Oslo killer crazy?

Crackpots and all varieties of religious or political zealots have made bloodying civilians the yellow brick road to notoriety.  Being their SOP, jihadis are instant suspects in any breaking news horror crawling across the 24-hour news channel.  (Of course, there was Tim McVeigh…)

When the first alerts on Olso popped up Friday, I figured Muslim rage had migrated from Europe to Scandinavia.  Instead, it turns out the suspect’s a blond-haired Norwegian with conservative and right-leaning politics who hates Muslims.  Oh yes, and he’s being described as a “Christian fundamentalist”.  Outstanding.

Bullets and bombs leave nearly a hundred dead.  Make that, a man leaves nearly a hundred dead.  The analysts should start unraveling him momentarily but let me see if I can predict the result: the man is insane, or “ill”.  

Yes, I’ve found them already.  Comment left on the Huffington Post: “This man is obviously mentally ill.”  In fact, I’ve found half a dozen statements insisting his mental illness is “obvious”, or that “only” someone mentally ill would do such a thing.  Really?  Obviously?  As of yet there’s been no psychiatric examination, no court trial, but this is all obvious?  Why?

Just for the record, I do believe some people are insane, and I do believe there are such things as mental illnesses.  However the belief is widespread that whenever an awful crime occurs, it proves the perpetrator is mentally unhinged.  It is the only explanation left since words and concepts like evil, wicked, sin are being purged from the language.  As one Canadian observer said about a child pornographer, “He is obviously sick and mentally ill.  No one who does that is not.” 

For those who inhabit a godless world, mental illness is the only explanation left to explain awful crimes.  It’s interesting to note several things about Norway that may be related: 

  • As a socially liberal nation, in addition to not having a death penalty no crime gets you more than 21 years in prison.
  • On any given Sunday, only 4 % of the people go to some sort of church.
  • More than half the people don’t believe in–or doubt the existence of God. 

Most who don’t believe in a God do believe that people are essentially good.  That leaves them nowhere to turn when someone truly horrible surfaces like a mass murderer who slaughters defenseless children with exploding bullets.  Having eliminated the possibility of real evil, they cannot even label as such someone who classically fits the bill.  Nor can they see the evil that is resident even in their own hearts–a problem that God longs to solve.

I cannot pass judgment on Mr. Breivik without passing judgment on myself.  God says that people are by nature bad, and not just a little bit; we are totally depraved.  That doesn’t mean we’re all as bad as we could be, but that every part of our being has been contaminated by sin: body, intellect, emotions, cravings, fears, and attitudes.  That’s true of a mass murderer, and true of me.  Indeed, I am the “chief of sinners”.  There is no hope for me, or for Oslo’s butcher…except in Jesus Christ.  He can and will rescue us from ourselves, our sin, the wrath of God, our lovelessness, and our fears (such as, of being overrun by Muslims). 

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.  (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

Author: Keith Rohrer

Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Gospel-lover, churchplanter, pastor, woodworker, biker.

One thought on “Oslo killer crazy?”

  1. Apart from Jesus saving us from our selves and our horrible, evil sinful nature, we are capable of doing horrible, evil things. We don’t like to think of ourselves in that way but it is true. Praise God for giving us a new nature.


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