To a Christian committed to Scripture, the title of this post may seem to be a foolish question. Of course the Fall is relevant! My pastor said so in our adult Sunday School class! This hypothetical response may be stretching things a bit, but the Fall has become a forgotten doctrine in many circles. Our culture believes it is nothing more than a myth. What better example of this reality is there than the mass murder in Tucson this past weekend? Note the press coverage of the event. Everything from mental illness to a dysfunctional family to radio talk-show hosts is being blamed for these tragic shootings. Such responses provide a lesson that is crucial for your children to grasp: events like this shooting happen because people are evil. Some appear more evil than others, but all men begin life as friends of Satan and enemies of God (Ephesians 2:1-3). Evil deeds are not random happenings that occur when the stars become misaligned and produce bad karma. The heart of man is desperately wicked. It is only the restraining hand of God that keeps more of these events from occurring, not laws or medications.
Kevin DeYoung has written a helpful post which gives more background and food for thought. It is a good treatment of how to evaluate the cultural perspective regarding this event. You can find Kevin’s post here:
Perhaps the most significant point that we lose if we do not view this shooting as an act of evil is that it removes the need for a Savior. The only cure for evil is a new heart. Mankind, as a race, stands in great need of redemption. We are pleased with our accomplishments and ignore our sins. The biggest blame game being played with regard to the Tucson shootings is the one which shifts the blame away from the wickedness of man to almost anything else. If we don’t sin and are not evil, then we have no reason to run to Christ. If the Fall is only a myth, then it has no relevance in our lives.
To the extent that we lose sight of the redemptive work of Christ in history, we lose the ability to correctly understand our world. As Proverbs 4 teaches, “The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they don’t know what makes them stumble.” Thus, it is impossible to understand why tragedies like the one in Tucson occur if one doesn’t understand the Fall and the work of the Savior who rescues lost sinners from its terrible impact.
Is the Fall relevant? In a word, yes. Tell your children why. Then pray with them for God’s mercy and redemptive grace for the wounded, for their families, and for our nation.