Thursday, June 28, 2007

Printer-friendly Version E-mail Story

Facing the reality of evil: Virginia Tech shootings
April 23, 2007
By R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, Southern Seminary

The unspeakable evil of the killings at Virginia Tech bring us once again face to face with the reality of human evil.

Christianity faces this challenge honestly, and acknowledges the horror of moral evil and its consequences. The Bible never flinches from assigning responsibility for moral evil. Human beings are capable of committing horrible acts of violence, malevolence, cruelty and killing.

The Bible locates the problem of moral evil in the human heart. As the prophet Jeremiah reflected: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick;
who can understand it?" (Jer 17:9).

In taking moral evil seriously, the Bible affirms that we are responsible creatures. Our Creator will hold us fully accountable for our actions. All are sinners. Some sinners embrace evil with virtual abandon leading to horrors such as these killings on a university campus. We dare not attempt to minimize this moral responsibility.

Then, as C. S. Lewis so powerfully reminded us, we must trust that God's perfect justice will destroy evil and reset the moral equilibrium of the universe.

A central tenet of the Christian faith is the claim that, on the cross, Jesus Christ willingly suffered the full force of evil, even unto death and that in raising Christ from the dead, the Father vindicated Christ's victory over sin, death, and evil.

The Virginia Tech horror reminds us all what human beings can do to each other. The cross of Christ reminds us of what Jesus did for sinners in bearing the full punishment for this evil.

Christianity does not deny the reality of evil or try to hide from its true horror. Christians dare not minimize evil nor take refuge in euphemisms. Beyond this, we cannot accept that evil will have the last word. The last word will be the perfect fulfillment of the grace and justice of God.

In the meantime, we are witnesses to the true nature of moral catastrophes such as the killings at Virginia Tech. We mourn with those who mourn, and weep with those who weep.

Who could calculate the pain and suffering of these victims and their families? Even as I pray for those who grieve and suffer such excruciating loss, I place my confidence in the assurance that God will bring all things to the perfect conclusion of his judgment. Without this confidence, how could I make sense of what surely appears to be senseless evil and violence?

This article appeared on the Washington Post/Newsweek website "On Faith:" www.newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith.

2007, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - All Rights Reserved
Home | Contact Us | Reprint Permission