The Incredible Blackness Of the Human Heart

   With all of you, I have watched in horror for the last twenty-four hours as the awful events that have taken place at Virginia Tech University have unfolded. I have shaken my head at the senselessness of the whole ordeal. I have prayed for the friends, faculty and families of those involved.

   I have listened to the talking heads go on with their speculations, theories and queries. Almost immediately, it seems, people were trying to pin blame on the university administration and security for allowing the situation to escalate as it did. It is human nature,  I suppose, to try to find scapegoats upon which to place our grief and lack of understanding.

   I have listened to so-called “experts” analyze the situation, particularly the mind of the shooter, 23 year-old Cho Seung-Hui. I listened in amazent as one psychologist gave a diagnosis that was based entirely upon theory and guesswork at what might be found if a CAT scan was performed on the young man’s brain. He presented his thoughts that murderers had a different brain than “normal” folk. He had examined the brain scans of a number of murderers and stated that they seemed to have certain “abnormalities” that made them “vulnerable to violence.” His entire thesis was an effort to reassure those who heard him that their basic human goodness was still intact and that this shooter was some kind of deranged victim of a brain configuration that caused him to act the way he did.

   I am not an expert when it comes to matters of the human brain. My knowledge on the subject is limited to the facts that each of us has one and that we do not use it nearly as much as we should. The shooter may indeed have abnormalities in his brain that may have been contributing factors to this outburst of murderous mayhem, but his brain is not the root of the problem.

   The problem is his heart.

   The problem is the incredible blackness that sin produces in the human heart.

   When tragedies such as this occur, it is easy for us to try to identify with the victims, often to the point of feeling violated ourselves. We shed tears of compassion and commiseration. We may actually become sick to our stomach to think of the loss of precious lives. It is indeed sickening to see what sin has wrought in this situation. In one sense, this is a crime against all humanity.

   If we look hard enough, perhaps we can find some way to connect ourselves to these victims. It seems to make us feel better to do so.

   But one thing is for certain, each of us can identify with the shooter. Those words may produce a visceral reaction but they are the sordid truth. Every one of us has a heart that is blackened by the curse of sin. Given the proper series of circumstances and choices, any one of us is capable committing this heinous crime or worse. We can ignore and deny it, try to explain it away, but the truth remains, we are all sinners and there is only one antidote, the blood of Jesus.

   Think about it, the first sin that the Bible records is Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit. What is the second sin? Cain murdering his brother. Here are two sons from the same family, raised in the same manner. What was the difference? One of them chose to worship God, the other chose to worship self.

   When we put self on the throne of our lives, we remove the moral restraint that prevents us from being murderers, thieves, rapists and child molesters. We become more concerned with self-gratification than we do with obedience to God. His laws become inconsequential to us, our feelings become our prime directive.

   I look at this tragedy and feel incredible sympathy for the victims and their families. I am praying that the peace of God will enfold them and draw them close to Him. I see the utter bleakness of what has happened and realize that only God can bring healing to those who have been wounded so deeply.

   I look at the shooter and say, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

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13 responses to “The Incredible Blackness Of the Human Heart

  1. I have been reading some of the blogs , at are taking about this , and I think they feel about the same as you , Gordon.

    and I agree with you on this too ,
    “There but for the grace of God , go I”.

  2. Amen. Thank you for your post. It reflects the conversation I had with family members last night.

    As Christians we see the issue from a different view and it is interesting to watch the media try to understand this event from a secular view.

    I feel such grief for the parents who lost their children. Especially if they live miles away and had to hear all about it like the rest of us via the radio and television. Oh the agony.

    Praying for all involved,
    Lana G

  3. Janice, thanks for stopping by and sharing.

    Lana, it’s nice to “meet you”. I can only imagine what the parents of those involved are feeling right now.

  4. One day we will truely know why these things are allowed to happen but untill then my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and family members and untill then just keep on trusting Jesus ! Blessings. Ron.

  5. I totally agree with you. The world does not want to admit or even consider the fact of sin.

  6. so true…we must continue to reach out…prayers to all involved…

  7. Oh brother, what a true posting!! We so desperately want to run from the fact that sin is a black thing and that given certain circumstances we, ourselves could walk in a path as dark as this…except for His mercy and grace…who knows the blackness of our own hearts… Thank God for His saving Grace!

  8. Thanks everyone for your comments. I am sorry that I have been so tardy in responding. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know that our prayers are still needed for the victim’s families.

    Let us also pray for those who are offering godly counsel that God will enable them to lead souls to Christ through this horrific situation.

  9. Well said, Gordon.

    Speaking of lifting them up in prayer, the VT chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ has called for prayer on Thursday. I plan on doing so myself. I don’t think there’s a scheduled time, though, so do so at your own leisure.

  10. Very well said. Especially how you pointed out that it is so natural for us to identify with the victims and their families — which is a good thing. But we are all lost and undone without Christ — we haven’t killed but we have hated in our hearts, we have called people “fools,” we have condemned others.

  11. Thanks for sharing that, Misawa. I did have special prayer Thursday.

    Bobby, those are good thoughts.

  12. Tim A. Blankenship

    Gordon,
    Sometimes it is almost frightening how you and I think alike. I believe it is due to our hearts for the Lord.
    It is a sad thing to see so many killed by one whose heart has been controlled by sin. The families that have been hurt by this evil, surely will continue to need our prayers.
    God bless you brother.

  13. Bro. TA, thanks for stopping by. We do indeed think alike. In fact, I honestly cannot remember reading anything you have written that I have ever disagreed with.

    It would be great to get to fellowship together one day. Blessings to you.

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