Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: The Colorado City Murders

Image Last week a mentally unbalanced man named Robert Dear killed three people in Colorado City, Colorado. The location of the attack was a Planned Parenthood clinic.

The statement above contains one assumption, that the man was mentally unbalanced. It is admittedly an assumption, but there are a number of facts that seem to bear out the assessment. First, there is the deranged look of the man in his booking photos. Second, there is the characterization of the man’s interaction with police which was described in numerous press reports as incoherent ramblings. Finally there are the descriptions of witnesses of a man who was a loner, a recluse who lived by himself in an isolated shack without plumbing or electricity. In many ways, he seems reminiscent of the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski.

What has erupted in cyberspace in the days following the murders is rhetoric full of recrimination, invective, and partisanship as attempts are made to either thrust or parry claims of greater societal responsibility for the crime. In other words, the same sickening drivel that passes for discourse in the world in which we live.

In the face of this, I would like to share a few salient facts and scriptural precepts to shed a slight bit of illumination into another dark moment in our nation’s history.

First, it must be made clear that Robert Dear’s actions can’t in any way be condoned, rationalized or explained away. What he did was heinous. He unlawfully took human lives. No individual has that right. He is a murderer, and as John wrote, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). The position I have espoused on many occasions is identified as a “pro-life” position. It is the view that life is sacred, and men do not have the right to snuff it out. It is this position that causes me to oppose euthanasia, abortion, genocide, and any other “-cide” that one would care to mention. Whatever his motivation, or how he identified himself, it is against the law of God and Christ to do what he did.

Second, Planned Parenthood is not a victim. Planned Parenthood is an organization, not a person. According to reports, no clinic worker was killed. The only one identified among the murdered to this point was a police officer who identified himself as a Christian and pro-life. He is one of three who died and nine others who were wounded by this man. But, do not forget the fact that Planned Parenthood, for all the good some claim it does, kills unborn babies. In the 12 month period between October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013 there were 327,653 babies murdered in Planned Parenthood clinics. That averages out to 898 babies killed per day, and 37 babies killed per hour. The practices of that organization, just as the murderous rampage of Robert Dear, can in no way be condoned, rationalized or explained away.

Finally, the impassioned appeal to stop the killing of the unborn, and the harvesting of their body parts is a plea for the sanctity of life. The command of God, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13), is the message of those who hold to the sanctity of life. The condemnation of the actions of those, with government sanction, who disobey that command of God can not be rightly claimed to be the cause of the murders in Colorado City. I will not be disingenuous and claim that rhetoric can not influence people to horrible actions. If someone advocates the killing of police officers, and others kill the same, it can be said that the rhetoric influenced the crime. But, only an irrational person can take the message that all life is sacred, and from that conclude it is just and right to kill. If that was Robert Dear’s motivation, those who are critical of Planned Parenthood for the barbaric practice of abortion can not be blamed. To do so is wrong, misleading, and most probably the product of a contemptible desire to profit from the tragedy.