The blame for the tragic shooting and bombing in Norway last year, which resulted in seventy-seven deaths, was initially laid at the feet of conservative Christians. Early media reports suggested that the killer, Anders Breivik, was a “right-wing Christian fundamentalist.” Some even called him a “Christian” terrorist.1
Several media outlets and bloggers ran this false characterization without taking time to review the murderer’s publically available manifesto or watch his videos. If they had, they would never have made such an error.
Breivik’s rambling writings betray a fractured worldview that is completely incompatible with biblical Christianity. For example, the killer advocated what he calls the “cultural Christendom” of Europe, as distinct from “religious Christendom,” stating that “a majority of so-called agnostics and atheists in Europe are cultural conservative Christians without even knowing it.” In fact, he equated Christianity with a Muslim-less European culture and not the person of Christ. He later lumped himself into this Christ-less crowd: “Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God.”
This controversy emphasizes how post-Christian the West has become, with no remaining foundation in the Bible. A mass murderer can call himself a Christian without being a believer in Christ—and many in the media don’t distinguish the labels.