Torture: The Heart of Man

It’s Halloween. Time for Hannibal Lecter and the guy in the hockey mask from Friday the 13th. Ax murderers. Serial killers. Torturers. Where in the world do these crazies come from? From real life, from real people perpetrating evils against real people.

I don’t like to admit the depth of man’s depravity. I’d prefer it weren’t so. I visited a torture exhibit in California—a brutal study of man’s inhumanity to man. Hanging a victim upside down and slowly sawing him in half. Cutting off body parts. Burning alive. Skewering. Unspeakably violent “ethnic cleansing.” Mass, torturous genocide. If someone can think of it, someone has done it to someone else.

Inhuman, we call it. But as Clay Jones, D.Min, pointed out at our church’s recent Reasons conference, “Is this inhuman? No, that’s what humans do! Let each person ask himself, ‘If my life had turned out differently, might I too be such an executioner?’ It’s a terrible question if one answers it honestly. You have two choices. If your life had turned out differently, if you hadn’t become a Christian, if you’d been raised in a country with a genocide atmosphere… could you have been a part of genocide? If your life had turned out differently, could you have been a guard in Auschwitz? There’re only two possible answers to that: it’s either yes or no. If the answer is, ‘Yes, I could have been a guard in Auschwitz if my life had turned out differently,’ then you know that there’s something innately wrong with humankind, that we could all become mass murderers. If someone says, no, they couldn’t, that they were born innately better than the millions of people who have condoned genocide throughout the centuries, I have two things to say about that. The first is, on what basis would they say they were innately better than other people? There’s no basis for that. Then I would make an observation: believing that you were born innately better than other people is always the father of genocide.”

Whoa.

Whoa, whoa.

Didn’t see that coming. As much as any of us want to believe we could never light that match, never pull that trigger, we really can’t say it, can we? It is the heart of man.

How grateful I am for a Savior willing to redeem (buy back and replace) that defective depraved heart. Thank You, Jesus.

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