Famliolatry on Display Again

There have been many reasons people have used to explain Adam Lanza behavior. My favorite is the explanation of Asperger’s Syndrome, since I, in all likelihood, have Asperger’s Syndrome. Trust me, it has never crossed my mind to go around shooting elementary school children at their school. Some of the reasons are crazy: His mother wanted to put him into a mental health clinic. Well, then, why did he go kill all of the children in her classroom?

Well, Joel McDurmon, a theonomist, has put out his theory as to why it has happened, and you guessed it, it was family related. Yes, the reason why Adam Lanza committed mass murder is because of the fact that his parents divorced. However, McDurmon, interestingly enough, cites the following statistic:

The divorce rate has since quadrupled. According to one researcher:

Married adults now divorce two-and-a-half times as often as adults did 20 years ago and four times as often as they did 50 years ago… between 40% and 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce. . . . Perhaps 25% of children ages 16 and under live with a stepparent.

Now, obviously, divorce is a terrible thing. However, if this is the case, then think of all of those children who have gone through a divorce, and never once ran through the halls of an elementary school gunning down little kids. So, why did divorce cause the mass murder of little children in this instance, and not in these other instances?

While I am not sure if McDurmon holds this position, there seems to be this notion in theonomic circles which view marriage and family as a tool of dominion, and therefore seem to, subconsciously, view marriage and the family as unaffected by the fall. In some sense, I understand why they have to think in this fashion, because, if all creation was corrupted by sin, including marriage [Romans 8:19-22], then marriage cannot be used as the means to get out of sin, because it itself is corrupted.

That is the main obstacle to dominion, as presented in the book of Genesis. After the fall, man keeps trying to take dominion, but sin keeps on getting in the way. It is this that paves the way for Christ, the one who does restore dominion to man, not through marriage or family, but through his shed blood, taking away the sins of his people. It is through the removal of sin, both in justification, as well as in our daily sanctification by the work of the Holy Spirit that dominion is restored.

I found it ironic that Albert Mohler said a similar thing only a few weeks before this:

But the second theological fact about the family is our even greater need for marriage and family as protections in a world marked by sin. In a fallen world, marriage and family become even more important, and not less. In such a world we need the protections and comforts offered by the covenant of marriage. The mutual obligations of husband and wife, the promise of fidelity, and the joys of life together take on a whole new importance in a world of dangers, toils, and snares. The gift of children and the commitment to raise them within the committed boundaries and protections of the family point to the importance of both father and mother to the safe and healthy development of both boys and girls. The Law includes detailed instructions on the protection of the family and how it is to be ordered.

Again, it is hard to understand this statement, unless you argue that sin did not affect the marriage relationship, and the parent/child relationship. If it did, then exactly what kind of protection does this provide? Cannot people use sin to hurt people in the marriage relationship? Can they not break their commitments? Can they not break their obligations? And what joy is their in a life of sin? And do not all of these things come from the fall? The problem of sin and evil is a major issue for this line of thinking on marriage and family. While I know that it is odd mixing terms of anthropology and the doctrine of creation, it almost seems as though many in Christianity have a “Pelagian” view of marriage and children. It is as if Romans 8’s statement that all creation was subject to futility doesn’t apply to marriage and children. An odd omission.

However, as I have noted before, Dr. Mohler is happily inconsistent on this point. Dr. Mohler does not even entertain the notion that divorce caused this man to do what he did. He calls it what it is: evil. I appreciate that about Albert Mohler; he doesn’t let his odd beliefs about marriage and children effect how he analyzes this kind of situation. He can see that the human mind has been darkened by the fall. I only wish he would see that darkness in marriage as well. *All* creation groans in this way; not just us as human beings.

The point is that all of these things-elementary school massacres, divorce, the breakdown in the family, the breakdown in marriage, etc., are symptoms of the real problem: sin. It is sin that is preventing us from taking dominion, and it is through the restoration of man by the blood of Jesus Christ that our families are restored, our marriages are restored, and our view of one another is restored. The reason man cannot take dominion has nothing whatsoever to do with the state of the family in today’s society. That is a mere symptom of why we cannot take dominion. We cannot take dominion, because sin prevents us. That is why we need the savior Jesus Christ to come into our lives, and remove our sin, and has he does, we will gradually take dominion, because it will be restored to us by the finished work of Jesus Christ-whether we are married or part of a family, or not.


One Response to “Famliolatry on Display Again”

  1. Shawn Mathis Says:

    Very similar to “homeschooling would have fixed this.” And yet…

    1. David Ludwig, teen murderer in Penn. 2005
    2. Colorado 12-year old murderer, homeschooled, 2011 (the Long family, worked at Christian Home Educators of Colorado)
    3. Matthew Murray, teen murderer, homeschooled, Colorado (again!), 2007
    4. Patrick Armstrong, teen murderer, homeschooled, Main, 2005

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