Derrick Bird - Good man or bad man?
I have found it fascinating speaking to people about this recent Cumbrian horror story as I have gone on my rounds, mostly because many of the people I have spoken to are incredibly reluctant to blame Bird for the crime. The overwhelming statement is “good people just don’t do this sort of thing.”
My boss (speaking more perceptively than he knew) said: “There must have been something wrong with him – good people just don’t do that sort of thing.”
We live in the midst of a society that is franticly striving against any concrete definition of the concept of guilt; homosexuality, immorality, adultery, drug-abuse, abortion and now mass-murdering are all excused as the acts of individuals who “couldn’t help themselves.” “It’s the way they are.”
So why are we desperately trying to make these sins acceptable where we think possible (homosexuality, abortion, adultery etc…) or the uncharacteristic acts of basically good people? Because the moment that an individual accepts that there is such a thing as sin is the moment at which they must accept that there is law, and if there is law then there is a law giver and that starts getting scary.
Paul writing to the Ephesians says: “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”
Paul says we are to expect that the actions of unrepentant sinners will be at best: futile, lacking in understanding or wisdom, ignorant, hard hearted and alienated from the life of God. So when my boss says “he must have had something wrong with him,” the answer is “yes!” and so do all other unforgiven sinners.
We must never fall into the trap of segmentising people into ‘good’ sinners and ‘bad’ sinners because according to Romans all those who fail to accept the truth of the gospel are without excuse, having debased and futile minds and foolish hearts. So Derrick Bird, good man or bad man? As you come across people this week while this story is still current speak to them about Derrick Bird, maybe the Lord will use this to make the penny finally drop.
By David van den Broek
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