Do We Believe in Evil?

32 murders for no apparent reason. It makes me angry. It makes me sad. It makes me wonder. I heard about this while in the office this morning. On the way to lunch I listened to the news. While eating lunch I watched the TV news from CNN. And I got even more frustrated! On the way home I listened to more. Just a few hours after this horrendous event the “let’s-make-up-the-news” casters were already pointing out who was to blame for the large number of deaths – and not one talking head on 3 radio stations or CNN pointed the finger at the shooter. They were angry with college officials who they felt did not react; with police that were clueless; with a “system” that allowed the kind of frustration to grow (the shooter must have been bullied as a kid?!).

I know that there will be a huge debrief on this tragedy. And there will be lessons learned and better ways of responding may be discovered. I also know that not every news station will be so inane. But let’s keep in mind that 32 young lives were ended because of evil in the heart of another young man. In his timely novel, The Last Jihad, Joel Rosenberg has one of his characters remark that Americans don’t really believe in evil. I think that may be true. Why else would so many try to explain it away. Jeremiah wrote that The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (17:9, ESV). We would be wise to believe this. It won’t bring back 32 lives. It will remind us of the battle we fight. Therapy won’t win it. Better systems won’t help. We must remember that only in Jesus will evil be conquered. Thus we must make the cross known.

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