Christian Movie Critic: Massacre Is Simply 'Evil' at Work

Saturday, 21 Jul 2012 09:07 AM

By Ted Baehr

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The shooting at the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" will be blamed on many things.

One reporter who called me Friday morning blamed it on violence in movies. Certainly, violence in movies, television, and video games has had a tremendous impact on society. Numerous studies, capped by the latest from Dartmouth University, show that violence in the media influences susceptible youths to commit acts of violence.

That said, most people are not susceptible. Most are just desensitized or scared.

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Dr. Ted Baehr addresses the National Press Club in 2006. (Getty Images)
Another reporter blamed it specifically on the Batman movies. Yet, "The Dark Knight Rises" is nowhere near as violent as the previous movie in the series, and Batman himself tells Catwoman not to shoot to kill in it.

The message of "The Dark Knight Rises" is justice and self-sacrifice. The villains and the killers in the movie are the 'socialist, left-wing, Occupy-Wall-Street, power-to-the-people’ villain Bane and his compatriots, who are clearly shown to be wrong, evil, and bad, and who get their comeuppance.

In any case, it would have been almost impossible for this killer in Colorado to have even seen the new Batman movie before the midnight screening.

Some people will blame it on guns, although countries that have tried hard to crack down on guns, like England, are now finding that knives and head butting are out of control. Thus, it isn’t the head-butting or the knives, but the fact that people are stewing in the juice of their own wickedness, because, as the Bible says, they don’t know the loving God who gave us a way of salvation through Jesus Christ from the wickedness of the human heart.

Some people will blame poverty, or a lack of education. But, James Holmes, the alleged killer, was getting his doctorate in neuroscience and came from an upper middle class family!

People will look at every possible reason — maybe some will postulate whether Holmes was a Democrat and hated the anti-socialist message of the movie.

Actually, none of these reasons answer the question ‘Why?’ The fact is that this is an evil act committed by an evil person, who did not know the truth of Jesus Christ that would set him free from such wickedness. The answer is not more laws, the answer is not to banish movies, nor neuroscience programs, nor weapons that can be used to protect, but rather to get the word of God out. Because "faith comes through hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ" (Romans 10:17).

I used to be on the radical left, but Jesus Christ got hold of me, and I’ve tried to live my life every day by enjoying Him, using the power of God’s Holy Spirit. As the word of God says in Galatians 5:22-23, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

If you ban the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ from society, including the education system, you’re not banning God; you’re banning goodness, justice, truth, peace, kindness, joy, gentleness, self-control, and love.

Dr. Ted Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission ministry and director of its family guide to movies and entertainment.

He will discuss this article on-air Monday morning, July 23, on "Istook Live!" hosted by former Congressman Ernest Istook. You can listen on-line by going to www.istook.com. Baehr will be on the segment that begins at 9:15 a.m. Eastern time.

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