HOW THE BIBLE MAKES SENSE OF MASS MURDER
The news is all too common these days: on the night of October 1, 2017, a lone gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. Stephen Paddock fired hundreds of rifle rounds from his suite on the 32 floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel, killing 58 people and injuring another 546. Paddock’s 10 minute murder spree was the deadliest mass shooting in American history. But Paddock is hardly alone when it comes to the history of being demonically wicked. Consider just three examples of horrific slaughter:
➢ 1936-1938 – Recently declassified Soviet archives show that secret police shot nearly 700,000 persons (an average of 1,000 a day), during The Great Terror.
➢ 1994 – Ethnic Tutsis in Rwanda slaughtered an estimated 800,000 ethnic Hutus in a mere 100 days, most with machetes & clubs. (Over 5 people killed every minute – 24/7.)
➢ 1915-1923 – Ottoman Turks systematically butchered 1.5 million Armenians within the Ottoman Empire and its successor state, the Republic of Turkey.
How do we process such horrific wickedness? More importantly, what does the Bible have to say about this scale of incredible evil? The answer comes in Genesis chapters 1 and 3. The Bible teaches that mankind is created in the image of God – hence we are capable of incredible acts of beauty, courage, and compassion. But the Bible also teaches that Adam and Eve rebelled in real space-time history, and thus brought dreadful consequences on the human race as a result. One of those consequences is the fact of indwelling sin, evil and depravity. Evil is a very real presence in the human heart. As G.K. Chesterton quipped in his famous book Orthodoxy, “Original sin is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved.” Only Genesis 1 and 3 explain how human beings can be so altruistic and yet so utterly depraved at the same time – sometimes on the same day! It’s a worldview thing. Worldviews matter!
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor