The Human Heart is the Problem, Not Guns or Gun Laws

The nation continues to struggle with the tragedy in Newtown, CT, yesterday and there are a lot of people asking questions. But very few have hit on the problem.

Those on the left think that somehow by manufacturing more laws, problems like this can be prevented. In fact, the left would like nothing more than to remove guns from society if possible. We know the problem with this. In a society that could not rid itself of cocaine after a billion dollars were spent in the war against drugs, we cannot rid ourselves of guns either. In fact, the end result would be that more innocent people would helpless in such situations because only criminals would have guns.

The right wants to make sure we keep our right to guns. This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it is our freedom to have guns and we have the right and freedom to resort to using guns if necessary. The other edge is that we will continue to live in a society where those like Adam Lanza don’t have to buy any guns, but can find them when they want to.

Those of us on the right are even pointing to issues like our violent society and how we stand by and let it continue on unabated. Lawrence Auster at View From the Right has an excellent piece at his blog sight entitled Our False Innocence, Our Real GuiltHe points out that it is our violent society that leads to such instances of violence and stains all of our hands with guilt. While we are not directly guilty, we are guilty to a point.

Lawrence writes:

Our society has also destroyed norms in taking a non-judgmental and libertarian position on mentally disturbed and dangerous people who once would have been isolated from society. It would be unfair and oppressive to institutionalize the mentally ill, so we let them move about at liberty where ultimately many of them commit violent crimes.

But no one notices our systematic normalization of the normless. People seem to think that because they themselves are not bothered or harmed by this normless world of violence and madness, no one will be harmed by it. But not everyone is equally stable. Some people are more vulnerable to messages of rampant lust, savage violence, and murder than others. They need a sane and well ordered society to remain well-ordered themselves. But our society hurls everyone into moral chaos and assumes everyone will be ok, because, after all, if you don’t like perverted and violent messages in the surrounding society, you’re free to ignore them, right? Isn’t that what every libertarian and “freedom”-loving conservative like Rush Limbaugh says?

While our society manufacturers suicidal false guilt, such as the guilt of whites for their fictional racism against blacks, it ignores its own actual guilt in having built a continent-sized Sodom where anything goes. Yet as soon as something bad happens, the Sodomites—meaning the residents of Sodom—cry, “But we thought our town was safe!” Amazing. Mass murders have of course previously occurred in “safe” towns. Yet each time another mass murder takes place in another “safe” town, everyone is shocked and rushes to tie pink ribbons on trees and hold prayer-and-therapy vigils and hug each other—symbols of their own invulnerable and utterly false sense of innocence.

I understand exactly what he is saying. We are all complicit in our acceptance of violence. For instance, last night I took one of the members of my church to see The Hobbit. I was really looking forward to it and hoped that I would be able to take my two boys, 5 and 7, to see it as well. But I cannot. While the book by J.R.R. Tolkien was written for a younger audience, Peter Jackson’s adaptation is far too violent for such young minds. It’s far too violent for the culture at large. We hide this fact by saying things like, “Jackson is just bringing realism to the story.” I thought one of the purposes of reading fiction was to escape the realism of our world, and yet we pay $8.50 to watch orcs and goblins get their heads cut off because it is realism.

No one protests the violence because we all like it. This is closer to the truth of the problem than anyone wants to admit. We like violence because we are violent. Removing violent video games and movies will not reduce the violence in our culture. Violence, war and murder are found in all cultures, regardless of the technological advancement of those culture. So video games and movies are not the problem, just symptoms of the problem.

The problem is the same as it has always been, it is the human heart. Baba Lucy wrote this in my comments section of yesterday’s post:

People who want to kill will kill no matter what. Guns are not the problem. Hearts are the problem. Hearts must be changed by JESUS or a person can do anything. I pray that people realize that killing a child is like killing a baby- It is LIFE and our country is choosing death over life. We as a country are doing what is right in our own eyes instead of GOD’s and things will only get worse.

Seems quite simple, yet she bases her statements on Biblical truth. It is the same problem mankind has had since the first massacre recorded in Genesis 4, in which Cain wiped out 25 percent of the population. It is the problem of a wicked heart. Listen to the Prophet Jeremiah:

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
10 I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

God is not only showing us grace by showing us our fallen nature, He is warning us of the consequences if we do not turn to Him. He is giving us and the culture we live in over to our ways. Do we like violence in our movies? Then our culture will be saturated with it. Do we like adultery in the television shows we watch? Then our marriages will be saturated with it. Do we like the ways of the world? Then our churches will become worldly. In fact, I would have to say that our churches have succumbed to our infatuation with entertainment, to the point that our worship is no longer that which worships a holy and just God, but worships our desires for the right kind of experience. But that is another post.

The point is that our hearts are desperately wicked. The LORD has shown us the root cause for all our problems. Only when we turnt to Him will there be any hope of cultures that reflect true peace, a peace not brought on by the additional laws of fallen mankind, but by the redemption of fallen people by Jesus Christ.

But alas, our world and the church, doesn’t want to hear this. We want Congress to “do” something to make everything OK. We fool ourselves into thinking that with the stroke of a pen, our Congress and President can make the world a safer place, as if the laws already on the books were not enough. Congress cannot help because they do not have the power to do so. Remember, Cain murdered Abel without an AK-47. There were no assault rifles in his day. I guess Congress could fix that too by banning assault rocks. But they still cannot address the human heart.

Only the gospel of Christ can do that. Only by the preaching of God’s word, with all its hard passages, can the Spirit work in order to redeem people. Just know however that mankind doesn’t want this either. Remember the words of our LORD in John 3:18ff, that men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.

When it comes right down to it, we are dependent upon God’s grace. Yesterday, He chose for His reasons to remove that grace from the elementary school in Newtown, CT. Now the masses are sitting in judgment of His goodness, never stopping to consider that it is His grace that keeps any elementary school safe. It is His grace and through His ways that culture works at all. If we truly want a safe world to live in, then we need to turn to Him. Only then will the real problem of the human heart be dealt with. He knows our hearts. He knows our problems and our struggles. Without Him, we can do nothing in this situation other than ask pointless questions. Only in Him will we find the answer to the real problem. The real problem is not guns, but the heart. The real answer to this is the gospel of Jesus Christ, not more laws. Laws were never intended to change the heart, only through the gospel can that happen. To the world that asks “why?” this is foolishness. But it is the only real answer to the questions.