Stories about Aspergers are starting to show up in the news following the tragedy in CT. Humanistic psychologists are touting answers that are not grounded and which only sow more seeds of fear and confusion in an already emotional nation. Even a mother is equating her son’s demonically influenced sin to the condition calling for the government to help. (Caution: language. Mature Readers.) Aside from the debate as to whether or not ADHD, Autism, and Aspergers is a parenting issue, a spiritual issue or a health challenge, it’s important to know why such horrific events happen. And here’s why we need to know. We don’t need the government’s help. We’re doing fine and we don’t want our innocent non-violent children (or siblings) who we love and have trained well according to God’s word, who love us and obey us, who are self-controlled and self-directed blessings to our families, churches and communities to be vulnerable to such a slanderous generalization about their character. Being an Aspie and being a murder are to two totally different things. The scripture speaks clearly as to what murder and a murderous heart is. Arguments like these have the potential to stir up threatening situations where the government labels children who fall somewhere in the spectrum of ADHD, Aspergers, and Autism as uncontrollable, unchanging threat to society with parents who are unqualified to care for them even as they are presently and undeniably gifts from God beholden to the grace of God.
To focus on Aspergers is to miss the point all together. What is the christian perspective of the cause of days like Dec 14th? What can we say to people who aren’t familiar with Aspergers? What can we say contrary to these nonsensical arguments in the media? People are looking for answers as the nation reels from this blow and we pray that they will find comfort in truth, part of which is understanding murder is caused by sin not a mental condition.
Richard Baxter on the causes of murder and the heart issues we must know in order to destroying these causes at the root.
(Concisely adapted for the sake of brevity)
It’s natural for us to rise up powerfully against the sin of murder. It would seem that temporal punishment and the law of nature would be enough of an argument against murder. But man’s corrupted heart is liable to commit murder and because murder is so heinous it has a much more mischievous nature than many smaller sins. Advice on the causes, magnitude, and consequences.
Avoid these causes and you avoid the sin.
- Unlawful wars.
- The pride and tyranny of men in power; when their will and interest is their rule, and their passion seems a sufficient warrant for their injustice.
- A malignant enmity against the godly and a persecuting destructive zeal.
- Rash unrighteous judgment; when judges are ignorant, or partial, or perverted by passion, or prejudice, or respect of persons.
- Oppression and uncharitableness when the poor are kept destitute of necessaries to preserve their lives.
- Thieves and robbers, that do it in order to possess that which is another man’s: when riotousness or idleness has consumed their own possessions and substance, and sloth and pride will not allow them to earn more, nor sensuality suffer them to go without, then they will have it by right or wrong, whatever it cost them.
- Guilt and shame for the covering over of a great disgraceful sin.
- Furious anger, which overtakes reason and for the present makes men mad; and drunkenness, which does the same. Many a man has killed another in his fury or his drink; so dangerous is it to allow our reasoning ability to lose its power, and to use ourselves to a Bedlam course!
- Malice and revenge. When men’s own wrongs or suffering are so great a matter to them, and they have so little learned to bear them, that they hate that man that is the cause of them, and boil with a revengeful desire of his ruin. And this sin hath in it so much of the devil, that those that are once addicted to it, are most wholly at his command. [The devil] maketh witches of some, and murderers of others, and wretches of all! who set themselves in the place of God, and will do justice as they call it for themselves, as if God were not just enough to do it. And so sweet is revenge to their furious nature, (as the damning of men is to the devil) that revenged they will be, though they lose their souls by it.
- Wicked impatience with near relations, and a hatred of those that should be most dearly loved. Thus many men and women have murdered their wives and husbands, when either adulterous lust hath given up their hearts to another, or a cross, impatient, discontented mind, hath made them the devil that destroyed their love and brought them thus far, will be their teacher in the rest, and show them how to ease themselves, till he hath led them to the gallows, and to hell. How necessary is it to keep in the say of duty, and abhor and suppress the beginnings of sin
- Covetousness has caused murder, when one man desires another man’s estate.
- Ambition is too common a cause of murder, among the great ones of the world. How many have dispatched others out of the world, because they stood in the way of their advancement.
Besides these 12 sins which are the nearest cause of murder, there are many more which are yet greater, and deeper in nature, which are the roots of all; especially these:
- The first cause is, the lack of true belief of the word of God, and the judgment and punishment to come, and the lack of the knowledge of God himself: atheism and infidelity.
- Then comes the lack of the true fear of God, and the lack of subjection to His holy laws.
- The predominance of selfishness in all unsanctified men, is the fundamental inclination to murder and all the injustice that is committed.
- And the lack of charity, or loving our neighbor as ourselves, does bring men near to the execution, and leaves little inward restraint.
By all of this you may see how this sin must be prevented. (All men should understand this is a important and much needed work. Thousands have been guilty of murder that once thought themselves as far from it as you)
1. The soul must be possessed with the knowledge of God, and the true belief of his word and judgment.
2. Hereby it must be possessed of the fear of God, and subjection to him.
3. And the love of God must mortify the power of selfishness.
4. And also must possess us with a true love to our neighbours, yea and enemies for his sake.
5. And the twelve forementioned causes of murder will be thus destroyed at the root.
The Magnitude of Murder & Consequences
1. Murder is the unlawful destroying of a creature of God, one of his noblest creatures on earth who bears the image of God.
And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. Genesis 9:5-6
God will not only have an animal slain that kills a man but also forbids man to eat it’s blood so that man might not be accustomed to cruelty.
2. Murder opens the door to confusion. If one man kills another unlawfully another man may try to do the same. Without law the world would be mad.
3. Murder is a sin that seldom escapes vengeance in this life. If the law of the land doesn’t allow execution God follows after murders with plagues and causes their sin to find them out. The blood thirsty man seldom lives out half his days. They go about a while like Cain, with a terrified conscience, afraid of every one they see, till seasonable vengeance give them their reward, or rather send them to the place where they must receive it.
4. Eternal torment under the wrath of God is the final punishment which murderers should expect if very great repentance and the blood of Christ do not prevent it. It must be a deep repentance proceeding from the love of God and man, and the hatred of sin, and sense of God’s displeasure for it, which is only found in sanctified souls. Few murderers ever have the grace to manifest any such renovation and repentance.