We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Catcher in the Rye

Did you ever wonder who shot John Lennon, and why? His name is Mark David Chapman. It is said that he was raised in a verbally abusive home. While certainly not the only influence during these critically impressionable years, there was another influence that helped shape the thoughts and attitudes of this troubled young man.

After dropping out of school at fifteen and running away from home, Chapman turned to drugs. But before long, after listening to a traveling evangelist, Mark Chapman professed Jesus as his Savior. He began working at the YMCA and was thought to be a godly and committed young man who cared deeply for others.

But something from Chapman’s past had a grip on him–an influence that eventually led him down a dark path. It was not drugs, but a book, permeated with blasphemy, racial slurs, and a worldview promoting rebellion, apathy, unproductiveness, irresponsibility, lack of respect, vulgarity, atheism, and perpetual juvenile behavior. Written by J. D. Salinger, and perhaps one of the most dangerous books ever written, it sells over 2 ½ million copies every year and is still required reading in many schools! The title is Catcher in the Rye.

Neglecting to fill his mind with the thoughts and ways of God, Chapman left himself vulnerable to the book’s negative influence. It is reported that, after killing Lennon and waiting for his arrest, he continued to read the very book that had influenced him to commit murder. In an interview at Attica prison, Chapman said, “The reason I killed Lennon was to gain prominence, to promote the reading of The Catcher in the Rye . . . an extraordinary book which holds many answers.”

It is inconceivable that school boards and teachers continue to expose children to a book that is so reprehensible–the very book that, along with the film Taxi Driver, also motivated John Hinckley to shoot President Reagan.

Young people desperately need positive role models and absolute truth to inspire and direct them. Let us choose well the voices that will sway their hearts and minds. May we abhor evil and cling to that which is good, as we consider which influences will be instrumental in molding the thoughts and attitudes of our children.

Published in: on March 26, 2011 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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