Monday, August 1, 2011
Anders Behring Breivik is the mass murderer who attempted to murder 176 people, most of them teenagers, in Norway. The media is certainly seizing the opportunity to squeal like school-girls that this man is a “Christian Terrorist” - and you have people who are understandably upset about this! You can certainly include me in that group! But, I want to offer two thoughts concerning this horrible event caused by this madman: the first one will probably suit most just fine, the other one…well, sometimes hit dogs get a bit upset.
There are numerous reports like this one that beg us to ask if there is an agenda by the media and others to capitalize on this tragedy: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/07/who-added-christian-and-conservative-to-norway-shooters-facebook-page-yesterday.html
But let’s not even argue that right now. For the sake of argument, let’s say that this guy goes to a Norwegian Baptist Church, is a supporter of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the President of the Norwegian Tea Party movement. Let me just share with you a few things you will see that separates true Christians: (1) You will not see this celebrated in any TRUE Christian congregation. (2) You will not see any Christian celebrations or dancing in the streets. (3) You will not see a video that promises there will be more of this coming unless the infidels convert. (4) You will in fact, see the Christian community condemn this with one voice, regardless of denomination or leader - the Christian community will whole-heartedly despise this act.
Now, here is the more difficult and controversial statement. I believe some are a bit hypocritical to be ready to battle at the thought that this man is being portrayed as a “Christian.” Let me explain….I, as well as many other Christians have been declared as mean-spirited or judgmental when we state that little Johnny who walked down the isle and was baptized at 10 years old, but is now 30 and an open drunk and whoremonger can NOT be considered a Christian based on his lifestyle. But now I am sure many of those same people (who would defend Johnny’s one time prayer) are up in arms screaming that this man can not be what he says he is. Why? Well, I would answer because a Christian is a follower of Christ - he is a new creation living a changed life. This doesn’t mean that he/she will not sin, but it does mean that sin will not dominate their life. David murdered and tried to cover it, but ultimately was broken and repented with deep remorse. This man murdered because of open hatred towards people and (judging some quotes from his journal entries) had overwhelming ongoing hatred towards groups of people. But, I found it quite strange to hear a liberal reporter on FOX News stating in short, that if this man claims to be a Christian, who are we to judge his heart and commitment!? (I actually thought I was hearing someone speak at a Baptist Church for a moment). This is not a heart judgment, this is an activity judgment. Unrepentant willful sin with no brokenness displays that this man can claim to be whatever he wants, but he is not a person who is a new creation! This is consistent with Scripture regardless of if the man is a psychotic-murderer, or if it is sweet Mrs. “Bee” who just slanders and hasn’t controlled her tongue for the last 25 years. Too many people attempt deal with the more ongoing “acceptable sins” by pointing to Lot. The problem with pulling the “Lot card” is that you see Lot accepting sin, but not actively participating in the sin of Sodom. It would not only be a stretch to say that Lot was actively participating in Sodom’s sin, but you would have to add to Scripture and concoct a story that is not insinuated anywhere. This impacted his entire family and we are told in the New Testament that he was a miserable, righteous man, but not a homosexual or fornicator. It is true that a believer can commit any sin an unbeliever can - but to believe a “believer” can practice sin and stay in sin but because he/she prayed a prayer, but they are saved, is about as believable as saying Anders is a Christian. Now, let me be clear - a drunkard, gossip, and mass-murderer are not morally equivalent. I would much rather live next to a drunkard than a murderer, but if one were to say that you can be in any ongoing sin with no repentance and sanctification process going on—you would be a huge hypocrite to say that there is no way Mr. Anders is a Christian. As for me and countless others who will contend for the faith---we say 1st John 3:9-10.