Del Tackett

by Del Tackett


Surging Crime and a Look At Its Causes

“Crime is first a moral issue. Failure to address it on that level ensures it will only get worse.”  Cal Thomas

Unless you are a Rumpelstiltskin, you must be keenly aware of our culture’s surging crime. In our own city, we have had eight murders already this year compared to only one by this time last year… and last year we set a record high for murders. This is in Colorado Springs, not Detroit or Chicago. In New York City, homicides are up 11% and shooting victims up 68%. In Georgia, some residents of Buckhead are wanting to secede from Atlanta because of the crime wave that they think the city doesn’t care about. As one Buckhead leader said, “we are in a war zone here” and the police are increasingly demoralized because they arrest criminals only to see them released by the legal system. The number of cops is way below what they need… some say as much as a third.  All this in the midst of, or aftermath of, calls to defund the police.

But it is not just the surge in the number of crimes. There is now a breathtaking boldness and brazen attitude by which crime is being carried out. 

The upper middle photo was taken as a man entered a pharmacy in San Francisco on a bike in the middle of the day. He then began sweeping things off the shelves into a garbage bag. You can see that a customer and security guard are filming it, but neither took any action. The thief filled the bag and then calmly rode out between them. 

In the lower right, you can see a mob pouring into a store, boldly taking whatever they could carry and then casually strolling away with their spoils. The upper left shows a mob during one of these flash robberies with arms loaded; the upper right shows a guy who filled a shopping cart during a mob rob. Employees of TJ Maxx have been instructed to let mobs have what they want—for their own safety and because they or the store could be sued if one of the thieves were to be hurt. That is why six thieves could enter the Ultra Beauty salon in South Gate, California, and without resistance, fill up garbage bags of high-end perfumes and other costly merchandise, and then brashly walk out. This is also why the security guard in the pharmacy took no action. Makes one wonder what security guards are for.

The lower left is the dregs from repeated robberies of train cars in Los Angeles. When the train rolls to a stop, a mob of thieves break into the rail cars and start busting open the cartons looking for high valuable goods. The boxes and stuffing and rejected items get thrown out of the cars leaving a railroad yard that looks like a trash dump. 

Los Angeles and other U.S. politicians are perplexed by all of this and don’t know what to do, if anything. One leading politician expressed anger, not because mobs were stealing, but because some of them were selling the spoils online and making a filthy “profit”. This thinking has led to the legislative proposal that the government should oversee all private online sales, enforcing a “clear provenance” upon all goods sold. This would mean that if you wanted to sell your bicycle on Ebay, you would have to first prove to the State that you procured it by legal means. But, if you steal a bike and use it for yourself, then that seems to be okay to the Speaker of the House.

If this seems absolutely crazy, then reread the article on God giving us over to a depraved mind.

The final photo, middle right, is someone stealing a package off of a front porch in the middle of the day. This is becoming the new pandemic in our land. I am part of an online neighborhood community and it is rare that a day goes by without someone posting a Ring video or picture of someone stealing something from their home: packages on the porch, mail from the mailbox, or, as just happened yesterday, two guys pulling up in a pickup truck at 10am, nonchalantly pulling out tools and leisurely stealing the catalytic converter off her van.

Thieves no longer come in the middle of the night with masks. Now they waltz up in plain sight. There is an increasing boldness with an attitude that “your goods are owed to me and I am entitled to take them whenever I want.”

There has been much written about the surge of crime in our culture. On one side, the cause is laid at the feet of poverty and oppression by the ruling hegemony. On the other side, arguments point to the new laxity in laws and law enforcement. 

I don’t agree with the former, for nothing shows a true statistical causality between poverty and crime. There are many poor countries with low crime rates. Some, however, misuse data and fail to see that it is the breakdown in the family that leads to both higher crime and lower financial wealth. It is a mistake to connect the crime with the poverty and ignore the ultimate cause: boys raised without an intact mom and dad, then becoming involved with gangs and crime.

The latter, though, has merit. The Scripture (Romans 13) makes it clear that in God’s design, the State is responsible to punish evil. When it does not, evil will naturally prevail. At this very moment, Putin is threatening to take Ukraine. Does anyone doubt that he would do so if he knew for sure that no one would resist him? If he, like flash mobs, knew that no one would step in to stop him? Ukraine would be gone in a heartbeat. If he calculates the cost to be tolerable, he will most certainly do so. He is merely testing the waters right now to find that answer. So, too, is China’s eye upon Taiwan. They will certainly take it when they believe the cost of doing so is below a certain threshold. 

