Friday, April 20, 2007

Who's To Blame?

I have been thinking through some things in light of the Virginia Tech tragedy. It seems to me that horrible events like these reveal the true nature of America. 9/11 certainly did. The War on Terror certainly has. These sorts of things open us up and show us what we're made of. As the dust from the VT massacre begins to settle, the campus community, the politicians, and the media are all asking, "Why?" -- and rightly so. But our answer to this question reveals much about who were are, and I'm afraid our resounding answers are weak & pathetic.

The day the shooting occurred, the media was immediately answering the question "Why?" by blaming it on the school officials and the police officers. "They should have responded sooner." "They should have sent an email sooner."

After blaming the authorities, the media used this as a way to blame the firearm business. Why did the VT tragedy happen? Because people can own guns in our nation. Does that make any sense? I totally support tough gun ownership restrictions, but how could a person look at what happened in Blacksburg, VA and think, "It's the gun's fault"?

One of the most disturbing and revealing answers to the "why" question was the therapeutic answer. We're told that Cho Seung-hui was 'mentally ill' and 'had issues' and was 'troubled.' We're told that this goes back to him being picked on as a child. Essentially, Cho was just another poor the the 32 people he murdered. Do you see how utterly disturbing that is? Yet that is exactly what the academic, psychological elites are telling us. (By the way, this is precisely the lie that the Mary Winkler jury believed and let her off with a charge of manslaughter.)

So why did this really happen? Who is really to blame? Cho Seung-hui. He planned this out. He thought this through. He purchased the weapons. He pulled the trigger. This was a young man who had fostered an attitude of resentment and hate for others and, ultimately, for God. Murder always reveals hatred toward God. Cho hated God for putting these people in his life. He hated God for not silencing the people who picked on him. He hated God for making him different than the other students. He held on to this hatred and self-pity for many years, turning it into a vicious idol... one that was certainly influenced by demons. This sin in the heart of Cho manifest itself on April 16, 2007. Cho is to blame, and his wicked, sinful nature is the reason.

You will never, never, never hear a psychologist or a news anchor or a politician say what I just said. They won't say it because our culture of blame and tolerance and therapy will not allow them to say it. We educated Americans have answers now that don't need God. Our answers are too smart to blame sin or Satan. Those things are unevolved and unenlightened. So we make up these other answers... these weak & pathetic answers. And we do it because it enables us to get off the hook when we are in trouble.

This is a very personal, daily thing. "I yelled at you because I am under a lot of stress." "I was rude to everyone at work because I'm having a bad day." We say these things! And we really believe that these answers excuse our sinful behaviors. Read this carefully: There is no excuse for sin. You & I are responsible. Even when we are picked on and treated unfairly and are having a bad day, we are still responsible for the way we treat other people. But we love to blame something else, someone else. Much to their disdain, the answers of the evolved, enlightened academic elites are proving that Genesis 3 is true. After falling into sin, Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent. But who does God hold responsible? All of us.

Learn the lesson that God is showing us: Cho is to blame for his sin. You & I are to blame for our sin. But there is a way to dodge the blame...

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:24

Pass the blame of your sin to the only one who can take it... Blessed Jesus.


Kelly Jones said...

Just so I understand you right, you are saying that you don't think mental illness played any role in Cho's rampage?
Now, I don't know if he personally had paranoid schizophrenia, but I am having a hard time believing that those who truly have a chemical imbalance of serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine and thus have disorders in perceptions and thought processes would have the same culpability has someone who did not. You still believe that they are culpable? How?

Josh Culbertson said...

Let me begin by asking, what medical tests are done to diagnose a chemical imbalance? To my knowledge, there are none because that would require taking a sample of the brain! Thus, I believe that much of what gets blamed on mental disorders is actually just deep rooted sin issues. Though it hasn't been proven by medical sciences, let's say that there are chemical imbalances. In these cases, there does appear to be a "gray area" when it comes to responsibilty... as long as the person doesn't understand what his/her actions as a bad thing. When I say "gray area" I mean on our part, not God's. Whether or not He holds them responsible is in His sovereign & just will. From the tapes, it seems that Cho knew what he was about to do was bad. He felt passions of hatred. He was mentally well enough to plan this through, make videos, & mail them off. It seems to me that Cho's actions were due to his fostering the sin of hatred & the fear of man. I realize this opinion is very unpopular, especially for a person with a medical/scientific background, but I'm honestly just trying to think biblically... and encourage you to do the same. I would appreciate any help you could offer in this.

Jarod said...

There are chemical imbalances that can distort a persons perceptions and actions. You don't have to take piece of their brain to test for it , though you could if you needed to. Normally the many chemicals that run through our body are waxing and waning depending on our need for them, but if what controls this waxing and waning is compromised (ie. pituitary cancer, adrenal cancer, etc.) excess chemicals for example testosterone or epinephrine(adrenaline). Just take the female's monthly cycle for example and the mood changes that can accompany the changes in hormones through out the month. That said, I do agree that much of what blamed on mental disorders is just deeply sin issues. We tend to over diagnose mental disorders, but that does not mean that there are not legitimate cases of mental disorders. Mental disorders are a easy way for our culture to not have to deal with the sin that is each one of us. Whether Cho was truly mentally ill I don't know, but mental illness is real and so is sin.

Josh Culbertson said...

Well said, Jarod. I still disagree with the chemical imbalance argument. I'm not saying it isn't possible; I'm just saying it's just a theory...yet to be proven. But I agree with you. Both mental disorders and sin are realities in a fallen world.