Serial killers, mass shooters, knife attackers, bombers, and suicide killers have several things in common.
- I have read that all use drugs.
- Most are from homes without a father.
- They are subjected to some kind of hate information—online, influencers, or in their communities. They are encouraged to carry out attacks, whether actively or generally, through vicious ideologies.
- Many of the young people committing these crimes train beforehand on video games or in actual physical training grounds.
- They plan their attacks in detail.
- Almost all leave behind some kind of evidence that exhibits hatred for their targets. They show an obsession against a group of people.
I don’t want to get into a debate about guns or knives or the means of carrying out these attacks. We don’t seriously believe machetes or kitchen knives are to blame any more than we do the innert materials that go into explosives. So, we’ll leave aside a discussion of weapons in this post.
The sad patterns listed above combine to give us a portrait of a mass murderer. He takes drugs, listens to hate language, and trains himself to kill people.
The root problem, though, is his heart.
I don’t think for one minute that if we erradicated illegal drug use, made sure everyone had a father figure in his life, shut down the dark web, and cleaned up video games—all of these virtually impossible—that we would never have another mass killing in the world. It would be helpful if some of these things were done, but it would not change the fact that there will always be evil people intent on doing harm to others.
Why is there evil?
We only have to read Romans 5. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (verse 12).
That one man was the first man on earth, Adam. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression (14a).
I’m so thankful it doesn’t end there. Read these verses of hope: But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord (15, 19-21).
If we could reach young men and women with the gospel—the good news of forgiveness and eternal life available through Jesus Christ—hearts would be changed. Changed hearts result in changed actions. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
I don’t believe that all who hear the gospel will accept the Lord. My opinion is that that we go about trying to fix society’s worst problems in the dumbest ways. Blaming items on the list won’t help.
Only Jesus can change people’s hearts. That is everyone’s biggest need.