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The Blame Game

Who’s to blame? Does it matter?
| Nov 11, 2014 | 4 comments |
Devil costume

The Devil made me do it!

The scream. The searing scream of your child in pain. You jump from your soap opera and rush into the kid’s room to find four-year-old Sally bawling her eyes out and covering her nose. Jimmy, your eight-year-old, stares at you with pleading eyes. “Mommy, Sally wouldn’t give my toy back.” In other words, it’s her fault that her nose is bleeding.

The screams. Children running in terror as a mad man shoots up their classmates. Children die senselessly. Political figures come running and we hear, “Get rid of guns to fix this.” In other words, it is the guns’ fault those children are dead.

The inner scream. Women accused of seducing men, causing them to lust and sin by a suggestive move, stance, or article of clothing. Some religious types come running, “If you hadn’t worn what you did, you wouldn’t have been raped.” In other words, it is her fault the man lost control of himself and had his way with her.

A scream of shock. A woman finds out her spouse cheated on her. Confronted, the man comes running with finger pointed. “If you’d provided for my needs, none of this would have happened.” In other words, it is her fault he cheated on her. She only has herself to blame.

The blame game is popular in our society.

Truthfully, it always has been so. Adam, when God had confronted him about eating from the tree, said, in effect, “It’s that woman you gave me! It’s her fault.” In other words, “God, none of this would have happened if you hadn’t created that woman.” From the first known sin, the blame game has existed.

Is it then any wonder that among Christians, who tend to be very good at this game, they will ignore the responsibility of the sinner and point fingers at the author who either inadvertently or intentionally increased the temptation to sin. Pulling out Romans 14, they point the blame on an author who offended a “weaker brother” with cussing or a suggestive scene, totally ignoring the fact they are taking that scripture out of context and shifting the blame from where it should belong—on the one who sinned—and attempting to dismiss their moral shortcomings by pointing to the source of temptation: the victim and/or the tool used.

Can someone be wrong for unnecessarily increasing temptation?

Yes, if they intentionally did so. But temptation is common to all men and women. It will come, and the fact you were tempted to sin doesn’t release you from the responsibility of committing the sin. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Own up to it. Otherwise, you cannot be healed; you cannot be saved.

Jesus came preaching repentance, not whose fault is it. He expects us to love one another as He loved us, willing to give His life to save us. Not point fingers and deflect blame. He’s called us to be sheep, not goats who say, “When did we do these things? You must be mistaken. We are not to blame for what happened.”

We need to pray this Orthodox Lenten prayer until our attitude is adjusted and we’re more focused on our sins than avoiding them:

O Lord and Master of my life,
Grant not unto me a spirit of idleness,
of discouragement,
of lust for power,

and of vain speaking.

But bestow upon me, Thy servant,
the spirit of chastity,
of meekness,
of patience,
and of love.

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant that I may perceive
my own transgressions,
and judge not my brother,
for blessed art Thou

unto ages of ages.


This article originally appeared on R. L. Copple’s blog on January 15, 2013.

As a young teen, R. L. Copple played in his own make-believe world, writing the stories and drawing the art for his own comics while experiencing the worlds of other authors like Tolkien, Lewis, Asimov, and Lester Del Ray. As an adult, after years of writing devotionally, he returned to the passion of his youth in order to combine his fantasy worlds and faith into the reality of the printed page. Since then, his imagination has given birth to The Reality Chronicles trilogy from Splashdown Books, and The Virtual Chronicles series, Ethereal Worlds Anthology, and How to Make an Ebook: Using Free Software from Ethereal Press, along with numerous short stories in various magazines.Learn more about R. L and his work at any of the following:Author Website, Author Blog, or Author Store.

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Rebecca LuElla Miller

Rick, good article, but I have an observation. The scenarios you offer seem to recognize responsibility only on one side. That bothers me. We shouldn’t be pointing fingers or hurling blame because we’re just as responsible as the next person. Adam couldn’t blame Eve for his decision to eat of the fruit any more than Eve could blame the snake. They both had responsibility for their actions.

In the same way, guns aren’t responsible, but there is something to say about selling automatic weapons that clearly aren’t for hunting purposes. But the shooters are responsible for their actions and the bullies who incited them and the parents who didn’t discipline them and the teachers who overlooked their odd behavior and the kid at the next locker for giving him a dirty look. I mean, really, if we’re not loving God and loving our neighbor, we’re responsible.

Same with women. We’ve sort of bought into society’s idea that women have been suppressed all these years, so now we’re entitled to do whatever we want and any bad result is men’s fault. Sorry, but women are still responsible for our actions as much as men are for theirs. It’s not he said/she said. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and.


Rebecca LuElla Miller

I’m glad we’re on the same page, Rick. I thought we were, but I could see others reading the examples and missing the fact that there isn’t just one side to responsibility.

We really have taken the gender issues to an extreme in the last few decades. Of course women aren’t responsible for a rapist acting on his impulses or his anger, but women are responsible for sensual behavior and dress. We just don’t say that any more because it sounds misogynist.

So many people who don’t accept the Bible as God’s authoritative word accuse the Apostle Paul of being misogynist because he dared to define women’s role in the church and in the home. But to get to misogynist, a person would have to completely overlook what Paul wrote about husbands loving their wives with the same sacrificial love Christ showed when He died to save us. What wife wouldn’t want to submit to a husband who said, My number one goal is to love you to the point of dying for you if need be. It’s silly to think of such a relationship as patriarchal or oppressive or opposed to the good of women.

But that’s where people get to who do not read the admonition to husbands. They go no farther than the idea of a wife not being the head and they draw all kinds of erroneous conclusions.

So I think it’s important to tell both parts, even in an example such as you used in your post.