To blame or not to blame
Recently we (in New Zealand) were horrified over events that
unfolded in Auckland when a 17-year-old gunman went on a rampage of cold-blooded
murder and robbery lasting several weeks. Eventually it came to an end with the
youth having been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole
period of 17 years.
The actions of this young man may be a common occurrence in
other countries, but not so in New Zealand. What is it then that triggered him
to do these things in Godzone? Who is to blame, do we blame his parents, his
culture, his society? Are there others that should be held accountable, should
they also pay for his actions?
There is no one single reason as to why these things are
happening with alarmingly increasing regularity. Rather a combination of many
factors, as touched on in a recent article published in the Sunday Star Times
14 July 2002. "Sue Mafi, child psychologist said a mix of factors could
contribute to violent offending by children, including exposure to violence
(real or simulated), loss of self worth and respect, lack of attention, lack of
guidance and rules, trauma and feelings of discrimination and injustice."
Most of these issues should be addressed within the family
you say; therefore the families of these young offenders are to blame. To a
certain point I could agree with such a statement, however the picture is much
bigger than that, although when narrowed down would eventually end at the
doorstep of the family unit.
The spirit of this world (Satan) has a powerful influence
over the Western world. We are driven by a love of self, money, comfort and
possessions, in other words, materialism. Further to that we are constantly
bombarded on all sides by the media, through advertising dictating to us the
acceptable level of provision that we as consumers should be providing for our
families. Such as upgrading to that bigger house, a new car, better clothes,
a new dishwasher, that retirement pension and lifestyle. Falling victim to this
insidious propaganda, Christian and Non Christian alike are neglecting their
families so as to meet expectations and provide these material comforts. This is
at the expense of our children, husbands and wives.
Growing children need love, acceptance, comfort, time,
understanding, support, guidance, and our Godly example amongst others. These
investments are being given in ever diminishing amounts to our children as the
demands of society (the spirit of this world) increase. As a result many
children are rich in possessions but poor in character.
With a continual lack of parental supervision, some children
left with too much time on their hands, driven by their youthful energy and a
natural curiosity, coupled with a need for companionship (love and acceptance)
gravitate towards those who are like-minded and have similar life deficiencies.
Filling the void within themselves with moral codes, behaviour, thoughts,
concepts, and substances damaging to both their character and soul.
Is it then such a surprise that we as a society and
individual families are producing children who commit such horrible acts?
Where now should we point the finger? Should I publicly
accuse the parents and family of this young man for having done a poor job
knowing nothing about them or their circumstances? Like many others I watched
this story as it unfolded in the national media. As a father I shed tears as I
read of the grief and shame felt by this boy's father.
However in considering this boy and his family we also need
to remember the families of the victims, perhaps in their grief they will
apportion blame which is understandable and within their rights. It is obvious
that something terrible went wrong as he grew up. However I find that I cannot
and should not apportion blame, remembering that but for the grace of God there
goes my self or my child.
What is the solution? Each of us as individuals must seek out
the answers from the word of God (2 Timothy 3:15-16). Knowing that our Godly
example and the teaching we provide our families will reach out into our
societies, through the lives of our children.