Another mass shooting and this time more horrific than the last one. With more than 60 people dead and over 500 people seriously injured and the culprit committing suicide, we are all left shaking our heads and asking how can anyone commit such an atrocity.
As soon as news broke, the blame game was already in full effect. Guns, ISIS, even the left-wing radical group Anti-Fa, was suggested as to be reason for this man’s turn from a quiet unassuming life, to suddenly being responsible for one of the most tragic events in our nation’s history.
To this date, there is no precise motive, or if at all, there were any external factors that inspired this man to kill and maim so many people. Except this: the man was evil.
It makes us uncomfortable to label someone as “evil” and we are always looking for something outside of the person that makes them do the things they do. It is as if we are subconsciously shifting the blame because deep down we think that it is impossible for a person to act and think so wickedly. Did this person have a mental health disorder? Was he radicalized? Was it his childhood? I do not want to say either of these things may play a part in someone’s behavior, but in a case like what we are seeing in the news today, none of these factors were present.
We have to recognize that in our modern 21st century world, that evil exists, and the reason for the recent killing spree as well as every other horrific event, big or small, that has ever or will ever happen, is found in within the recesses of the human heart.
Not guns or radical terrorist groups are to blame, but rather a man who was in rebellion to His Creator, with a heart that was corrupted by sin.
The Bible considers the human heart to be a sin factory and the source of all manner of wickedness. The human heart as rightly diagnosed in Jeremiah 17:9, states “the human heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” It is as if we don’t even grasp as to what theologians describe as our “radical depravity” and hence when we see Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook or any other manifestation of evil, we are shocked and surprised that anyone could do such a thing.
Sin in all forms, is a natural consequence of a heart that is depraved. When Christ was challenged on whether or not it is external factors that make people defiled, and dealing with the sheer offense that Jesus would suggest it isn’t, he said this “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander”(Matt. 15:19). It is man’s innate disposition toward evil that gives birth to sin, and although its manifestations may vary in degrees from the little white lie to the most extreme case as we have seen recently, it is all from the same source.
What we have seen in Las Vegas is proof yet again that man left unrestrained will commit the most abominable of acts. Man, left to his own devices is “swift to shed blood” (Rom. 3:15) and before we label the indictment against the Las Vegas shooter, this passage is indicting us all. Before this verse is this, “None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10) and after is “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). The condemnation is universal.
So as this tragedy is spiraling into debates about gun control, or the state of mental health and the secular world is again bewildered at an answer as to why this happened, the Bible rises yet again from the noise and confused rhetoric and provides the answer and the solution.
The solution to the problem of evil, and it is not found in legislation, or the Supreme Court, it is found in the Gospel. Christ and his cross was able to reconcile sinful man to holy God, and not only make peace between them by the blood of his cross (Col. 1:20) but also cleanse the individual who has faith in Christ, and transform them into a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:21).
Tragedies such as Las Vegas reveal that there is evil in the world today, and we ought to weep because of it. However, although our sin may be great, there is a Great Savior.