I have read many blog posts about the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado that have discussed gun control, the level of violence in American entertainment and what America needs to do about it. I’m not going to get into that here. It’s a conversation that needs to happen but I have to say I’m not overly optimistic that it’s going to happen in a productive way.
Here is something I am going to talk about. For those of you who don’t want to read the whole article, here is a sample:
It seems as if the bullet traveled through Petra’s brain without hitting any significant brain areas. The doctor explains that Petra’s brain has had from birth a small “defect” in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear. Only a CAT scan would catch it, and Petra would have never noticed it.
But in Petra’s case, the shotgun buck shot, maybe even the size used for deer hunting, enters her brain from the exact point of this defect. Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Petra’s nose through her brain. It turns slightly several times, and comes to rest at the rear of her brain. And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain. In many ways, it almost misses the brain itself. Like a giant BB though a straw created in Petra’s brain before she was born, it follows the route of the defect. It is channeled in the least harmful way. A millimeter in any direction and the channel is missed. The brain is destroyed. Evil wins a round.
In Christianity we call it prevenient grace: God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future. It’s just like the God I follow to plan the route of a bullet through a brain long before Batman ever rises. Twenty-two years before.
There are times when I find religious babble like this to be frustrating, sometimes even humorous. If people draw comfort from gibberish in times of struggle, who am I to force them to face the pain and confusion of reality? This, however, just made me mad. Is this guy kidding me? How insensitive can you be?
What we can infer from this is that God knew that a guy (who he also supposedly loves) is going to develop a mental illness and then take loaded weapons into a packed movie theatre. God knew that 12 people were going to be killed, including a young child. And did he stop it? Nope. He just allowed one woman (it’s implied that she was saved because she was a Christian. I can only assume she was not the only Christian there that night) to survive by giving her a birth defect so that 22 years later she can suffer the experience of having a bullet go through her brain, only to live another day and come to worship Him even more now that she has chalked up a miraculous survival. If this is true, God is crazier than James Holmes.
How can anyone actually believe that? How can someone so carelessly imply that God wanted all those other people to die?! That He could have intervened and chose not to?
The logistical fallout from assertions as crazy as this one are serious and never-ending. Prevenient grace means we have no free will. It means that Petra couldn’t have chosen to go to a different movie that night, that she couldn’t have been rear-ended on the drive over to the theatre. It also means that your life, and your faith, is also predetermined. Sure makes missionary work look stupid if it’s already decided how your life is going to go. Oh wait, unless God already knew you were going to be a missionary and made sure one of his beloved children was born into a Muslim family just so a missionary could bump into him on the way to the Burger King and provide him with the gift of eternal salvation. Wow, that God guy really does think of everything.
Ridiculous. Inflammatory. Insulting. Since when did people become so proud of being so stupid?