Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
NUMBER 21, PAGE 3b,5a

"Think On These Things"

Robert H. Farish

"Bloody nightmare," "horrible deed," "deadly spree," "hate," "pain," "frustration," "fears," "wrath," "tower of tragedy," "misery," "mass murder," "Bizarre terror," are some of the words and phrases that we here in Austin have been hearing, reading, saying and writing in attempts to describe the events of the "tower of tragedy."

On August 1st, a young man massacred sixteen people and wounded thirty-three others. For the last ninety minutes of his life, his deadly rifles were aimed and fired indiscriminately at men, women and children. Age, sex and nationality seemed to have no significance to the killer. All that was necessary to qualify as a target was to be a human being visible within two city blocks of the University of Texas tower from which the man poured his deadly volleys. Such a shocking experience in any community calls forth a multitude of words attempting to give an answer to the question, "Why?"

This writer has noted the general failure to appeal to the Bible for answers. This is the course to be expected in any society where men fail to trust in Jehovah with all their heart. Our generation is perhaps trusting as fully in the wisdom of the world for its answers as any that has preceded it. Hence, the wise of the world have been called upon for the "why." They have thus far revealed little but their own fallibility. Some have said that the tumor on the man's brain had nothing to do with his terrible acts. Others of equal authority have said that it was the whole cause.

Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, a man by inspiration' wrote, "Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23). This passage lays down the principle that the heart is the source of action and also assigns the duty to every individual of maintaining a healthy mind. It is recognized that some are, through no fault of their own, incapable of keeping their heart with all diligence; such are not responsible. This fact, however, has been widely mis-used as a blanket exemption from personal responsibility for anti-social and ungodly action in general. God has assigned the duty of keeping the heart with all diligence, but the majority have disregarded the duty and left the formation of attitudes and patterns of thought to chance. It needs to be learned that right thinking is no accident.

The Bible says that, "He that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief" (Prow. 28:14). When thoughts of jealousy, envy, unsanctified ambitions, malice, wrath, conceit and evil of every sort, are allowed to occupy the mind, a "tower of tragedy" or pit of despair is the inevitable end. Conscious effort must be made to eliminate improper thoughts from the heart. The general indifference toward righteous thinking is hazardous in the extreme. The heart or mind can become so hardened or gross as to be impervious to attempts to bring it to a condition of understanding. This gross condition of heart is a personal responsibility. A careful study of Matt.13:14, 15 is recommended.

"Think On These Things"

Nearly two thousand years ago the apostle by inspiration wrote, "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." So long as one is indifferent as to whether a thing is true or false; considers honorableness as a badge of "squareness"; is concerned more with justifying himself than with being just; regards purity as prudishness; takes pleasure in the unlovely; glories in shame and prefers to hear and circulate an evil report rather than things of good report-just so long will people fail to "think on these things" which make for mental health and characterize a good and honest heart.

The Value Of Man

This final thought - if man was not created by a living God in God's own image but is here by a process of evolution, if man is simply the product of matter in motion, then what is so bad about this man's action?

Why don't some of our highly vocal atheists come out boldly and tell us plainly if what this man did was wrong?

If God is dead, what is wrong with the "tower massacre"?

Austin, Texas and the whole nation are shocked. We mourn, pity and sympathize, but this is not going to get the job done that needs to be done. Right now, every one of us needs to commit himself to a course of conscious effort to correct his thinking and forming healthy attitudes and respect for God and man.

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