Philip Yancey, a writer who has invested much of his life exploring these types of issues, was contacted by a television producer after the death of Princess Diana.
So many have questioned the motives of the man who committed the mass murders in Aurora last Thursday. Although many have speculated what could be the possible motives of someone who would commit such a hideous crime, I think that Philip Yancey who appear on a show, explains how God could have possibly allowed such a tragic accident.
“Could it have had something to do with a drunk driver going ninety miles an hour in a narrow tunnel?,” he asked the producer. ‘How, exactly, was God involved?’
From this, Yancey reflected on the pervasive nature of the mindset that our actions are actually an indictment of God.
Such as when boxer Ray ‘boom boom’ Mancini killed a Korean boxer in a match, the athlete said in a press conference, “Sometimes I wonder why God does the things he does.”
In a letter to a Christian family therapist, a young woman told of dating a man and becoming pregnant. She wanted to know why God allowed that to happen to her.
In her official confession, when South Carolina mother Susan Smith pushed her two sons into a lake to drown, she said that as she did it, she went running after the car as it sped down the ramp screaming, ‘Oh God! Oh God, no!…Why did you let this happen!’
Yancey raises the decisive question by asking,
‘What exactly was the role God played in a boxer pummeling his opponent, a teenager abandoning her virtue, or a mother drowning her children?’
God let us choose, and we did, and our choices have brought continual pain and heartache and destruction.”
So as pointed out by Yancey, the question is more of a cosmic one; a question which point to an overarching theme of evil in our world, not by a personal causation. As the media pundits try to place blame on a psychosis producing psychotic symptoms expressed through his murderous rampage we find a personalization of blame rather than a understanding of the theme of Scriptures which point to the cause of evil and its results–a fallen people who live in a fallen world with a shattered image of God shattered by sin, in rebellion against God. Looking for the cause of evil outside of this perspective will never come to a remedy. Not gun control, government intervention, or myriads of counsellors will ever stop the flood of evil until the fullness of the redemption of Christ redeems this fallen world.
Yes there is personal responsibility for our actions, and yes any crime of any sort (sin) must come under the judgment of laws of man and God. I also realize my line of reasoning will not satisfy the curious and or morbid interest of others. It is a legitimate question to what would possess someone to commit such a horrific crime. Trying to understand what would possess someone one, and what state of mind they were in is a difficult and many time an impossible task. We can only guess, no matter how advanced our psychological techniques are, what is going on in the heart and mind of man. Only God can.
So my thought is simple. Instead of looking for the reasons a man does what he does, understand the moral universe he abides in, only then you can begin to understand his world and why he does, what he does.