How do we know what Charles Manson did was wrong?
On the night of August 8, 1969, Manson directed Watson to take Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel to “that house where Melcher used to live” and “totally destroy everyone in [it], as gruesome as you can.” We know that one of the murdered, Sharon Tate pleaded to be allowed to live long enough to have her baby, and even offered herself as a hostage in an attempt to save the life of her unborn child, but the cold blooded killers would not let her live Everyone agrees that what the Manson family did was wrong, but why is it wrong?
First, the bible also says that we should not murder (Ex. 20:13) As Christians we now that this is wrong. But what about the non-Christian why do they know what the Manson family did is wrong? If you followed the Twitter feed #Aquarius most of the Tweets were about how good looking actors are. But do we know that what the Manson family did was wrong? And how do you know it is wrong if you don’t believe the bible? The answer is that the law and their conscience convicts them it is wrong.
Next, the law tells us we cannot murder. And in 1971 Charles Manson was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people: actress Sharon Tate and four other people at Tate’s home; and the next day, a married couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca; all carried out by members of the group at his instruction. He was convicted of the murders through the joint-responsibility rule, which makes each member of a conspiracy guilty of crimes his fellow conspirators commit in furtherance of the conspiracy’s objective. Therefore, when we hear of something like this scenario the law is set in place to protect the innocent as it should, and people who break the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Thirdly, our conscience talks to us all day long regardless if we read the bible or not. If we touch a hot stove, we feel pain, because our brain, working with our nerves tells us that the stove is painful. In the same way, if we saw a room full of innocent elementary school children getting shot, regardless of if we follow the 10 commandments, “though shall not murder”(Ex. 20:13), we want justice for those innocent children that had their life taken away from them. During the Manson trial the nation was full of those that felt disgusted in the pit of their stomachs, and secretly hope that the killers were brought to justice, regardless of whether they follow the bible or not, because their conscious would be shouting to them…this is wrong; where is justice.
In the case of Charles Manson the nation is shouting that the murdered innocence ones had their lives stolen and they deserve justice, and rightly they do! But why does our conscience tell us this is wrong? Why does our inside churn at the news of something violent, and grotesque that violates the innocent? The answer is simple, because God created our conscience and preprogramed you to choose righteousness.
Our conscience, which God created and programed, convicts us of the truth (there is a right and wrong; we demand justice; we want judgment rendered; ne need a Just Judge) this is the very standard with which God, is judging us, and will judge us. The Bible says God is the Just Judge; at the end of our lives we will stand, in His court and be judged, and only those with Jesus will enter into eternity. On earth a person is convicted when the evidence against them is “beyond reasonable doubt”. When we stand before God the evidence against us will be “beyond a shadow of doubt”, for all have sinned.
Our conscience is telling us a story, what the Manson family did was wrong, because the Creator of Heaven and Earth has shown us through: the Word of God, the law, and our conscience. What I have done is wrong, and what you have done is wrong, the only perfect Man, Jesus—can wash away our sins.
Imagine, if a young boy and girl, 5 years old, gets dropped off at their day care so mom and dad can go to work and provide. After their parents have left the caretaker takes the children into a playroom, where they enjoy playing with some blocks not suspecting that this day could change their lives forever, brings them.
Then imagine a angry person wielding a knife, walks into the day care room where the innocent children are playing, knocks down the attendant, and stabs the two children to death, before they escapes through a side door.
Then imagine that this was all caught on video surveillance. Instantly, the police are called, the news is brought in, the parents of the dead children are called, and the news begins to video as the parents of the dead drive up screaming in pain, pleading to see their children, calling out their names hoping in some way that a mistake was made and their child will meet them. But sadly they are dead.
Then the police show the video of the surveillance in order to catch the criminal, and instantly through YouTube millions of people watching the video would be horrified. Mothers and fathers would shudder deep in the pit of their stomach, as they watch the children being stabbed, feeling the pain of the parents that have lost their children, and their conscience would scream—give us JUSTICE—catch that criminal right now.
After hours of searching, and many leads coming in through 100’s of concerned people, the killer is caught. People would want immediate justice, after all the killer is guilty, according to the video, and justice must be served. However, the killer must be given a fair trial, before a Just Judge what will render a right judgment.
Our hearts would not be soothed right away, because the dark thoughts of the heinous act would haunt us day and night, because something horrible, took place at the day care. So many of us would wonder how can we make something beautiful out of this dark pain. Immediately, caring women would buy flowers and fill the room where the children died, making something beautiful out of the brokenness.
This would help in the healing process, but we would not rest until the Judge’s gavel sounds and justice is rendered. So in this whole process our conscience confronts darkness, we cry out for justice, a righteous judgment is needed to come from a just judge in order for our lives to get back in order. Only then would mothers and father be able to breathe a deep sigh of relief and get back on with their life.
God made our conscience and we decide weather to follow our conscience, by cultivating our conscience; or we decide to ignore it, by placing our own opinions on what is right and wrong. If we cultivate our God given conscious by reading the bible and obey Jesus’s teaching then we grow in Godliness and Righteousness. However, if we ignore our conscience, then our conscience is seared (1 Tim. 4:2), our hearts become hardened towards God, and we become like God and chose, in our own ignorance, we decide what is right and wrong (Gen. 3:5), and we grow in ungodliness and unrighteousness.
But regardless of if we choose to follow righteousness or not—GOD CREATED OUR CONSCIENCE—He is Righteous and Just, and He wants to protect us and lead us to righteousness. And if our conscience convicts us then we know that there is a right and wrong. If there is a right and wrong, then we know that we need justice. And if there is justice then we need a judgment to be given so that the things would be made right. If we know we need a righteous judgment then we need a just judge to render justice.
