Saturday, April 21, 2007

Analyzing a False Analogy

Cho Seung-Hui. I'm you've heard of him already. He is the poor example of a human being--an unfettered picture of man's depravity--who is now infamous for being responsible for the worst school shooting in the history of the United States of America. On the campus of Virginia Tech, on the morning of April 16, 2007, he gunned down in cold blood 32 students and faculty, along with injuring many.

I'll spare you any further details, since--unless you've been hiding under a rock this week--you've probably heard, read, and seen more than you wanted to.

My focus of this article is one statement of Cho, which was made in his video manifesto that he sent to NBC News. As he tried to blame others for his actions and as he made himself out to be a martyr and hero, he stated, "...I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people..."

It's sadly ironic that this young man, who knew enough about Jesus to think he was dying "like" Him, neither died for Jesus nor appeared to know Him in life.

Since whackos and wicked people occasionally drag Jesus' name through the gutter as if they are/were drinking buddies, and since some less-studied observers might consider the comparisons valid, I have decided to dismantle this false analogy of the mass-murdering Cho.

What is a "false analogy"? Well, one textbook defines it as "...a comparison in which the differences outweight the similarities or an assumption that if two things are alike in one or a few ways, they are alike in all ways."

Okay, so let's look at the similarities between the Virginia Tech-gunman and Jesus Christ first:

1.) They both died.

All right, now that we're done with that, we can move on to their differences.

1.) First of all, Jesus is God. (John 1:1, 14) Cho? Not so much. Could there be a more important distinction? You'll often hear someone run off a list of people, saying, "Confucius, Socrates, Jesus, etc." While, for the intended purpose of a given statement, it may be an appropriate comparison/grouping, ultimately, to one extent or another, it's insulting to Jesus' deity.

2.) Secondly, Jesus is sinless. (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22 ; 1 John 3:5 ; Hebrews 4:15 ; Hebrews 7:26) The Virginia Tech shooter? Start with murder, hate, and lust (he allegedly stalked and took pictures of women), along with blaspheming Jesus by the simple act of comparing Him to himself, and go from there, keeping James 2:10 and Romans 3:23 in mind.
This is another important aspect to note. The difference between an innocent man--completely innocent and unstained--dying and a flagrant sinner is significant.

3.) Thirdly, Jesus didn't kill anyone. Any comparison which may otherwise have merits (though this one does not) has to come to a screeching halt here. Christ did resurrect some, and many will be resurrected in the future. As part of the Godhead, Jesus will judge the world, and can make righteous judgments at any time He so desires. However, as a Man on earth, He said, "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe in Him is judged already." (John 3:17-18)
Napoleon Bonaparte, of all people, has something profound about Jesus' non-violent ministry: "I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."
Jesus was peacefully arrested--telling Peter to put away his sword (Matthew 26:52)--and He quietly accepted His undue punishment, "...Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter." (Isaiah 53:7)
2 Peter 2:23 tells of Jesus, "...while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously." He exhibited the biblical attribute of "longsuffering." In stark contrast stands Cho, whatever wrongs may have been done to him.
Jesus said on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) No such forgiving spirit is apparent in Cho's words or demeanor.

4.) Jesus didn't kill Himself. This becomes a bit complicated theologically, but the bottom line is that Jesus did not commit suicide (an act that severely diminishes the value in a person's demise), though He did come with the purpose to die. One needs only to look at the passive voice in Isaiah 53. Cho tried to transfer responsibility for his death, but he did so in vain. It was an aggressive suicide mission, plain and simple.

5.) Jesus said, "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him... I do not seek My glory..." (John 7:18; 9:50) Jesus bore our sins and did the will of the Father (Isaiah 53), showing the righteous characteristic of unselfishness. In contrast, Cho took pictures and a video of himself, comparing himself to Jesus among other things, and sent the material to a major news corporation. Then, he committed the worst school shooting in U.S. history. Selfishly seeking glory? You decide.

6.) Jesus not only died, but also rose again. That, along with being God in flesh and sinless, is what primarily makes Him "inspiring" as Cho would say. Will Cho resurrect? Well, he'll be resurrected for judgment (John 5:29), but I wouldn't hold my breath for anything before that.

7.) Lastly, a common fallacy found with people who like to throw Jesus' name around for their purposes is to mis-name His primary mission on this earth and through His death and resurrection. Isaiah 53, which I have referenced several times in this post, says, "...He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him... He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due..." (vs. 5, 8; emphasis mine) John 3:16, one of the most popular verses in the Bible, says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believers in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (emphasis mine) Did Jesus inspire "the weak and the defenseless people"? Of course, but don't confuse the side-effects with the main solution. Besides, will Cho even do such inspiring? I hardly think so.

