments, but it hates spankings, physical pain, removal of fun things.

Being selfish, and evil is our nature.  We have to be taught to be good.  We want to be comfortable, and enjoy pleasurable things.  That is not necessarily sinful, but when it involves committing a sin, or sins of omission to achieve that comfort, or pleasure, then we are guilty.  Read what God has to say about it in His word,

James 4:1-10 (NASB) Things to Avoid
​  What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

It is pretty clear that we murder because we are selfish, sinners at heart.  We don’t rightly fear God, nor do we heed his laws.  We make up our own to please our flesh.  We make up our own gods as well.  Some depressed teen surmises that nobody loves him, or they don’t live up to his unrealistic expectations of how they should behave towards him, which further drives him to hate those who don’t participate in his self-pity, so he decides to teach the world a lesson.  This by the way is the result of all the self-esteem nonsense pushed down our throats for the last 40 years.  People don’t need to feel better about themselves, or esteem themselves more, especially if that esteem is misplaced.  We need to see ourselves as God sees us.  We need the truth.

You didn’t see this happening in the 60’s and 70’s.  We used to drive to school with our rifles in a wrack on our pickup cab rear window.  It was common place.  Kids would come to school with their dear, or elk in the back of the pickup to show it off after a successful hunt.  The problem isn’t guns, kids, or video games.  It is the sinful heart of man, and the lies that we are telling our kids.  This is a necessary consequence of becoming a godless secular society.  You want to blame someone leftists?  Blame yourselves.

People seem so shocked by murder partially as a selfish way to virtue signal.  We also are shocked by it because we see ourselves as good, and deserving happy lives with many rewards, and pleasures.  To think that someone would not value us they way we value ourselves is a shock.  Of course there are exceptions to the rule.

There are people who are shocked for the right reasons, most of those people are Christians.  They see the value of human life according to the word of God.  They understand that we deserve death, and hell, and that every day is a blessing from God where we should seek to glorify Him.  They understand the inherent idolatry, and blasphemy of destroying an image bearer of God, and spilling the blood unjustly, the blood of His creatures who belong to him, the blood that contains the life.

What we need is for people to be taught the truth.  We are sinners.  We need for Christians, the Church, to preach the gospel of Christ.  If people come to Christ, and are changed, they won’t become mass murderers.  Do you want to see America great again?  Preach Christ!  More laws won’t do it.

 

Christians, Firearms, Self-defense, and Protection of Others.

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First off, let me say that this is not a matter that should cause us to break fellowship with one another, or to become polemic.  We reserve polemics for the enemy.  We should never turn our cannons on ourselves.  No friendly fire inside the camp.  This is a matter of adiaphora.  Personal convictions on this should be arrived at via much study and consideration of scripture.

That being said, recently Dr. John Piper wrote an article on the topic.  His view is one of personal pacifism.  He does not own a firearm and does not encourage others to own one.  He strongly believes that the Bible is clear on how a Christian should respond to evil and violence.  Here is the link to his article.  Dr. James White wrote an article that expressed an alternative and different position.  His article was not polemic, nor was he demonstrating a lack of love or grace.  You can read his article here.  There have been many knee-jerk emotional responses on both sides of the issue.  People are pulling out the, “Depart from me!  You are of a different spirit!” phrase and flinging it around.  This is an issue we can disagree on.  It is not a primary article of faith.

Personally, I’ve always thought it was more loving to defend the victims of evil against evil, even with deadly force. I recently read an article from Dr. John Piper where he explains his convictions about guns, and using them in defense. He seems to be pretty clear that he doesn’t think it is something a Christian should do. I, along with many other Christians disagree with him on this issue. However, I won’t let this become a divisive issue. It is a matter of adiaphora. I happen to agree with Dr. James White’s stance on the use of weapons, and the reasons to employ them.

If I see an elderly person being mugged, I will stop the mugging. If I see two men beheading a person in the street, I will stop them. If I see a group of men gang-raping a woman, I will stop them. If you are the victim of evil men, then you better hope that God, in His providence, directs someone like me to your aid.  We are supposed to love people, seek justice, and what is right.  I strongly believe it is more loving to defend the victims against the evil of sinful men, than it is to allow those evil men to work out their demonic desires.  If it can be stopped without employing lethal force, then I believe that is what we should do.  If a person is physically able to pull someone off of their victim and hold them for the police, then they should do so.  If they are looking at a situation that requires lethal force to stop the taking of human life, the rape of a person, be they man woman, or child, or the brutalization of a person by a group of thugs, then it is more loving and just to end the evil being wrought.  It is actually hateful to allow the evil to continue.  It demonstrates contempt for law, justice, and righteousness.

On a larger scale, like the Nazis and Jews, Dietrich Bonhoeffer came to the conclusion that he must act against the Nazis.  He could not sit by and watch the genocide of the Jewish people.  America couldn’t sit by and watch it either.  I believe it is actually a hateful thing to sit by and allow evil men to murder others.  I would not feel, or reason myself to be in the will of God, by allowing atrocities to go on around me, while I sat patiently waiting for them to be finished.  I wouldn’t act out of a sense of self-preservation, but rather out of self-sacrifice, compassion, and love for the victims.  
While Bonhoeffer drew the line at killing.  He himself would not directly kill.  I would.  I would not do it lightly.  I don’t come to this conclusion with bravado or some egocentric notion of heroism.  I don’t have a Master’s degree or a Doctorate.  I am not a seminarian.  I am a Christian.  God has given me a functioning mind that can reason and think.  He has also given us His word and His Spirit.  It is our obligation as Christians to think deeply and honestly about this topic.  We should not take it lightly, nor should we lack grace for brothers with a different strongly held conviction on this topic.