Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The News Virginian of Waynesboro, Virginia. The letter (it’s actually a column) is titled The problem, as always, is man’s heart, and the newspaper has a comments feature.
Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Mark Wingfield, a columnist for that newspaper and pastor at First Baptist Church in Grottoes. This is the second time we’ve written about the rev — see #676: Put Thinking Cap On. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
Question: The Bible tells of a single man who killed off one-quarter of the world’s entire population. Who is that man, why did he do such a thing and how did he do it?
Got your attention, huh? Here’s the rev’s answer:
Genesis 4:8b says, “…And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.” At the time, Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel were the only human beings. The reason Cain killed Abel was because Cain’s heart was wicked. His weapon of choice? Maybe his bare hands. Might have been a rock. Definitely wasn’t a gun.
Clever way to make his point. Then he brings up a contemporary event:
After yet another mass shooting comes another barrage of expert opinions. “The problem is automatic weapons.” “The problem is the lack of effective background check laws.” “The problem is the enforcement of background check laws.” “The problem is the NRA.” “The problem is Trump.” And so on. Some of these opinions have a touch of validity to them, some are foolishness and none of them address the real problem. The real problem is man’s heart, just as it always has been.
After that profound insight, the rev tells us:
The Bible teaches that “no one is righteous, no, not even one” (Romans 3:10b). This doesn’t mean that we can’t do things that we would call good; it means that by nature we are all bad at the core. Yes, that’s a concept that is hard for our world to accept but it is true, and it explains an awful lot!
Yes, dear reader, you’re bad to the core. Let’s read on:
If it were up to me, the way I’d address the increase of mass shootings in our country today would be five -fold.
We’ll skip most of the rev’s recommendations, and give you his number 3, which we consider the best:
Quit teaching the theory of macroevolution (or any other scientific theory that tries removing God as Creator) as fact. Not only are most kinds of evolution taught in schools questionable at best, these theories are dangerous to the well-being of our children. It is foolishness to believe we can teach kids to believe they have value, purpose and importance while also teaching them that their existence is the end result of a long-series of random occurrences.
Brilliant! The rev continues:
It is foolishness to expect them to take seriously a code of moral ethics while teaching them that morals are ultimately subjectively decided upon by each individual. If you want to teach the idea that nothing became nothing, non-life became life, chaos became order and non-intelligence became intelligence, at least acknowledge that it is a theory that can’t be proven and is a theory that devalues life from the womb to the grave.
Very persuasive! Oh, we’ll also give you the rev’s fifth recommendation, with which he ends his column:
Pray a lot. Pray, pray, pray!
So there you are, dear reader. Heed the rev’s advice. He’s got the answers!
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