Mass Killings: What is going on here?

Kevin Cain   -  

What in the world is going on here?!!

  • 50 Muslim killed in New Zealand last week
  • 120+ Christians killed in Nigeria last week

Pretty quickly, we want to fix it. Whatever “it” is. So I’ve been reading articles on this. What is the problem that needs fixing?

One viewpoint: Religion. Religion is the cause of most of the world’s harm, and we just need to think and learn and become good humanists. My response is, Huh? The NZ gunman didn’t seem to be part of organized religion in any way, though he was certainly targeting a religious group (Muslims). In Nigeria, the issue of killing seems to be all about religion, but in a twisted view that the high majority of Muslims (and Christians) would condemn. No, outlawing religion—or even blaming it—isn’t the answer here.

Another viewpoint: Guns. Easy access gun laws allow the “crazies” among us to take out a large number of innocent human beings in a short amount of time. My response is, Yes, this is partly true. I have no idea how easy it is to obtain an assault rifle in NZ. Chances are that tougher laws would make it more difficult, but likely wouldn’t stop a premeditated murderer intent on killing others. But slowing crime down is a powerful argument for tougher gun laws. However, the killings in Nigeria include killing people with machetes, burning the victims, and other ways of killing. No, though guns play a role is wiping out more people quicker, it’s clear that guns are not to blame.

Third viewpoint: Government. Are governments stifling people so that their only recourse is to take extreme measures? Should government be more proactive in limiting actions and speech? Or have they responded quickly and strongly enough to these recent outrageous events? Though governmental limitations or freedoms may need to be improved, government simply cannot be the cause.

Fourth viewpoint: Some people hate those who aren’t like them. Is this really the problem? In a nutshell, yes. Certainly in these two instances (killings in NZ and Nigeria), the killer(s) is/are taking of lives of those who think, act, and often have a different ethnicity.

The nasty, broken, selfish human heart is the issue we see at work here. This issue is greater than any other single issue today. Our world is a battle for the human heart and mind. Personally, I see Jesus as the answer. “Treat others as more important than yourself”, while incredibly difficult to live up to consistently, is a maxim worth living towards. Tougher still? “Love your enemies; do good to those who mistreat you.”

The killings need to be condemned. We do not want more killings of Muslims in NZ or anywhere. We desperately want the killings in Nigeria to stop (the reports sound like this “cleansing” isn’t slowing down). While religion, guns, and governmental issues need to be addressed, we need to look for ways to bring Jesus to hearts that are rebelling against him.