Quick. What do the JonBenet Ramsay murder and the demise of the Oklahoma University football program have in common?

Stumped? I'll show you.

In case you've been lounging around under a rock for the past few days, you know that a man has confessed to the murder of JonBenet that took place almost exactly ten years ago. Although there are some serious questions as to whether John Mark Karr actually murdered JonBenet, or just needed a way to bust out of Thailand's prison system, the self-professed pedophile is being extradited to the U.S. for further questioning.

Karr's confession included these words "I was with JonBenet when she died. It's very important for me that everyone knows that I love her very much and that her death was a mistake."

Let's shift gears to the other situation, a situation you might not know about, Oklahoma University has been embroiled in a controversy that has seen its start quarterback kicked off the team after receiving thousands of dollars from a car dealership. Rhett Bomar, a star quarterback from Grand Prairie, TX was on the payroll of the car dealership but rarely, if ever, clocked in. While you're not going to see me crying about the demise of Zero-U football, I did find Bomar's press conference following his dismissal from the team extremely interesting. "I'm not a bad kid. I made a mistake and I'm disappointed that it happened that way, because I enjoyed my time at O.U. and I wanted to continue my career there. I made a mistake and I have live with it."

What do the JonBenet Ramsay murder and the demise of the Oklahoma University football program have in common? In both cases, the alleged perpetrators claim the crime was committed by mistake.

Those aren't mistakes. Boneheaded? Yes. But not mistakes.

I made a mistake when I typed "shift" above and missed the "f" with my finger (Thank God for spell check). My sister-in-law made a mistake when she forgot to fill up her car with gas before heading home from our house last week (Now everyone knows, Sara). You make a mistake when you're swinging for a fastball and the pitcher throws a curveball.

Duct taping a six-year-old while you strangle her with a cord is not a mistake. It's premeditated, heinous, first-degree murder.

Taking paychecks from a car dealership where you don't work is not a mistake. It's also premeditated, a violation of known rules, dishonest and selfish.

Somewhere over the past several years, we've lost the ability to call evil what it is. Particularly when we're at fault. We talk about "mistakes," "accidents," "mishaps," and "inadvertent errors," but we've lost the ability to look our evil in the eye and call it what it is. And what suffers as a result?


Think about it: rightly or wrongly, we expect forgiveness for mistakes. That's why we call them mistakes. Mistakes happen. Everyone makes mistakes. This could have happened to anyone. Mistakes deny ownership of the thing that has been done, blaming it instead on chance or bad luck. "I'm not a bad kid," says the former Oklahoma University quarterback."

Wrong Rhett. You are a bad kid. And so am I. And so is everyone else who will read this blog entry. You know what they say, "the first step is admitting you have a problem." And failing to understand that we have the problem - we are the problem - prevents us from understanding the depths of God's grace.

When I think that Christ died for my mistakes/accidents, I'm non-plussed. But to think that He paid for my evil... I don't deserve that.


Eddie said...

Hi Chris.

I totally agree that evil is no longer referred to as such, and is even clothed in words that seek to camouflage it.

This is the way the world has been taken and it's attitudes shaped through one means or another.

I also see evil displayed through the words and actions of those to whom such behaviour has become commonplace. A behaviour sometimes praised through media and t.v.

The word 'evil' may well have been watered down, but it's effects are still felt with all it's power behind it.

God Bless.