In the aftermath of every mass shooting a phenomenon called the “blame game” very quickly becomes the issue in almost all the media coverage. Some quickly move to assign blame to the police departments. Others try to place the blame on society as a whole, on the parents of the accused, or on the generation during which the accused grew up. In our therapeutic culture we are rushing to argue that a stigma against mentally ill persons drives some to heinous acts of violence, and thus the stigma is to blame. Still others try to blame guns, grades, or any number of other factors—anything and anyone but the murderer himself.
Whatever became of the term “evil”? Why are we so afraid of using it to describe people and their actions? The Bible uses it continually because it has no illusions about the “goodness of mankind.” Unlike our society in general, which always accepts the old adage that “everyone is basically good at heart,” the Bible says this: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The knowledge of “good and evil” was the first thing Adam and Eve obtained when they disobeyed God and committed the first sin. So good were they in their knowledge of evil that when their offspring began to increase in number God made an assessment of where they were spiritually and concluded that “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5). This was the assessment, of course, that produced the world-wide flood.
As our culture moves continually away from God, the Bible and Truth we will see more and more of this nonsense that tries to replace “sin” and “evil,” with words like “sickness” and “dysfunctionality.” Paul warned his young disciple Timothy about the days in which we are living, in which people will always be “learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7). He cautioned him to “turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.” (I Timothy 6:20).
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship