Experts are fervently seeking clues as to why James "the Joker" Holmes murdered 12 people and injured 58 others in a shooting attack at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater where people had gathered to view the latest Batman movie.
But they're not likely to find it, says author and television host Ray Comfort--because they're looking in all the wrong places.
"This latest alleged mass murderer isn't so easy to peg," says Comfort, author of the new book Hitler, God, and the Bible. "He came from a good home, in a good area, and he had a good education. But those who ask 'What went wrong?' are asking the wrong question. It should rather be 'What is wrong?' The biblical worldview isn't that anything went wrong. Here was a normal, sinful human being involved in an evil act of murder. The Scriptures tell us, 'The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked' (Jer. 17:9), and that no one is morally good in God's eyes."
As Comfort sees it, the humanistic worldview is radically different. It says that no one is born with a sinful nature, that all human beings are inherently good. So when someone goes off the rails, Comfort says, there must be some mitigating factor--he was bullied, was a loner, had an abusive father, or a domineering mother, etc.
While some of these are serious issues, millions of people get through them without going out and murdering others, Comfort says. In other words, in a world that rejects God, mass murder would be normal.
Comfort is working on a book called The Beatles, God, and the Bible and a movie about John Lennon. In preparation he has been interviewing people to ask if they would murder for $10,000. While most say they wouldn't, some would.
"When I questioned those who refused, it usually came back to being morally responsible to God for murder," says Comfort.
"However, any real fear of God is slowly dissipating from our nation. I would dare to say that there are many who love violent video games and violent movies, who would like to know what it feels like to kill another human being. But they don't carry out their fantasy because of the fear of retribution from civil law."
Comfort explains that when the biblical premise of man being evil by nature is forsaken, a criminal often isn't held responsible for his crimes. Societal conditions and life's circumstances are frequently blamed, and so the criminal gets a mere slap on the wrist for his violent crime. He is not considered evil; he is just sick or insane, and therefore receives rehabilitative treatment rather than punishment.
"Imagine how wicked society would be if the fear of God and the fear of civil law were both completely removed," says Comfort. "Imagine if a man could rape and murder, with no concerns about being punished. That's when we would see the true heart of humanity, and that's where we as a nation are slowly heading."
With the rejection of God by more and more Americans, Comfort expects to see an exponential escalation of Auroras.
"We have turned our backs on God, and given Him lip-service by maintaining a belief in His existence while at the same time embracing that which is abhorrent to Him: things such as homosexuality, abortion, adultery, fornication, pornography, lying, theft, and blasphemy," says Comfort. "Few have any fear of God, which the Bible says is the 'beginning of wisdom.' A wise man once said, 'Most I fear God. Next I fear him who fears Him not.' When men don't fear God, they give themselves to evil. This was clearly the case in the latest mass murder."
So what's the answer? Comfort says the only answer is the gospel.
"Christians must share their faith in obedience to the Great Commission, because we are only seeing the fruit of sin this side of death. There's another side, what many call 'the other side.' There's a very real hell after death for anyone who dies in sin," Comfort says. "Yet God is rich in mercy and has provided a Savior. All who repent and trust in Him not only find everlasting life, but they no longer give themselves to evil by lying, stealing, or killing. That's the only answer for America--and every other nation."
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