Articles

Articles

The Thrill Kill

The Thrill Kill

(Kent Heaton)

 

The senseless killing of an Australian student in Oklahoma has stunned the nation as details emerge for the motive. Citing the reason for the killing as for the “fun of it” three teens are charged with killing the 22-year old while jogging. No matter the age of the gunmen the propensity of man’s cruelty to others is a reflection of the moral climate generated by a society that views man as an animal and denies the accountability of life. Satan’s tempting of Eve is the battle cry for the destruction of the moral values and belief in God. “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'  Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (Genesis 3:1-5). Satan tempted Eve to look at herself and believe that she is her own god and that like the animals there will be no consequence to life. She believed the lie and Satan won the day.

Fast forward to the moral climate of today which is no different since the victory of Satan in the garden. The ‘thrill kill’ by these three young men is how society views humanity. Everyone is enraged of a “senseless” killing yet abortions continue unabated daily as millions of unborn children are slaughtered on the altars of convenience. Humanism has taken man and made him no different than an animal. The sanctity of life is not treasured as precious but worshipped in the gory details of a glorification of death.  Violence is the thirst of society. Why are we shocked by the Romans who built grand coliseum’s to slaughter humans in gladiatorial battles and today we revel in the glut of blood flowing from our televisions? What are the popular shows of our day? In the old days of television death was sanitized when someone was shot because you never saw a bullet hole. Today through the marvel of creative minds we are able to watch a CSI event unfolding before our eyes as the body is opened up in bloody details to the joy of viewers. The more body parts blown apart in violence the better. Body counts sending ratings higher as killers (or aliens) slaughter everyone in sight. Death is a trivial thing.

This does not suggest that death should be sanitized. We have made great strides to lessen the impact of death. Hospitals and funeral homes have taken much of the sorrow of disease and death away from the home. Bodies of loved ones would be cared for by the family and buried in family plots in times past. But when society begins to accept death as entertainment and exalts in the death of one person Satan has found his way in the hearts of man. He wants man to view death as nothing better than killing a dog. While cruelty to animals should never be accepted the truth remains that God has given the animals to man for food (Genesis 9:1-17). When a man kills a cow to eat it is not murder. Animals are not eternal beings as they have not been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Killing another human being is murder. "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6). The three teens in Oklahoma did not believe this. They were taught that man is an animal and to shoot this young man was just a sport and would be “fun.” No different than shooting a dog running along the road.

The sanctity of life can only be measured by the reality of death. When someone is killed there are myriads of consequences to consider. An eternal being has been killed. Not the eternal nature of man of course but the mortal tabernacle. As this young man was jogging along the road he had so many things in life he wanted to accomplish. It was his Senior year of college, he had a girlfriend and he had family and friends. In the split second of life he hears a pop and feels an incredible pain falling to the ground. His mind begins to cloud and a strange feeling overwhelms him as life slowing slips from his body. Hearing the sounds of those trying to save him he struggles to understand what is happening. And then in an eternal moment he dies and enters the realm of eternity. That happens each time someone dies. And yet society lusts for the blood of others to satisfy their deep desire for the morbidity of death.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4). The Holy Spirit revealed to Paul what has been true since the Garden of Eden. Man has not changed his nature he has only changed his method. When men love themselves they seek their own gratification and thrills. Driven by material lusts they boast themselves as gods exalting with pride their power and dominion over others. Blaspheming their own nature they deny the one true God and reject the counsel of the hoary head. There is nothing to be thankful for as they force their will on others through their own wickedness. What love did these young men have for another human being? Speeding away from their victim lying in a pool of blood they sought to find another thrill to shoot. They are living for self in a pitiless spirit that denies the meaning of good. Their power is in their ability to shoot a man down and with arrogant spirit of self-imposed greatness brag to one another of the thrill. Pleasure is a momentary thrill while suffering is left on the side of the road. God is not a part of their lives.

