“Does He still feel the nails every time I fail?” That’s what Ray Boltz crooned a few years ago? Then the second verse popped in my head “each time He forgives, What if He re-lives, The agony He felt on that tree?” As I pondered that notion one thought led to another and I arrived at the logical conclusion.
I am a Christian Serial Killer.
I have a mild, if not bizarre, fascination with serial killers (not mass murderers mind you) and while considering the lyrics of this song two in particular came to mind. Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy. Both of these guys were described by friends, family and associates as polite, intelligent fellows who were very helpful to those in need.
Bundy graduated law school and volunteered in various capacities including politically in California. He was handsome and charismatic (the regular-people-liked-him kind of charismatic, not spiritually). He was characterized as an up-and-comer by many of his leaders, a guy with the potential to be very successful. His choice in transportation was a ‘68 VW Beetle. In the late 70’s it doesn’t get more benign and guy-next-door than that. He just had a bad habit of killing young women. Eventually that would be the death of him. *rimshot*
Gacy was a family man. He was married, had kids, and was basically a pillar in the community. He, too, was a college grad (business), although he never actually finished high school (he lied on the entrance application). He was a professional in his town and a member of the local JayCees civic organization. He dressed as Pogo the Clown and performed free of charge at charity events to raise donations. By all appearances he was just “Mr. Nice Guy who loves to help the poor kids.” However, he too had a vice. He was a chronic murderer. This was extremely bad for the charity clown gig.
Fund raisers just don’t hire clowns who kill people. Go figure.
You may be thinking, “What the heck is Barba talking about?”. I am a lot like these guys. I am a pretty nice guy. I help with charity events. I have volunteered before. Heck, I’m a missionary. But, I have this sinister secret. I killed Jesus. Really, we all killed Jesus. Not us in the flesh, but our ancestry. He died to pay for the sins of all of us. So every sinner (all of mankind) is culpable, in part, for Jesus’ death. We are all murderers in a sense. For this and other crimes against Deity we are subject to death.
Thankfully there is no condemnation for the followers of Christ. YEAH, BABY!! That’s Romans 8 serving up a big, fat piece of pardon for my despicable soul. Then I read verse 13. Crap-o-la!
“if you live after the flesh, you must die…” it says.
I do that all the time. I totally live after the flesh sometimes. I need an untarnished application of the crucifixion, again. If the theology of that Boltz ditty is correct, Jesus just took a fresh thrashing and is preparing to feel the nails again. I’m gonna kill Jesus yet again. That makes at least–what is this, September?–75 or 80 times this year alone.
I am the worst serial killer in history. The only difference is I keep assassinating the same guy.
I know that Jesus isn’t dying all over again every time I screw up but it makes me sad to think I cheapen His sacrifice for the right to be in charge. And, where does that get me? Most times the instance I snatch control from His hands I don’t know which way to turn anyway.
In the end, Ted Bundy confessed to 30 murders and John Wayne Gacy 33. It’s time I started confessing some of mine.
What’s the hardest part of righteous living?