Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Worthy Woman: on the BTK Killer

Worthy Woman writes her observations on the BTK Killer.

" It won't be long until I start getting these two questions:
1. This guy is Lutheran, aren't you Lutheran too?
2. What kind of person is a murderer like that, and what kind of religion permits that kind of thing.It would be real easy to distance myself from the BTK killer.

Technically, he DOES belong to a different branch of Lutheran teaching. That doesn't get to the heart of the matter, but does go back to a conversation I had with "Texas Easy Rider" at my church several years ago..." Read on


CPA said...

I’ve gotta say, I have some SERIOUS problems with Worthy Woman’s musings. She seems to have no concept of mortal sin. Don’t be fooled: someone engaging in murder (or adultery, or fraud, or habitual brawling, or whatever) is engaging in a mortal sin which drives out faith and the Holy Ghost, and is flatly incompatible with any Christian profession (Gal. 5, 1 Cor. 6). Since this man was committing murders for years (assuming he is guilty as charged) and he never repented, we may have IRON CERTAINTY that for those years, he was no Christian at all, but a hypocrite and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. His being in the Lutheran church and being a sinner in that time has nothing in common with this woman’s being in the Lutheran church and being a sinner. Why? Because by repenting daily of her sins (assuming she does), she shows she has the Holy Ghost and faith and is therefore also justified, unlike this (at that time) unrepentant murderer who was not "simul justus et peccator" but just plain old vanilla "peccator" with the aggravating circumstance of hypocrisy thrown in.

Now has this killer actually repented after his recent apprehension? I suppose it is possible. If so then he would, for the first time in years, if at all actually be a Christian. He would not be "still" a member of the body of Christ, but be newly made a member of Christ.

Commentary much less affected by Worthy Woman’s sentimentality and anti-nomianism is here and here

TKls2myhrt said...


I don't see the purpose in attacking Worthy Woman's musings. I got her point right away: we are all sinners, unworthy of God's grace. Maybe BTK's pastor's statement about being a member of the body of Christ could be construed as a poor understanding of what that means (considering your good point that BTK was/is a hypocrite all those years and never repented - stopped, confessed and turned away from his sins).

Here's a better perspective from the WELS Q &A site:

First, I appreciate your sympathy for the many victims of the the crimes being reported in the newspapers. All of God's people grieve for the victims and for the criminals, since the effects of sinful acts create so much hurt and grief. Your observation that murder cuts short people's time of grace is correct. When unbelievers are murdered, it cuts short their opportunity to hear the gospel and be brought to faith. When believers are murdered, it cuts short their opportunity to serve the Savior on earth. Great tragedies, indeed! Continue to keep all in your prayers.
You seem surprised that the confessed murderer was an active Lutheran. It seems that others in his local church were equally shocked. Let us use these sad events to review all that the Bible has to say about the ongoing possibility of hypocrisy and the long-standing love that people have for religious externalism without a true change of heart. Prophet after prophet in the Old Testament addressed this issue, as do apostles in the New Testament. One out of twelve of the inner circle of "active disciples" of our Lord Jesus was a false believer--and none of the other disciples ever suspected him of being a false one. So in a certain sense none of us should be one bit surprised about the possibility of such things. But to learn about it still hurts. And this is a call to watchfulness in our own lives and a renewed call to daily contrition and repentance centered in the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

You are correct that it is fitting--and a privilege of ours--to pray for all the families and loved ones of the victims and for the murderer as well. Pray that he be given godly sorrow that leads to repentance. Pray for a rebirth and spiritual life. Pray that he receive, purely from God's amazing grace, what you and I received--the gift of forgiveness and eternal life as a totally undeserved gift for undeserving sinners. None of that will minimize the horrible nature of the man's crimes and his liability before the law. But our desire is that he join other murderers, like Moses, King David, and the apostle Paul, in receiving new life in Christ. And that he may join us, equally undeserving rebels against God's law, in receiving the gracious gift of pardon for the sake of Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

faithseeker said...

This question may have been addressed somewhere else on this site, but which branch of Lutheran was the church that the BTK killer attended? ELCA, LCMS, or WELS?

TKls2myhrt said...

According to news reports I read, he was president of his ELCA congregation for several years.