Kids Killing Kids

  Jackson Carr, of Lewisville, Texas, was an outgoing, fun-loving first grader with a passion for Hot Wheel cars and riding his bike. Two thousand miles away, in Bellingham, Washington, Michael Busby, age eight, had the same kind of winning personality. Mikey, as everybody called him, also loved to bike all around his neighborhood. Everywhere he went, he wore an infectious grin and counted everybody a friend. Today both boys are dead -- viciously murdered in the same week. Police say that Jackson Carr's fifteen-year-old sister stabbed him in the neck while their ten-year-old brother held him down. The sister led authorities to Jackson's muddy grave. Michael Busby's mutilated body was found in an isolated field near his home. He had been bound with duct tape, strangled, beaten, and slashed repeatedly with a razor blade. But the killer, still not satisfied with torture, finally killed Mikey with a massive injection of insulin. Police soon arrested a sixteen-year-old neighborhood boy, who confessed, saying that Michael had been "bugging him." Stunned, grief-stricken residents of Lewisville and Bellingham are asking, How could this happen? How can our decent kids commit these unbelievably heinous crimes? The problem is that when people encounter this kind of violence, they look in all the wrong places for answers to those questions. One Bellingham minister, for example, accused "the system." "Isn't it clear," he asked, "that [the alleged killer] . . . wasn't receiving enough support?" This minister is an example of someone who's lost all sense of an individual's responsibility for his own behavior. But the minister is not alone. Many continue to insist that violence is caused by some social or economic factors. They believe human nature is innately good. The eighteenth-century French philosopher Condorcet wrote glowingly of "the indefinite perfectibility of the human race." And Karl Marx believed man would create a perfect society once the evil capitalists were destroyed. But crime begins -- and it ends -- in the human heart. This is a place where the secular worldview and the biblical worldview come into sharp conflict. Biblical worldview includes original sin, the Fall, and human depravity. The human heart is desperately wicked, the Scripture tells us. So when we see kids killing kids, we have to point out the gruesome truth: Sin is in us. Because if a society fails to understand this, it simply perpetuates the horrors. I think often of theologian R. C. Sproul's statement when he looked around a table of middle-class Christians, "You all are more like Adolf Hitler than you are like Jesus Christ." They were shocked, but of course the statement is true. Kids killing kids is an indescribable horror, but it's not new. It's simply another consequence of human depravity. When we fail to see this, we find ourselves in an impossible situation: We keep trying to solve the world's problems looking in all the wrong places, instead of looking straight into the human heart. Only a Christian worldview realistically understands human sin and realistically understands that in the Gospel there is an answer: redemption. For further reading: Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, The Problem of Evil (Tyndale, 1999). R. C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith (Tyndale, 1998).


Chuck Colson


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