Nice, France.

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was a delivery-truck driver who used the instrument of his profession as in instrument of death. On Thursday night, July 14th, Mohamed left 84 people dead. That’s 35 more people than were killed in America’s MOST DEADLY mass shooting. He also left 202 others injured. Let it stand that this one man killed more and injured more with a truck than any one man in America ever has with a gun. My point though is not to make this a post about gun-control. This needs to go deeper; this needs to cut to the heart of the matter.

What is the solution to this? Ban trucks? Ban all vehicles? How many things must the government ban before we have solved these problems?

Although pictures often supply a rock (or knife), the Biblical text does not reveal the instrument of Cain’s choosing to end his brother’s life. Genesis 4: 8,

“And when [Cain and Abel] were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.” Although the weapon of the first murder in mankind’s history is a unknown, many things can be ruled out; for starters, guns and trucks.


Perhaps he did use a rock…ban rocks!

Did he he use a knife? Get rid of em!

Perhaps he choked him to death..ban hands!

From rocks and hands, to swords and ropes, to rifles and trucks, to gas chambers and planes, to drones and atomic bombs, what is clear in human history is that people are capable of utilizing just about anything to accomplish the desires of their hearts.

What really needs to be banned are people.  How is it that we effectively ban people?  How is it that the human heart is made illegal?

Sinful hearts are no longer permitted. 

The night of these attacks, before either of us had heard of them, my dad sent me a link to this brief blog post. I know it’s lengthy for our purposes here, but please take the time to read it:

“Dear friends, there is a great malignancy in our land called secular progressivism – a movement that ironically wants diversity through relentless conformity. But we cannot continue in our attempts to root out the cancer with the band-aid solution of surface arguments. While I do not doubt their sincerity in wanting to resolve the issues of the world, secularists do not know God, history or human nature, so their so-called solutions only serve to exacerbate the world’s problems. I think we can all agree that there are serious problems in our world, but we are far apart on how these problems become solved. You and I know that sin cannot be effectively treated with Secularism, Marxism, liberation theology, more laws which increase power to politicians or re-educating our children. These ‘solutions’ are the problem. They are a destructive force. Any view of the world which does not recognize the inherent sinfulness of man will put no limits on man’s power… Instead of treating cancer with a band-aid we must begin challenging our theological opponents such that they come face to face with their own basic assumptions and presuppositions about life. Socially liberal presuppositions about truth and the nature of humanity are as religious as anyone else. They have created their own narrative of the world and the nature of human beings, about who we are and where we are going. “Progressives” even have a whole narrative of redemption and liberation. But instead of jumping on the same old treadmill by arguing about each issue according to the weekly news cycle, we must go deeper still. We must be be relentless in revealing the inconsistency of the underlying ideology which 1) claims to affirm moral relativism with 2) their constant insistence (often through judicial fiat) that we all conform to their assumptions about the meaning of life. As long as they insist others must conform and embrace to their view, then they deny the very moral relativism they claim to believe: a fatal blow to their totalitarian ideology.” – John Hendryx

The problem with the world is the human heart. Humanity is humanity’s biggest problem. In the timeless DC Talk song In the Light, there is a powerful lyric,

The disease of self runs through my blood. It’s a cancer fatal to my soul. Every attempt on my behalf has failed to bring this sickness under control.

Secularists can cavil over the simplicity of that claim, but laws aren’t getting the job done, so what else are we left with? What are our other bright ideas; what’s the next theory?

The biblical view of man is so important to understand. This is why Christian parents who protest Disney and similar organizations are not being dramatic. It is incredibly harmful for people to grow up believing we are all good people. The reason we call evil “mental disease”, the reason we can’t curb evil is because we have misdiagnosed the issue. As Hyndrix said, there are some problems a band-aid can solve, but cancer isn’t one of them. We need to know the problem if we want to treat it. However, our culture at large camouflages the problem with “listen to your heart” messages and “everyone is good” themes.

In Genesis 6:5 God gave an accurate diagnoses of the world:

“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” 

That’s a powerful statement. Every intention/thought is only evil, all the time. Man is never anything but evil. There’s the problem. And even flooding those people out in Genesis 7 didn’t fix it, because after the flood this was God’s new diagnosis of man. Genesis 8:21,

“And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.”

See the emphasis; nothing has changed.

The Prophets knew of the true nature of man. Jeremiah 17:9,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

More deceitful than anything in all of creation the human heart is. It is desperately sick, and no, you don’t know it. That’s the problem.

If any writer of Scripture was clear on the issue of man, it was Paul. Romans 3: 10-19,

“[A]s it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.’ ‘Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving,” The poison of asps is under their lips’; ‘Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness’; ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood, Destruction and misery are in their paths, And the path of peace they have not known.’ ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’”

What I consider the most powerful verse in all of Scripture on the nature of man is Romans 8: 6-8 (emphasis mine),

“…[T]he mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Mohamed’s problem was not that he was unwilling to submit himself to Nice’s laws; it was that he was unable to submit himself to God’s. 

Our sin is at issue here, the nature of man is the problem underneath every problem. What the world needs is something capable of dealing with sin.

The god of secularism simply can’t do this. Secularism has a god, but their god is certainly not capable of accomplishing what Jesus can. Their god is one of two things: Themselves or the State.

Individuals are impotent, and the State’s only power is to ban. The only solution the State can provide are condolences, and the power of the pen. The State is not, and never can be, and never should be in the business of changing hearts; they are in the business of legislation.

And with everything the State legislates and bans, it itself grows more powerful. And that is dangerous because the individuals that make up the State have just as much potential for evil as those they are trying to protect their people from; only they have more power and less restraint.

We need something that can change hearts, something that can uproot them and replace them. And that something is found in Someone. Titus 3: 4-7,

“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

In Christ, we are regenerated; we are renewed. This is why Jesus said salvation is  being “born again”. We receive new hearts; we receive circumcised hearts. We are justified freely by grace and it is that grace which makes us new, and causes us to walk in newness of life.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 1 Corinthians 5: 17.

In Christ we are no longer dead in sin and enslaved to our passions, but we are made alive, and caused to walk in good works (Col. 2: 13, Eph. 2: 4-10). In Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin, but to righteousness (Romans 6). We no longer make a practice sin (1 John 3:4,9).

Nice already had laws against this horrific acts of evil. The people of Nice don’t need law, they need rescue.  The people of the world don’t ultimately need legislation; we need a hero. Jesus is that hero. His Gospel does save (Romans 1:16). His Gospel is what changes hearts. His Gospel is how we solve things. Jesus is our answer.

Thus, I would like to conclude again with Hendryx,

And then, most importantly, pray that God open their eyes to see how their view does not line up with the world or the nature of human beings, how they oppose God and need a Savior with whom they can find forgiveness. Again, pray, for no argument has its effect until God changes the heart.

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