When the Gentile world decided to cast God out of their lives, and "change the glory of God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things" (Rom. 1:21), they began an inevitable process of plunging into moral depravity. The catalogue of sins listed in Romans 1:24-32 contain some of the most heinous and vile acts imaginable. Included in that list of sins is the loss of "natural affection" (vs. 31). The Greek word is 'astorgos.' The base word here is 'storgos,' and with the negative particle, means the absence of, or being without "natural affection." The word 'storgos' means "to cherish affectionately" (Strong). With the negative particle, Thayer defines the word as "inhuman, unloving" (Thayer). As the events unfolded surrounding the horrible killings in Connecticut this past Friday, the one question that occupied the thinking of many was, "What compels any man to walk into an elementary school and take the lives of children ages 5 to 10?" The death of anyone is bad enough, but to randomly take the lives of innocent children is evidence of a sin-sick soul that has been so overwhelmed by evil that it has lost all ability to reason logically. It is becoming increasingly apparent that our society is nearing, or has surpassed the point where the Gentile world stood when Paul wrote that letter to the church at Rome. The rampant disregard for life, from aborting the unborn child, to the taking of life in some random act of madness, bespeaks our world's plunge into the moral gutter occupied by those of whom Paul speaks. Authorities seek answers; society weeps; and it seems that few, if any realize that the cause of such inhuman acts has been revealed in the word of God. In a Fox News opinion item, Dr. Keith Ablow made this astute observation regarding the events of last Friday:
After the horrific events of Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, an understandable and frequent question has been, "What sort of person can shoot innocent children?" The answer to that question, in short, is this: (1) Certainly, someone who has lost the capacity for human empathy--that God-given quality that allows us to resonate with the suffering of others, and (2) Probably, someone who is, probably unconsciously, making a statement about the random nature of destructiveness, about how innocence and youth confer no safety upon an individual, and about how his rage--likely unexamined and left to fester underground--knows no bounds. The psychiatric diagnoses that can be connected to a lack of empathy are numerous. Someone can have fallen victim to schizophrenia and be suffering the delusion that others must die to save the earth. Hence, there is no grief for the people who must die. Someone can be drug dependent and inebriated to the point that his core empathy is suppressed, due to intoxication. Someone can be personality disordered--a "sociopath" who steals, cheats and commits violent acts without guilt. Yet, these diagnoses still don't speak to the underlying cause of someone losing empathy. What about that? ÃÂ Regardless of what diagnosis we speak of, we still need to think about what causes those conditions marked by having little or no feeling for others [all emphasis mine, TW].
As I watched CBS news, it was made evident that everything possible was being done, and would be done, to determine the cause of this man's actions. "No stone will be left unturned," so says a Federal Investigator on the scene. Evidently city, state and federal authorities are looking into what might have compelled such an act of violence. Possible suggestions, theories, and scenarios immediately surfaced: Connections with some middle east radical terrorist group; drugs; revenge; desire to simply be popular and see if one might go down in the history books as the worst mass murderer in American history. We will probably never know what motivated that young man to do what he did, because in the wake of his horrible deed he ended his own life as well. But if Paul's description of the Gentile world has any application at all, we can know the root cause of what happened in that quiet little town in Connecticut.
As I listened to CBS News report, I wondered: "In the search for a cause, will authorities take a close look at the young man's educational background? Will they investigate what the public schools did to brainwash this young man into thinking that we are nothing more than a product of evolution? Did the humanistic values implanted in the mind of this man in some science class, or some class on philosophy have any bearing at all on what he did? Does our government share any blame at all with an ever increasing agenda that disrespects life, albeit it abortion, infanticide, or euthanasia?" Why does the death of those 20 children in that remote elementary school in the northeast surprise us, when abortion clinics are killing 136 times that same number of children every single day? Has the expulsion of God from every vestige of the mainstream of American life played any part at all in this, and other similar tragedies? There are consequences to action, and seeds sown eventually have a way of producing fruit akin to and in greater abundance than the original seed itself. What we are witnessing is a meltdown of a once mighty nation that has gorged itself on humanistic philosophy, made itself drunk with material success, and isolated itself from the very God Who blessed this nation in first place. When men walk into a movie theater, an elementary school, a crowded mall, or any other public place and do all within their power to end the lives of other human beings, they are simply acting out what deep inside they believe about life, moral responsibility, and respect for one's fellow man. They are demonstrating first-hand what it means when men loose "natural affection" for their fellow man.
Why are we shocked at what happened this past Friday? Saddened, yes! Angered? Absolutely! Every time another sin sick soul takes it upon himself to randomly kill innocent people - especially innocent children - we scratch our heads and wring our hands and ask, "WHY?" Whether it be a crazed young man in Connecticut, a mad man in Aurora, Colorado, or a lone gunman on some remote street corner in Anytown, USA - in every case, it can be traced to the loss of natural affection for one's fellow man, and for life in general.
|--by Tom Wacaster|