Thursday, September 03, 2015

Lamech, emulation, and murderous rage

Recently when the reporter was murdered by the aggrieved angry former employee, a TV station was talking about his manifesto in which he talked about other rage murderers. I forgot who. Might have been Dylann Roof. Or Columbine. Whoever it was, there was some identification and emulation taking place. And this is apparently quite normal. Mass murderers, rage murderers, murderers with manifestos are always looking back and praising some mass murderer or rage murderer who murdered before they did. Columbine, for instance, has popped up in several manifestos. Usually something like, "I'm gonna kill folks like the guys at Columbine folks did." Or "XXX who killed all those students/theatergoers etc was right."

So this got me thinking about Lamech, Cain's descendant. Lamech was the first person in the Bible -- that we know of-- who emulated a murderer. He looked upon Cain as a kind of spiritual idol/excuse/validation. Cain got mad; I, Lamech, got mad. Cain was forgiven and I also will be forgiven. Cain was his spiritual pedigree. Ah, we humans! Always looking toward exemplars.

Of course, we are all to look upon others who attain great deeds. Paul said, be imitators of me. Jesus wants us to imitate Him. But wholesale generalized selfish emulation is forbidden. I used to think Paul spoke against emulation because we humans only imitated things that made us lose ourselves in some other person's stylings, antics, etc. But apparently I missed the serious point. Emulation can make us do nasty things to other people because other folks have done nasty things.

Lord save us from wrong emulations.  

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