A Better Question


Many Americans, and others around the world, are reeling at what happened in Aurora, Colorado days ago.  James Holmes, for reasons we may never fully know, burst through the back door of a movie theater and began shooting indiscriminately at a room full of stunned people.

Someone in the theater that night posted on a Christian site that God in His sovereignty chose to make man in His image with the ability to chose between good and evil.  Mr Holmes simply chose evil.

Now millions are asking the question we always hear in such tragedies: How could he have done such a horrible, or as President Obama termed it, an “evil” thing?  I’d like to suggest that this question is altogether inappropriate for the Biblical Christian.

Evangelical Protestantism has historically taught what we call the “total depravity” of humanity.  Based on passages like Romans 3:9-20; Galatians 5:19-21; and Ephesians 2:1-3, the Bible teaches that humanity – apart from a personal relationship with Jesus – is bound by evil desires, what Martin Luther termed “The Bondage of the Will.”

The Scripture is very clear that sin has totally and completely affected the human condition: body, soul, spirit, and mind. Mankind is not merely infected by sin, but is spiritually dead.  Sin has spiritually killed the human race, beginning it’s work the moment of conception and paying it’s physical wage in death. The spiritually dead can’t seek God, nor do they want to, nor are they able to do anything but choose sin. They don’t require mere renewal, but a new birth.

Humankind, originally created with the ability to chose good from evil, lost that ability in Adam’s fall and is now bound under the power of sin.  Mankind is not, as humanism and pop-Christianity teach, “good” but is predisposed to only evil.  Yet we are surprised when unregenerate humanity lives up to its spiritual state; our surprise is because we have refused to accept the Word of God.  “Oh, how could you say that?”  I can say this because it’s what God says of mankind, not me.  Total depravity is God’s indictment of mankind.

Christian, if you are a Bible believer, the question you should be asking today is not, “Why do such evil things happen?”  They happen because of the bondage of the will to sin.  A better question to ask is: “How is it that God brings about anything good from the from the deeds of evil men”?

3 responses to “A Better Question

  1. Thank you for explaining this. It is hard to hear but I know it’s truth.

  2. Someday, all of our questions will be answered.

  3. Thank you Pastor Richard for a very thought provoking message and it is True the flesh is very evil, that is why as we know, it must be put to death by the Spirit as we choose to walk in the Fruit of The Spirit by His empowering and how wonderful that we can do this because Jesus has set us free from the slavery of the flesh and we are no longer under it’s control.

    Romans 8:12 – 15 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    Colossians 3:1-17 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, Holy and dearly Loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on Love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

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