Dec. 7, 1941, was a day President Franklin Roosevelt said would live in infamy. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese was a heinous, criminal act that resulted in a multitude of dead Americans and a declaration of war
which eventually led to the annihilation of two major Japanese cities.
Sadly, there have been many infamous days in our history. The assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, of Dr. Martin Luther King and of Senator Robert Kennedy readily come to mind.
Plus many failed attempts. The names of the murderers of these men, (Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray and Sirhan Sirhan), are well-known because their victims were well-known and loved by millions. Thus the infamy. In fact, weve come to expect such high-profile murders from time to time.
As of July 20, we can add James Holmes to the ranks of infamous killers. But he has not gained his inglorious fame because of the popularity of the people he shot. He will be remembered for exactly the opposite reason. He murdered 12 strangers, including a six-year-old child.
While we may be able to provide less than satisfactory explanations for nations going to war or for prominent political leaders being targeted for death, there is no logical explanation for a 24 year old, very successful university student and potential scientist entering a movie theater and killing people whose faces he could barely see, all of whom were apparently unknown to him. Many in the media and on the Internet have referred to this as a mystery. It is hard to understand how such a thing could happen. Unless we reject the commonly held notion that people are basically
good. I find it hard to believe anyone could watch the news and maintain that conviction for more than a day or two. How could anyone see what men have done to each other nonstop for millennia and conclude the human race is inherently good? That is a mystery to me.
The Bible helps greatly in understanding the James Holmeses of the world: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9). Apparently no one can. Its a mystery.
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. (Romans 3:10-12). Many will cry, Well, thats not true! I know lots of good people! But on the other hand, if it is true, it explains a whole lot of infamy.
The actions of Holmes or any other killer, rapist, liar, adulterer, bigot, pedophile, hypocrite, thief or drunkard are no mystery. Human beings act according to their nature. We all suffer from a diseased heart. We are not good. We are all inherently, hopelessly sinful. The evidence for the truth of this is overwhelming.
And thus the desperate, universal need for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Only he can save us from ourselves.
Keith Doster is the pastor of Grace Fellowship Baptist Church. For more information go to www.gracereformedbaptist.com
or you may email him at keith email@example.com.