The shooter who killed over 90 people in Norway was initially identified as right wing and a fundamentalist Christian who was fighting against multi-culturism. I cringed at the thought of many secular people across Europe connecting “Christian” with “violence”.
Since then we have learned that he was not motivated by religious fervor – he wrote that he was not a very religious man. But still, the question remained, how could someone possibly feel justified in killing so many young people in cold blood?
We can never really understand the mind of someone who would do something this, but it is clear that this man’s convictions become more important to him than anything else – even the lives of teen-agers. They became a sort of idol to him.
While we may never consider a murderous rampage in defense of our ideas, it is worth reflecting on whether we have ever treated someone else poorly while defending a conviction. How many, in the midst of an opinionated argument, will say hurtful and cruel things. Later, after calming down, it might look different.
We are to love the Lord will all our hearts, and then others as ourselves… our convictions need to be a distant third.