Because of this standard, does this mean that no comparison can ever be made to Christ? No--Christians can. As Christians, we "...may become partakers of the divine nature..." (2 Peter 1:4) We are adopted as children of God. (Acts 17:29 ; Ephesians 1:5 ; Romans 8:15 ; Galatians 4:5) We are to be imitators of God. (Ephesians 5:1) Paul tells us, "To live is Christ..." (Philippians 1:21) "It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me." (Galatians 2:20) As Christians, we are by definition "little Christs" called to godliness.

Though we may not always live up to that standard, we know that, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9) so that we are washed "...white as snow." (Psalm 51:7)

What a blessed thought! What blessed thoughts!!!

~Kingdom Advancer


Christinewjc said...

Thank you for this post, Kingdom Advancer. I was hoping to find an essay on one or more Christian blogs countering what that murderer said.

People who do not know Christ as Savior often have the habit of using the name of Jesus Christ as a swear word. Cho made the choice to go even further with his blasphemy...claiming that he "died" like Jesus did.

Your excellent, biblical analysis exposes Cho's ignorant and false claim.

This reminds me of when Jesus stood before Pilot and Pilot asked, "What is truth?" Jesus didn't answer him. How ironic it was that Truth was standing right in front of him and Pilot missed seeing, seeking and thus knowing the Truth. Jesus' forgiveness, mercy and saving grace was available to him; yet he (Pilot) chose to ignore this fact.

Pilot was a leader in the Roman empire. He experienced all the pride, recognition, wealth, attention, and fulfillment of fleshly desires that a person of "privilege" could have. Yet, we know that he missed the huge significance of the most important Person to ever walk the earth.

On the other hand, a simple thief on the cross next to Jesus came to his senses, realized that he was condemned already because of his sinful deeds, and simply asked Jesus to "remember him when He enters His Kingdom." That simple act of repentance, belief, and faith in Jesus while he was suffering and sprawled out on a cross next to our Lord allowed him entrance into Jesus' Kingdom. Jesus responded, "This day, you will be with me in paradise."

Cho, unfortunately, was similar to the other thief on the cross next to Jesus. That thief mocked our Lord and disparaged Him for not "saving Himself and us too" from the cross. Little did that thief know that Jesus could have called down legions of angels to "save" Him from dying on the cross that day. But if He did, Jesus would have returned to heaven, alone and we would not have the hope of heaven through our Savior.

Not knowing God's Word can cause anyone to miss the real purpose of, and in, this life. We are each like those two theives on the crosses next to Jesus. We can either confess and repent of our sins, and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ, or, like the mocker (and Cho), go to our physical deaths with our own sins upon our own souls. This results in spiritual death; being separated from our God, our Creator, for all eternity. That's a long time...

I pray that this terrible tragedy makes people sit up and take notice that our only hope is in Jesus Christ. We each need to answer his question, "Who do you say that I am?"

Pilot, the second thief on the cross next to Jesus, Cho, and millions of people who have already died ignoring the salvation offered through Christ each got the answer to that question wrong. Dear readers, don't be one of them.

Keith M. said...

Fantastic article KA! Really good!

Palm boy said...

Once again, this place is the home of the hardest hitting, most logical responses to the sheer idiocy of our society. Great post.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Thank you everyone.

Palm Boy, if I ever write a book or have a TV or radio show, I'm going to consider you to either come up with the intro or one of the little quips on the back cover.

Keith M. said...

Is this your main blog KA? Or do you have another one?

Kingdom Advancer said...

This is definitely my main blog. The Christmas Watch is, of course, a blog on the side, in which no one has posted for months (for obvious reasons). I also am officially a member of Austin's "Beginnings..." but that blog is almost dead it appears (the last post was mine in January about the Dakota Fanning movie).
Everything else I do on the blogosphere basically consists of commenting on other people's blogs.

Unfortunately, even on my main blog, posts are being made less frequently than they used to be. But, a new one is coming very, very soon.

Austin said...

Yep, Beginnings... is basically dead. I haven't deleted it in case anyone wants to post again at some point. I probably will myself eventually. For now, I'm letting it rest.

Austin said...

Silly me, I forgot the actual comment! I meant to say, what did you think of the Virginia governor mentioning Job at the day of grieving? Also, what did you think of what the four religious leaders on campus said (the Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, and Lutheran)?

Kingdom Advancer said...

Well, I didn't see the whole thing. I actually thought the whole "multi-religious" thing, although seemingly appropriate on a public campus, defeated any real comfort or salvation that could've come out of it. Hopefully, some were still truly saved.

I personally don't even know if I think a Christian clergyman should participate in that type of thing. No one wants to be confrontational in such a tragic situation, and therefore the appearance is given that Christians are content to equate Christianity with the other religions of the world. One must avoid that. Try to squeeze in "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" or something with Psalm 23 and the like.