John Boehner said that America can pull together “when confronted with evil we cannot comprehend.” But Christians CAN comprehend this evil because we understand the sinful nature of the human heart. We understand that James Holmes is capable of shooting people in a crowded movie theater shortly after midnight and even capable of doing much more evil than that because of his sinful, selfish, and unregenerate heart.
The Bible says: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel…” (James 4:1-2a). Murder because you “desire and do not have.” Fights and quarrels and other forms of violence because “your passions are at war within you.” In other words, there is nothing to blame but one’s own inward, sinful, and unbridled passions that explode in outward violence leading to murder. Case closed. Sinful choice. Guilty.
To hear “experts” talk about Mr. James Holmes as someone that “psychologists” would have an interesting case to counsel as though Mr. Holmes is crazy or mentally ill reminds me that our culture really does not understand the nature, extent, and power of sin. Truly, someone who dressed up like the Joker and shoots people as well as booby traps his apartment demonstrates a mind that has been planning how to murderously sin to harm others for months. This was not a momentary sinful choice but a calculated string of sinful choices devised out of a selfish, sinful, wicked, and deceived heart.
It truly is sad that the Gospel had not gripped this young man’s heart so as to prevent this tragedy from occurring.
Really, the Gospel is the ONLY answer to prevent a tragedy like this one. Jesus told Nicodemus that one must be born again in John 3 and that is the only prevention that works. Gun restrictions, new laws, and more regulations will never change the human heart consumed with sin and pleasing self in such cruel and heinous ways. Christ alone transforms the human heart.
While the shootings at the Batman movie in Colorado are tragic in every way, the Christian prays that eternal redemption will result. We live in a fallen world with fallen human beings who choose to live to please themselves every day, but not always so dramatic as James Holmes did.
Is Holmes crazy? No. Does he need Christ? Yes. Is he a sinner? Yes. Are we all in need of redemption, even those of us who have never actually murdered someone? Yes.
It was interesting that a couple of people interviewed after the tragedy are also in need of a Savior to forgive them of their sins. One man was wearing a t-shirt with the words, “Young and Reckless” on it. Here is a precious young man who escaped death in a movie theater and his shirt is promoting the very actions of the killer he escaped. To be “young and reckless” is encouraged in our society but not when it goes too far – but the Christian knows that any “young and recklessness” disobedient acts have gone too far to a holy God.
Another neighbor living with her boyfriend nearly died by going to the booby trapped apartment because of the loud music. She goes to the killer’s door, turns the doorknob, but then claims that her “instinct” stopped her by warning her NOT to go in. She gave credit to her own “instinct” rather than God for her safety and avoidance of a tragic death. She thanked her “lucky stars” on national tv.
Both of these persons need to know about their own sinful hearts and their own need for Jesus as Savior. It’s the “instinct” our Creator God put in us and not “lucky stars” that save us. We want these people saved from their sins so that they will be granted eternal life!
Heart-breaking stories keep coming out as we hear about heroic acts where one man sacrifices his life for his friends. He dies and his friend’s wife lives (friend’s name is Brandon Axelrod). Sounds like the ultimate sacrifice and a lot like John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. Jesus Christ laid down His perfect, righteous life for His friends so that we might live with Him in eternity forever!
So fellow Christians, let’s use this tragedy as an opportunity to share the Gospel with our lost friends to point people to Him.
In conclusion, when you hear comments that James Holmes is “insane” and “unable to stand trial,” don’t believe them. He knew what he was doing, he was NOT insane, and he made volitional choices to disobey the law and the Bible calls it sin for which he can be forgiven if he confesses and forsakes his sin crying out to Jesus alone for eternal life! It’s not too late for him though his crimes really deserve death – death on a cross and in public so that all can see what someone who murders deserves – that might even PREVENT the murderous ideas that other sinners may have to commit similar crimes in the future.
Imagine if the Aurora community met swiftly and brought justice to this situation in a matter of days and in a public way to prevent others from thinking that they might get away with such a crime. That’s the way the Romans did it back in the days of Jesus (see Luke 23). It was a public execution and humiliation designed to prevent such tragic events from re-occurring. People knew what their sin would lead to and they thought twice about sinning. My hope would be that someone shares the Gospel with James Holmes prior to that public punishment so that he might be saved like the thief on the cross in Luke 23:43.
-Mark (praying for Christ to be exalted through this tragedy so that souls might believe in Him and live forever – Romans 10:13)