He planted the tip of his finger in my chest. Aiming through a couple inches of flesh to my heart, he said, “It’s in there. Everything that is needed for you to commit the most grievous acts of sin is already in you.”
He paused. “And it’s in me too.”
That was over twenty years ago.
For a couple reasons, I’ll never forget that conversation. First, it rattled me to hear my pastor say that literally any sin was possible not only for me, but for him.
Second, several years later, a serious moral failure on his part wrecked his family and his church.
Monday morning, we woke to news of the worst mass shooting in American history. 59 dead and over 500 wounded. In the aftermath of tragedy, the spokesmen of secularism race each other to misidentify the problem. Guns. It must be guns.
They didn’t do this, of course, when 86 people were killed and over 458 injured on July 14, 2016 in Nice,
France. The weapon: a cargo truck. You still see them on the highway today. Later that same month, Satoshi Uematsu, killed 19 people and wounded 26 others in northern Japan. His weapon: a knife. To this day, every kitchen has one. In the late 1970s and early 80s, Gaetan Dugas deliberately killed hundreds of people by infecting them with HIV. His weapon: sex. We speak not of outlawing it. Andrea Yates drowned her five children in a bathtub. 16 years later, water remains legal. Montana woman, Jordan Linn Graham, is serving a 30-year sentence for intentionally pushing her husband off a cliff to his death. No one has proposed sealing off access to cliffs and scenic overlooks.
Name the item. If it’s sharp it can be used to stab someone. If it’s hard and blunt, it can be used to bludgeon someone. If it’s long and flexible, it can be used to strangle someone. If it’s soft, it can be used to suffocate someone. Forget the gun stores. There are literally hundreds of potential murder weapons in every Wal-Mart and Dollar General.
In reality, the most dangerous thing in the world isn’t a weapon; it is a weapon dreamer. A weapon conceiver. A weapon visualizer. It’s a heart that can plot evil.
What is most terrifying to me about the Las Vegas shooting isn’t that it might happen to me the next time I go a concert or a college football game. The most terrifying thing is that what causes men to kill, and rape, and torture is in my own heart and in the heart of every person I know — even the best of them. Jesus didn’t come to save us from guns, cargo trucks, bathtubs, or cliffs. He came to save us from the very worst of things: our sinful condition.
We are bleeding to death and running out of Band-Aids. The secularists do not have the solution because they don’t even understand the problem. In fact, secularism itself is a result of the problem.
I know it has been said a million times. Let it be said a million more: The only lasting solution to our real problem of ubiquitous sin is national repentance and turning to Jesus Christ. Pray for it.
Image: Excerpted from: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9558346