The media today is abuzz with the shocking case of yet more child-on-child violence in the UK. Reminiscent of the James Bulger case, two schoolboys aged 9 and 11 were viciously assaulted and tortured by another pair of boys the same age.
Here is how the story is described: “An 11-year-old boy is fighting for his life after he and a nine-year-old friend were slashed with a knife, burnt with cigarettes and thrown 10 metres down a ditch by children their own age. The boy and his friend were out riding their bikes in England’s spring sunshine when they were confronted by two other youngsters aged just 10 and 11. They demanded the pair hand over their mobile phones, money and trainers and when they refused they were tortured with burning cigarettes, cut with a knife ‘from head to toe’ and then beaten with bricks, according to witnesses.”
With every new case of such inexplicable child violence, the same question arises: ‘How could anyone do such a thing, let alone a child?’ It is natural to ask ‘Why?’ But perhaps a more sensible question to ask, given the state of the West, is ‘Why not?’
That is, given the state of most Western nations, such activities would seem to make some sense. Let’s look at where the West is at:
-It increasingly denies a transcendent personal, moral God and embraces instead secular and humanistic worldviews;
-It continues to insist that objective universal morality is a myth, and that everyone should decide for himself what is right and wrong;
-It insists that individual autonomy and personal freedom are the highest goods;
-It looks down on talk of personal responsibility, self-discipline and self-restraint.
-It mocks those who say we should curb our appetites and be willing to sacrifice for the common good;
-It is awash with pornographic violence. Every aspect of modern culture, including all forms of entertainment, even for children, is filled with violence, bloodshed and mayhem. Its computer games, video games, TV programs, movies and popular entertainment are soaked in blood and violence.
-It mocks those who insist that marriage and family are vital to the well-being of children, and that kids growing up without a father are statistically much more likely to resort to violence, enter gangs, be involved in crime, and end up in prison.
-It heaps ridicule on anyone who dares to point out that the West is in crisis, and that things will only get worse, unless major changes are undertaken.
-It delights in all things fleshly, carnal, sensual, and aimed at self-gratification, while sneering at all things spiritual, other-worldly and Christ-like.
In such an environment, is it really so surprising to see such horrific acts of violence? Indeed, one would expect to see more and more such cases given the world we are bringing our children up in. So ‘Why not?’ seems to be the appropriate question here.
Back in 1993 the world was shocked by the brutal attack and murder by two 10-year olds of another English boy, 2-year-old James Bulger. The media asked me the same questions, ‘Why?’, ‘How could they?’ I remember after doing one television interview, the journalist looked at me and asked me this very thing.
My reply was something like this: ‘Some years ago an American psychologist wrote a book called Whatever Became of Sin? That might be part of the answer here. We have abandoned the notion of sin, and the fact that we are all fallen and capable of great evil, and that there is a God who has acted to do something about the sin problem.’
The journalist may not have made much of my reply, but it is the same reply that I would give today. We have abandoned God, and his moral standards, and we have made ourselves gods, and thought that we can pull it all off by ourselves.
Well, sorry, but every new case of violence, selfishness, greed, oppression and injustice is just a further indication that man without God has made a mess of things, and that we desperately need to get back to acknowledging that He, not I, is God, and that without the grace of God, things will only further deteriorate.
Of course the secularists will dismiss all this out of hand, and will instead offer the usual solutions: more education, more government involvement, more whatever. But because they misdiagnose the condition, they offer the wrong remedies.
Until we acknowledge reality and renounce our deluded and skewed perceptions, we will continue to live in a world of make believe. The only thing is, it will be only too real for those who suffer, are tortured, are killed. Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said, “It is because we have forgotten God. That is why all this is happening to us.”
It is time that we remember.