One of the selling points that evangelical proselytizers use to win converts amongst those who are wracked with guilt for past transgressions is to tell them that if only they would accept Jesus as their personal lord and savior, their past sins will be forgiven and that no other religion can promise them such quick absolution. It is a strategy that seems to be somewhat effective (as one might expect) in prisons with some hardened criminals.
It was a stroke of unbelievable luck. Here I thought I’d spend the rest of my life agonizing over that night I broke into a random house and methodically tortured all five of its residents, but Jesus was like, “Nah, you’re good.” He took all those years I expected to wallow in suffocating guilt for having forced a mother to choose the order in which I strangled her children and wiped them away in a jiff.
Which is ironic because the family I murdered in cold blood was praying to Jesus like crazy the whole time.
If it weren’t for the Savior, I’d still be living with a horribly tormented conscience like some chump. I used to think that maybe, just maybe, I could ease some of the unrelenting pain after a lifetime of good works and contrition. But once God’s grace washed over me—and that took, what, maybe 15 minutes at most?—I knew I was in the clear.
Bing, bang, boom. Salvation.
I mean, it’s too bad I’ll never get back those days I squandered on unbearable guilt, but Jesus bailed me out big time, so I’m not going to complain. No sense in living in the past. The man who took five innocent lives in brutal fashion and made himself a glass of chocolate milk afterward might as well be a totally different person. I walk in the Lord now.
Of course, the laws of man will keep me physically behind bars for the rest of my life. But my soul has been set free by the Lord and by the sacrifice of His only son. Despite all my earthly sins, He has redeemed me. He always does.
Had I known that sooner, I would’ve killed way more people.
It would not surprise me in the least if Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer, claims after a few years to have seen the light and found Jesus. He may even become an evangelical preacher, using his own life as an example of how Jesus saves.
Incidentally, via reader Jeff, I received this interesting article by neuroscientist David Eagleman speculating on what might motivate killers like Breivik and how our increasing understanding of how brains work might affect legal proceedings involving such people.