Who’s to Blame?

So Sandy Hook Promise just posted a video blaming the victims of school shootings for the shootings happening.

At least that’s how I saw it. The whole video is saying that because Evan and the other teenagers in this video didn’t snoop into every aspect of this kid’s life to see that he really liked guns (which were the only things the “signs” shown in this video were pointing to), they’re the ones to blame for the school shooting that occurred.

Now, I’m not trying to downplay school shootings here: they’re obviously a tragedy of the worst kind. But this is a clear example of misplaced blame. After all: it’s probably fair to put the blame on the evil murderer who’s shooting people in a school. It’s not the job of a teenager to live a paranoid life about who may or may not shoot them, especially since school shootings are incredibly rare.

Ranting aside, this issue of misplaced blame has long been a problem. It’s one thing if the video said that the kids who were bullying the shooter were partially to blame (only partially, not entirely). I’d also understand if the video pointed to people whom the shooter told his plans and didn’t say anything.

But this was condemning someone who just didn’t know simply because he didn’t try to snoop in on every detail of this kid’s life. And then the video tries to condemn the viewer for not noticing things that aren’t even in focus enough for us to see or even in the video before that point.

In fact, the lens being out of focus on the shooter right up until the attack happens is a perfect metaphor for this sort of thing. There’s no way to know this kind of thing is going on unless you’re closely associated with the attacker, and even then, there usually aren’t any substantial hints.

Should we then live in fear that everyone is going to shoot us? Of course not! We should go on with our lives.

But bringing this back to Christian culture, this is just a symptom of a broader issue: people don’t take responsibility for their own actions. Christians have a “The devil made me do it” mentality when it comes to sin. There are teachings about certain demons leading you in certain ways to get you to commit certain sins. There’s even a ridiculous teaching on sex demons on christian-faith.com that talks about demons waking people up at night to force them into sexual sin, even if they’re Christian.

Just one tiny problem with that: IT HAS ZERO BIBLICAL BASIS WHATSOEVER. It’s just an excuse not to blame yourself for your sin.

Where does the Bible say sin comes from? Well…

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

James 1:13-15 ESV (emphasis mine)

It says plain as day that it’s our own desire for sin that causes us to sin. You can say our desire is only there because of what happened in the Garden of Eden, but I’ll just remind you that what happened in the Garden of Eden was a conscious decision made by Adam and Eve. The devil may have made the final convincing argument, but if they hadn’t desired the forbidden fruit all along, that wouldn’t have happened.

Humans are responsible for our own sin. And no, not in a “demons told you to but you still did it” way either. Sin is the result of our own personal desires. It comes from within ourselves. No demon in the Bible has forced anyone into sin. When we sin, it’s our fault and only our fault.

And to be honest, making excuses and playing the blame game for our sin is just plain silly. The whole point of our faith is that we’re sinful and we need the blood of Jesus to cover us. We fight against our sin, yes, but the whole point of Christianity is that we don’t have to be ashamed of it, because it’s washed by the blood of Jesus. Saying “Well yes Jesus saved me from my sin, but it wasn’t really my fault to begin with” downplays the love of Jesus. If that were the case, Jesus would be saving us from something we didn’t deserve. The truth of Scripture is that Jesus is saving us from a punishment we do deserve because He loves us so much. Just something to think about.



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