Unless you’ve been living off the grid the past few days, you know that there have been two mass shootings in our country taking the lives of almost thirty people. You probably also have taken note that everyone is pointing fingers.
Democratic candidates for the presidency are blaming Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump is blaming the Internet and the holes in the mental health system. I heard a pundit blame parents while an associate added that “it takes a village” and included the entire community in on the blame game. Other people are upbraiding the NRA, computer games, liberal courts, and/or the lack of prayer in the schools. I don’t have the space to include the entire list, but I’m guessing you get the picture (or have already gotten it).
A Tad Ludicrous
I haven’t heard anyone blame Wal*Mart as yet, but I suppose that’s coming. If their prices weren’t so low, there wouldn’t have been as large a crowd at which the shooter could have taken aim. That’s a tad ludicrous, I know, but not any more ridiculous than attributing guilt to a bunch of innocent third parties.
Sooner or later, some commentator will get around to actually impugning the shooters themselves. It’s not as interesting to do so, but it’s where the guilt actually lies. Regardless of where you place culpability, however, it seems to be national sport to point a bony digit at someone you don’t like. I saw a meme yesterday that suggested we should blame everything bad on the people who disagree with us politically. That sounds like literature imitating life.
The fact is, blaming other people is nothing new. You only have to get a couple of pages into Genesis before you see Adam accusing Eve of tempting him to eat the fruit. Then he charged God for giving him Eve as a wife. Not to be outdone, Eve blamed the serpent. It doesn’t say so, but I’m guessing the serpent just smiled.
In the book of Revelation, it tells us that Satan is the serpent. All that causes me to suspect that Satan is still smiling as we blame everyone else for our societal ills. There is a resident evil in this world, and as much as I hate to say it, it’s not merely our politicians. We all unwittingly fall prey to it when we deny the real troublemaker.
Just before Cain killed his brother, Abel, the Lord cautioned him that sin was crouching at his door. He ignored the warning and murdered his sibling anyway (Genesis 4:6-8). The more we entertain sin, the closer we come to committing evil acts ourselves. Fortunately, most of us will never become mass murderers (thank God). We will, however, entertain sin in our lives, and our society will grow all the worse for it.
Don’t be deceived by your own righteousness. King David was “a man after God’s own heart,” and yet he killed Uriah. Consequently, the sword never departed from his house. We may be reaping what we sowed.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]