The point is this: if the cost to carry out a crime is low compared to the spoils, then crime will escalate. Without a cost for their actions, it is in the nature of people to steal and murder and rape and pillage. How do we know this? Because of a good anthropology that comes from a biblical worldview. Man is fallen in his nature and is prone to evil given the opportunity. Hence God’s institution of, and design for, the State whose job is to punish evil. This is also why James Madison famously wrote in the Federalist Papers: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

But in a crazy world that has rejected God’s design and a true anthropology, the government is now casting off its role of punishing evil. California’s Proposition 47 made most thefts of less than $950 a misdemeanor, similar to a traffic ticket. Consequently, they are getting mobs raiding stores, guys on bicycles nonchalantly filling up a garbage bag with pharmacy goods, and trashed railroad yards and empty railroad cars. 

Denver’s Police Chief, Paul Pazen, speaks boldly about how policy changes sit behind his city’s surge in crime. If you steal a car now in Denver, you will be let out on a “personal reconnaissance” bond, which basically means, sign here and you’re free. Chief Pazen speaks of arresting the same guy six times for auto theft in one year. This is more akin to our Fish and Game Department’s policy of “catch and release”. 

But, it’s about to get much worse, for the Colorado Legislature passed a bill that becomes effective in a few weeks. It removes “felony” status from certain forms of drug dealing, theft, fraud, arson, kidnapping (false imprisonment), possession of weapons on school grounds, etc. These crimes will now be given a mere slap on the wrist and the criminal let go. How demoralizing for police officers to put their life on the line making an arrest, only to turn around tomorrow and find that the guy is back out on the street. It is not surprising, when the cost of committing a crime decreases down to almost nothing, that crime rises and criminal activity becomes bolder and more and more brazen. 

With all this said, however, what has not been addressed in commentaries or news broadcasts, up until the Cal Thomas article, is that “crime is first a moral issue”. The State doesn’t determine ultimate right and wrong, God does. And when God declares something to be wrong, that declaration springs from His very nature. Stealing is wrong because it is contrary to the character of God. 

Part of the great worldview divide that now plagues our nation is whether or not we want God to have any say in our personal, public or legal lives. No one any longer makes an appeal to God’s nature or Word when it comes to making laws. This is in stark contrast to our founding when William Blackstone, the legal author and tutor of all lawyers in early America, flatly declared that no law has any value if it is contrary to God’s law. This was to be the litmus test for any legislation and it was pounded into the head of all who made and prosecuted law in America.

Not so today. 

Making policy and law in accordance with God’s design leads to peace and prosperity, as best you can have in a fallen world. Therefore, it is not surprising that public policy, state and federal law and judicial decisions, absent any eternal or divine foundation, are not only woefully inadequate to mitigate crime, they exacerbate it. Cal is right when he says that crime will only get worse if we continue to see it as merely a social or oppressive issue, or driven by the prime ethic of malevolent compassion. All of this is leading us inexorably to a time when “everyone will do what is right in their own eyes”.

Maybe we are already there.

So, dear Remnant, how will be act in these times? 

First of all, do not get caught up in the lies of this new worldview and allow it to squeeze you into its mold regarding right and wrong. Be sure of this: it is not your heart that establishes the ethical lines. Second, the fight against bad policy is a good fight and it should be fought as best we can. Third, never let the enemy sap your hope or your joy or your commitment to Him. Take the longer view. Keep your eyes upon Him.

But finally, we must keep in mind that any real change is going to have to take place in the heart and soul of individuals. That will only come by the faithful and persistent prayers of the saints for those who are providentially placed near them along with the development of a significant relationship. If we remain faithful to this call of the Lord, then we pray we will begin to see a change in the few. And if the Lord should bless, that could translate into many.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:90






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  • Paul C. Dangelmajer

    Paul C. Dangelmajer

    I'm blessed to teach Men's Christian Studies in prisons. Del... your above message is perfect. I'll be posting this to FB and discussing this when back in prisons (COVID restrictions now). Like many, my heart is breaking for our blessed country. For the first time ever, I fear the future BUT I will not go leave this earth without a fight... a fight to bring God's light to anyone that will listen. Christians we are being called to this by God Himself!
  • James  Culp

    James Culp

    As usual your article is right on target Dr Tackett. I noticed that you used the term "depraved mind" and my understanding of this is that this is a mind that has become reprobate and worthless. Is this not what is happening to much of our legal system? If we try to replace the people that are currently involved, are they not going to be overwhelmed by this evil system before they barely get their foot in the door? Yes, we are to stay focused on our Lord Jesus Christ, and remember that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. We must keep in mind that we are not wrestling against flesh and blood but evil influences that are manipulating the people within the systems. Yes we can make a difference, but we need the Lord Jesus give us guidance as to how He want us to respond to these very serious issues. I am a military veteran and it deeply grieves me to see how this great country has yielded to the influence of evil.
  • Teddy Craig

