For the last two weeks Southern California has been in an upheaval due to one man: Christopher Dorner. Dorner’s reign of terror began when he took the lives of two innocent people, one of whom just happened to be the daughter of a man Dorner thought had wronged him. Next came a Riverside PD officer who was ambushed in a cowardly act. Finally, a San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputy was gunned down in the firefight that eventually led to Dorner’s death.
As a member of law enforcement, I find it mind-numbing and disheartening that a cop could do such horrible things, especially to fellow officers.
Facebook and Twitter blew up with people supporting Dorner. Supporting him! They held him as a hero who struck out at some perceived injustice. To that I can only say, “What? Are you crazy?” Actually, there are other things I can say, but I am a Christian and try not to use those words.
Dorner may have been unjustly dealt with by the LAPD, I don’t know. The moment he began hunting people to exact revenge, whatever somebody did to him didn’t matter. At that point, he was wrong. You can try to justify his actions all you want to, but there is absolutely no justification for what he did.
Somehow we have slipped into this idea that whatever we feel is right is right. The problem with that is that there are certain things that God says are wrong, no matter what.
Last Sunday I spoke at Remnant about the passage in Matthew 5:29-30 where Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
Now before you get a spoon and gouge out your eye, what Jesus is saying is that you need to cut out of your life whatever makes you sin. God doesn’t mess around with sin, and he won’t let us either. Like Dorner, we try to justify our wrong actions by making excuses for them. We can explain away what we know to be wrong, and somehow try to make our actions right. But God isn’t buying it!
Abraham Lincoln used to ask people, “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does the dog have?” Most people would answer, “Five.” Lincoln would answer, “No, the dog has four legs. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” What the people that supported Dorner, and Dorner himself, never realize is that saying that what you are doing is right does not make it right. God has standards and he is not going to relax them for you, for me or for Dorner.
What is needed is a change of heart. After David sinned with Bathsheba he prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
When our hearts change, our lives change, and our lifestyles change. No heart change, no life change. It really is that simple.
Instead of trying to justify our sin we need to confront it and allow God to change us. There are lives at stake.
Mourning for the innocent victims … Jerry
Jerry Godsey can be reached at email@example.com or through his blog, The View From The Pew, at www.jerrygodsey.com