The most popular video games are those that allow the gamer to kill without conscience. Movies like “Hunger Games” exalt the pretense of killing others for sport or survival. Does death only matter if it impacts my world? If one person is killed does it matter? The way we view death as a society will govern what we do with death as an individual. Man is an eternal being but when man and animal are put on the same level then we have done nothing more than clambered a little farther out of the evolutionary green slime of humanism. Ironically animals are being exalted to the level of humans while humans are degraded to the level of animals. It would not be surprising if there are more laws protecting animals than man. The killing of a human being was a greater thrill than shooting a dog because there is the innate conscience of these three young men that understood that human life was holy. Denying that reality they chose to shoot a man down like a dog. To them that is all he was. So much for the moral code of our enlightened society that permits abortion, homosexuality and euthanasia.

From the reports as to what motive they had in killing the man it seems as trivial as watching him run by their house and the decision to take a gun and shoot him. As the events began to unfold with finding the gun and getting in the car and driving by the unsuspecting victim the reality of consequence never entered the mind. The thrill they expected was the nature of sin. Live for the moment because there will be no consequence to your actions. Satan told Eve, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Eve was convinced that her actions were without concern and that God had lied to her in not allowing her to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eat, drink and be merry because what you can do - you do by your own pleasure and tomorrow will never come is how Eve was persuaded to take the forbidden fruit. In every case of sin (without exception) the fruit of the moment can be enjoyed without the fruit of consequence. Why did Cain kill Abel (Genesis 4)? He did not believe there would be any consequence and in the heat of anger slew his brother. What drives the passion of man but the denial that what I am doing now will have a consequence later!

It must be pointed out the consequence that is important is not the mug shots of the three perpetrators of this terrible crime. The “thrill” they thought they would have is gone in the police portraits. Their lives are not fun and the freedom they had hours earlier is taken away. What must be understood is the consequence of their actions was lost as they made plans to shoot their victim. The consequence of their lives is now marred by murder. Why did this happen? “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” (Matthew 15:18-20). It is sad these three young men did not have the training of the heart to know the evil of murder. But the reality of parental and societal influence created these hearts. When the world rejects God and becomes a God-less people then senseless killings will continue.

Ironically we have clarion calls to remove any vestige of God from our land and as we remove the Creator from our world the chaos of God-less values exalts the inhumanity of man against himself. What happens when man becomes his own god?

“Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:21-32).

Man worships a greater god when he worships himself because he becomes his own lawgiver. His futility is measured by how great he thinks he is. His totem becomes his own passions and desires rejecting the nature of an eternal being who is his Creator. Homosexuality is exalted now as a normal way of life as women exchange the natural use for what is against nature and men leaving the natural use of the woman burn in their lust for one another. The nature of wickedness is there is no consequence to life. In all that Paul wrote in Romans 1 the key is the failure of man to recognize the “righteous judgment of God” (verse 32). Whether murder, homosexuality, evil-mindedness, covetousness or whatever passion man follows there will be consequence. “Futile in their thoughts … became fools … dishonor their bodies … vile passions … against nature … shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due … debased mind … worthy of death” (Romans 1:21,22,24,26,27,28,32).

Whether it happens in this life is of no consequence but the reality of eternal God who demands justice is the greatest reality man must understand. Shooting a man in the back brought consequences. A man is dead. A family is impacted in no way any family should be. Three young men may spend their lives in prison. A nation of hypocrites is shocked by the crime while glorifying the godless values responsible for a culture of death. Joseph understood the nature of his actions when he declared to the wife of Potiphar, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God" (Genesis 39:9)? The son of Jacob knew that life was about a relationship with God and that sexual immorality had greater consequence than being found out by Potiphar or the possibility of a sexual disease. “Sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4) because it is against the nature of the holiness of God. Judgment will be meted out to all who fail to understand the nature of God and the consequence of sin. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

We should grieve and pray for the family of the young man killed. Our prayers should be towards the lives to the three young men who live without God. As a nation we continue to spiral into the depths of a godless society driven by the passions of human wisdom. The wisdom of God will last long after the United States of America is gone. We believe that we will always be “one nation under God” but the deterioration of those fundamentals truths will destroy us from within. In truth all that matters is when we reach the shores of eternity. The consequence of my life will be the only thing I am concerned about in that day.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God" (John 3:16-21).