So if our conscience bears witness when something heinous act (for example the story above, or something like what Charles Manson and followers) is wrong we immediately want justice, so that our hearts can rest. When the criminal, who stabbed the innocent children, is put behind bars we all are thankful that the process of justice is underway. But where did that desire for justice come from?
God created Justice! The bible says that Righteousness and Justice are the foundations of His Throne (Ps. 97:2). Justice came forth from God; justice did not exist until He made it and know we cannot live with out it. The Just God does not want those innocent children stabbed, He did not want Charlie Manson to choose death, so He created our conscience to know this is wrong and our hearts to cry out for justice, because He wants justice more than we.
But what is justice? Justice (in my opinion) is when we contend for everyone, even the weakest among us, to walk in the fullness of his or her God given destiny. This means that I put Godly, or Heavenly Justice before earthly justice. We need Justice from Heaven; we want justice on earth. For example, the child sold into slavery needs Heavenly Salvation, and they desperately want to justice from their earthly prison. Both Heavenly and earthly justice are important.
If we have a conscience that tells us things are right and wrong, and if our insides squirm at the thought of the young innocent child being brutally butchered to death, and if our hearts cry out for justice on behalf of those innocent lives then we need a Just Judge to render a judgment that is right and fair.
We want a Just Judgment to come on behalf of the innocent. God created “judgment”, or it is better to say “a verdict that is righteous”. Think about it! The concept of “Judgment”, or “righteous judgment”, did not exist until God created it. So if we have the God breathed creation of “righteous judgment” then we need some one just to judge to case.
God is a Just Judge and He is always right. All His ways are just, there is no injustice in Him, and the Judge of all the earth always does what is right (Deut. 32:3-4; Gen. 18:25). There is no one Just to Judge, except for God alone. So, when I need a righteous judgment or a verdict on behalf of righteousness then I am declaring the existence of the Just Judge.
Then imagine that God, the Just Judge, hears the court case of “The killer who brutally murder the children vs. The parents whose children, given by God, were taken away” (From our story above). One could easily put the life of Charlie Manson in this scenario) The killer is on trial, with a defense attorney, while the parents, supported by every good parent are seated behind the plaintiffs, the devastated parents. Jesus, the One that wants justice more than the devastated parents is the Just Judge. It does not look good for the killer.
The story comes out that the parents of the little girl who died, had been high school sweet hearts, went to college together, graduated and were married. Upon marriage they moved to the city where they both had jobs for one year until the wife became pregnant, and their beautiful daughter was born. For the next 5 years their life had been a whirlwind of birthday parties, grandparent’s visits, and family movie nights—they missed their daughter very much.
The parents of the boy had a different story. They were in their mid-forties. They had married in their mid 30’s finding each other at work. She worked in the human resource department and he on the engineering team. Both had wondered if they would ever marry this late in life and were so glad to find each other. However, they tried for 4 years to have a child but it was not possible. Then after all hope was lost they were able to conceive, and had a handsome baby of promise a little boy. They shared stories about the next 5 years of laughter, tears, and a life-long of memories.
Tears are streaming down the faces of all those in the room except for the killer, and then the most unexpected things happen. The father of the young boy, the child of promise, whom they had waited years for, asks to approach the Judges seat, where Jesus the Just Judge sits. Your Honor, we are grieved beyond words at the loss of our child, and we would ask that you allow us to address the killer for a moment. Jesus says, “yes”.
The father turns to the killer, with tears in his eyes, and his wife, now by her husband’s side, speaks three simple words, “we forgive you.” A gasp goes across the courtroom in a minute. What happened to justice? What about the son of promise that they lost? The tearful couple reaches out to hug the killer, who cannot believe the words just uttered. Then the crying couple sits down.
Jesus looks at the other parents and asks them if they have anything to say. “We do your honor. What this killer did is unforgiveable. He brutally killed our child and we want justice,” they say with the pain of a child lost twisting their faces. Then they sit down, what will the Just Judge do next?
Jesus the Just Judge turns towards the killer and asks what would you have to say? The killer, moved by being forgiven, hangs their head in defeat and says, “I am guilty, please forgive me”. Jesus the Just Judge would go down a list determining what would be done for Justice to be served: life in prison, fines, beatings in prison, and shame that would follow the killer’s name.
Then Jesus, the Just Judge would do the unthinkable. He would walk down and take the killer’s place, because He had asked forgiveness and begin to work to pay of His debt. That is what Jesus did when He went to the cross. He took the debt of our sin; He took our place; He paid a debt that we could not pay.
The conscious of America
America we need God to awaken our conscience. We have strayed so far from God we call evil good and good evil (Isa. 5:20). What happened to us? Today is the day we must turn to the Father in Heaven who loves you and:
- Acknowledge that Jesus is God’s Son, He is God, He is Righteous. (John 3:16; Romans 10:9) Ask the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin (John 16:9)
- We must repent of our sin; confess our sin to God and tell Him, I am wrong, please forgive me.
- Pray this prayer If you understand that you are a sinner and in need of salvation through Jesus Christ, here is a sinner’s prayer you can pray to God: “God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. Cleanse me from my sin, take the debt of my sin, make me a new creation—make me holy like You are holy.”
- Tell a friend you prayed to ask Jesus into your heart.
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:10-11)
- Read your bible
- Watch this video about the CROSS of JESUS CHRIST.
- Pray daily with others.