When Nothing is Sacred, Everything is Profane

Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas are 1500 miles apart, but over the weekend became one in shock and sorrow, as a nation was once again stunned by two mass murders.

At least 31 were left dead and dozens more were injured, leaving pundits, talking heads, and average American citizens with the same old haunting questions. Why? What were the motives of the two young gunmen? And what can be done so this never happens again?

James Howard Kunstler, an author, social critic, and blogger framed it this way. “In a nation afflicted by fads, crazes, manias, and rages, mass murder is the jackpot for nihilists — begging the question: why does this country produce so many of them?”

His answer? “This is exactly what you get in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters. Extract all the meaning and purpose from being here on earth, and erase as many boundaries as you can from custom and behavior, and watch what happens, especially among young men trained on video slaughter games.”

“For many,” Kunstler wrote, “there is no armature left to hang a life on, no communities, no fathers, no mentors, no initiations into personal responsibility, no daily organizing principles, no instruction in useful trades, no productive activities, no opportunities for love and affection, and no way out.”

As a nation mourns, many outraged citizens are crying out to our leaders, “Do something! Do Something,” like the crowd did during a speech by Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine during a Sunday night vigil for the victims. Yet the stark reality makes us silently wonder not IF this will happen again, but WHEN?

We are living in a culture, as Kunstler reminds us of the old truism “when nothing is sacred, everything is profane.”

“And what could be more profane, he asked, “than slaughtering your fellow humans en masse, for no good reason? Just because you felt like it at the time? Another time, you might feel like scarfing some tacos, or checking in on the free porn sites, or tweaking some crushed-up oxycontin. One message from the culture of anything-goes-and-nothing-matters comes through loud and clear: if it feels good, do it! And if you feel bad, do something to make yourself feel better.”

Kunstler and I were born in the same year. We have seen the changes in American society in the past 60 years, where human life is not deemed sacred. Abortion on demand. Calls for legalized euthanasia. The failure of a judicial system to exercise capital punishment on murderers. And an entertainment industry that glorifies violence.

I remember the days when school began with a prayer and saying the pledge of allegiance. All of the classmates in my elementary school came from a nuclear family–a father and a mother. People went to church. We were taught respect for authority figures. Society generally agreed on basic Judeo-Christian values. And imagine this, high school students had guns on the gun racks of their pickup trucks. But there were no mass shootings.

I’m not suggesting it was a perfect time. Or that returning to a nostalgic bygone era is the answer to our ills. We must go farther back than the values of a 1950’s America.

While Kunstler is probably correct that “the political process of recognizing what really ails this society is mired in bad faith, idiocy, and neuroticism,” he really doesn’t offer any viable solutions.

The answer is not in politicians passing more laws, or restricting gun sales. It’s not something that any President or political party can fix with secular solutions.

Our nation’s problem is the same as our personal problem. Sin. We live in a fallen, broken world. Evil exists. And evil men will “grow worse and worse.”

Only a return to Biblical values and God’s Word will restore some sanity to a crazy culture that has lost its way. The prophet of old was right when he cried, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps (Jer. 10:23).

While we can’t personally stop the chaos in our culture, or eradicate the evil in our world, Christians can find God’s peace in our own hearts and shine as lights in a “crooked and perverse generation” (Phil 2:15).

We can “depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it” (Ps 34:14). We can look for ways to extend a helping hand to those who need it. Offer hope. And pray for our strife-torn world.

Rather than curse the darkness, let’s light a candle to show others the way of righteousness. In our lives. Our homes. Our churches. Our professions. And our communities.

Let’s reject every vestige of hatred, pride, and prejudice. And be filled with the fruit of Spirit that produces love, humility, patience, and peace.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:21).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

9 Comments

Filed under America

9 responses to “When Nothing is Sacred, Everything is Profane

  1. Stephen Segrest

    Ken, why is this only happening (in large scale) in the U.S.? Is the U.S. just that more morally bankrupt compared to say, the European Union? Are people in Canada more Jesus Christ Oriented? Do they not play video games in Japan? There are just so many things that you haven’t touched on (and I hope you know what I mean, especially for Evangelicals).

    • There are indeed many factors. Not enough time to discuss in a 700-word post. But regardless of why, my main point is that it is a sin problem that will not be solved by political solutions Only when hearts turn to the gospel and to Jesus, will it be solved. Every country and culture has its own set of problems. But all need Jesus.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Dear Ken, Again — why do you think this happens only primarily in the U.S.? (please don’t just say it happens everywhere) — my comment on the E.U, Japan, Canada.

    • Steven I don’t know of a single Christian that trust the Second Amendment more than the sermon on the mount. There may be some. But if they are I sure don’t know any

      • Stephen Segrest

        Words versus actions, Ken.

      • Amen. And the Christians that I’m in fellowship with show both by their words and their actions they value the sermon on the mount much more than the second amendment. That may not be true of the fringe right. But it’s obviously true to me with the folks I hang out with

    • Tricia Felicien

      I do not know who you are, but I agree with your statement Stephen. The words and actions of so many Christians says they put the 2nd amendment first.

  2. When people take the time to think about their faith and confess their faith they should be taken seriously. When authorities and people in their faith groups ignore and dismiss their beliefs because they may not agree with them, they are slamming a door in their face. They are preventing living breathing people from discovering who Jesus is through the Word of God. When too many doors slam in the face of someone whose forgiveness quotient is stretched to the breaking point, that someone may give up.

    People lament how much evil there is in the world. They wonder how anyone could do such a thing as to murder innocent people shopping. Shopping! People spend their days shopping and looking for bargains. While doors are slamming in the faces of those who are asking and looking for the meaning of life. Maybe that was the point the shooter was trying to make!

    The Church is facing some tough times. Older Christians feel like they are under attack. I’ve replied several times to this website blog. Many of my replies have been ignored and deleted. I’m a Senior and I know what it is like to be ridiculed and rejected for my biblical insights. I’ve been doing church all my life. If this is how the Church continues to treat me and young people with new or differing insights, what hope does the Church have. What hope do the young people looking for Jesus have?

    I’ve spent time replying to this blog because I care about the future of the Church. My beliefs and interpretations may not align with the beliefs of many Conservative or Liberal Christians, but they are well thought out and they are grounded in the Word of God. I’m trying to do what Jesus did so long ago as Paul pointed out in Ephesians 2:14

    For Jesus Christ is our peace, who has made the two one and has torn down the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments and decrees. He did this to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace.

    When Christians get an US/Them attitude, they are thinking like men, not God. Godly people take up the Cross and instead of cursing and lashing out with hatred toward their neighbour with that Cross, they remember the Cross of Jesus stands for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. Some may think or believe the Cross is an offence until that Cross gives them Godly eyes to see the New Man for themselves.

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