Human beings have been doing stupid things for a long time. “…Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him” (Ge.4:8). If only there had been better gun…(stick, rock, fist?)…control! What is sorely missing in our society, not only in horrendous murder cases, but in the looting, lying, spinning that takes place after (or before or regardless of) such tragic events, is SELF-control. Cain lacked it, even after a clear explanation of a very foundational moral truth communicated by the Moral Governor Himself. “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it'” (Ge.4:6-7). Cain, like so many others, yielded to an emotional influence, in this case anger, which led to the out-of-control violence that ended Abel’s life. Not all emotional supremacy ends in murder but all emotional supremacy is wrong. Our emotional activity must be subject to a willfully, intelligent evaluation of moral obligation. Sadly, such language means little to nothing to most people, including members of the Christian community. Allowing comprehension of moral agency and moral law to become buried under the trash heap of our feeling-based culture, we are spiraling into widespread decadence. Such behavior is worse than the most vicious behavior of the beast of the field since we must violate our moral capacities to engage in this sadistic behavior.
How has self-control become a four-letter word? I’d like to blame it on Common Core but in this case, I cannot. We have been witnessing and becoming the subjects of increased forms of external government (especially from eager pundits of control) because we are cultivating a culture that knows and cares little for internal, self-government. Now, let me make a grand leap that most will not be able to make with me – this is because we have forgotten God. Actually, we have suppressed the truth of God and rebelled against Him (not even professing atheists can manage to “forget” Him). Unless we correct this most fundamental problem, we can expect to see things get worse as we experience increasingly creative ways to produce death.
It is certain that many will use each new episode of gun violence to call for increased gun control (and by the way; I am in favor of people properly controlling the use of their guns), and yet very few will advocate self-control. In fact, the Supreme Court recently legislated against self-control. In a world full of irony, many who want guns removed from the hands of American citizens are perfectly (imperfectly) fine with Mr. Soetoro’s nuclear deal with Iran.