I just read today’s (July 31, 2011) article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune entitled ‘IT WAS REALLY HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHO HE WAS.’ Overall, Anders seems like an ordinary guy—even a nice guy, a peace loving guy. But the article, by Adam Geller, gave me a couple threads of information that helped me to see his downfall—why he went on this killing rampage.
1. He got a very bad start in life. His parents divorced when he was one year old. He was raised by his working mother. I can imagine that he didn’t get all the loving support that a kid should have.
2. I can imagine also that he wasn’t surrounded by those who gave him wise advice. I was in a similar situation growing up. The only difference is, though my father wasn’t around much to influence me and my mom worked, I went to church and was in church groups. And so I had that Christian influence and became a Christian myself. That makes all the difference. From what I have read about Anders, he had no real Christian influence (although I don’t really know). He struggled to find his own way—which turned out to be the wrong way.
3. During his school days it seems that he let envy embitter him. The article described how he would spend hours with a group of five friends chaffing at the differences between his own living situation and his classmates with money. He lived in an affluent part of Olso, but apparently those around him lived in better houses and had more money.
This I think is a big key to his downfall. I’m sure that those long gripe sessions he had with his friends did nothing but stir up in him envy and strife against his neighbors and anyone who was better off than him. Consider (biblically) that it was out of envy that the chief priest handed Jesus over to Pilot to be crucified (Mk. 15:10). And consider also that when envy is listed among other sins, murder is right on the tail of envy (look at Romans 1:29).
These things (three points above) I think are what propelled Anders Breivik to go the wrong way. It is obvious from his 1,518 page manifesto (that he e-mailed to hundreds of people before his rampage) that he had made his own way. He was on a mission—a modern-day crusade to do what he thought was right for society. From what I have read about him so far, his mission was to do his part in ridding the world of those who would spoil it. It is not real clear who exactly that would be, but he seemed to have a strong dislike for Muslims and for anyone who is making Europe and the world less Christian (that’s really simplifying it). He claimed to be part of the Knights Templar and to have a goal of preserving Christianity; however, make no mistake about it, he is not a Christian. The Knights Templar I would say an evil group.
Anyway, the way I see it, what went wrong has been do to a bad upbringing and getting caught in that vicious trap of envy, which if left unchecked will lead to murder. There are many other things involved of course, but these I think are the key points.
Looking back on it, what he should have done was to seek God—to go to church and seek God’s way. The Bible tells us that if we commit our ways and our heart to God and trust in Him, He will lead us in the right way (Prov. 3:5-7). Though Andre made some terrible choices, it is still not too late for him to mend his ways. If he turns to God and seeks His way, He will forgive him and show a new way and a new life. Pray for him while he is in prison that God will speak to him and change his heart.