    Teddy Craig

    Even though I have no use for puzzles, or word games, I find your articles to be well written; so, I thank David from POP Lutheran church in Lakewood WA (where you gave your class a few months ago) for mentioning you and your site to me. I didn't attend the class; as, I am not part of that (or any other) denomination. I find denominational thinking to be highly antibiblicial on many biblical matters and thus have zero use for it! But I do agree with what you, and Cal Thomas, are saying; crime is first an issue of a heart that is wicked and full of sin. Joe Biden, in a speech a few days ago, boasted about an incident in which he threw a dead dog on a woman's porch; and, all his minions thought that was just some big joke! However to him it wasn't a joke; and, he actually told more of the truth about the incident so we could see it for what it was. He took a dead dog from in front of a person's house who voted for him, in a truck with a friend, and threw it on the porch of someone who didn't! So, when you have a man like that as the leader; well, does it really surprise you that his minions are feeling so bold as to undertake their criminal activity right out in broad daylight? It shouldn't; and, it's a canary in the coal mine! And the canary just died! We need to do everything to wake up those who are asleep (whom He is calling to do so in Revelation 3:14-22), and get ready to leave in the pre-trib rapture, because America is going to be set on fire just like Jerusalem! Once Harris is president the countdown starts; remember that!
  • Sue Adams

    Sue Adams

    I would like to join the others in thanking Dr. Tackett for another well written message on the current events in which we all find ourselves. We who know the Lord would do well in taking Daniel's position and humbly repent of our personal sins and the sins of our nation. And also pray that our nation would return to God. Our witness to our neighbors who may or may not know God has never been more important. TEDDY, I am sorry you did not take the opportunity to attend Dr. Tackett's class. I understand your hesitation with "organized" religion, anyone out there please correct me if I am wrong, but Dr. Tackett's messages, classes and courses are not centered in a denomination but solidly based on and in God's Word. I for one can never have enough of God's Word, it's Truth, Wisdom, Guidance, Knowledge and Living Water is a soothing balm for my soul. The insight and wisdom God has given to Dr. Tackett and his ability to teach and instruct others always seems to excite me to dig deeper into the Word of God. Teddy, I hope you will attend a class in the future. I pray God will actively bless and strengthen your walk with Him in whatever direction He leads you.
  • Patrick Logan

    Patrick Logan

    The notion of "surging crime" sounds a bit more like partisan sour grapes. We are not called to partisanship but truth. If we did an actual analysis - rather than just grabbing a sound-bite, we would see that crime rises and falls locally/regionally and nationally. For the most part, real crime per capita has been decreasing. Further, as followers of Christ, we are called to integrity and truth - to fulfill this call, we would look at crime throughout the world throughout history. In that regard - we are living in a marvelously safe period - especially with the least bit of common sense.
  • Manny Vazquez

    Manny Vazquez

    The lawlessness predicted in the Scriptures is upon us. It goes along with the great apostasy. The love of many is growing cold. God can turn this around, however, through the Remnant. True Christians have a huge responsibility to pray for and love their neighbors. Even if the Remnant numbered in the hundreds, God can do more with them than the enemy can with a trillion of his followers.
  • G Logan

    G Logan

    Manny, I encourage you to think historically.... Think about the rise of Nazi Germany as real crime. Think about the nuclear bombs on innocent civilians as real crime. Think about the massive crime in the 19th century inner cities or 14th century London. I fear that so often, especially us religious folks, do not think beyond what our eye can see - as opposed to living in the truth which encompasses all of history. I am certain you have enough knowledge that if you apply your thinking, you will see massive crimes throughout the millenium - including Ghengis Khan and a thousand other like massive crime waves. Best - in HIm
  • Manny Vazquez

    Manny Vazquez

    G Logan, I agree with you that lawlessness has been with us since the beginning. I tell my Wife and my fellow believers all the time that I'm sure that Christians in the first century or Christians during the two World Wars probably believed they were in the last days, and that Jesus' return was imminent. I know that every generation is to live as if Jesus could come at any moment. Ultimately, my trust is in the LORD, no matter how evil mankind becomes. I have known for a long time that true Christianity is quickly becoming a remnant, but as I told my Bible Study Group recently, Jesus promised a Great Harvest at the end. The world will become much worse before Jesus returns, I believe. As Christians, we need to hold to our faith in Him and not waiver in our mission to preach and teach the Gospel. In Christ, Manny
  • Patrick Logan

    Patrick Logan

    Hey Manny, I appreciate your focus on thinking historically - and you are spot on!! I am saddened by the dearth of serious thinking in the evangelical community - so much thinking is limited to individual's Leave It To Beaver false idyllic child-hood - simply because they lucked out and lived in some corner of America in the late 20th C - and are white.... The call in Christ is so much higher - hence, the repeated admonitions in Proverbs - Get Knowledge, Wisdom & Understanding, etc. Best!




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