When Justice Fails

A story out of Norway is causing a stir worldwide. Many people are baffled by the lack of justice that the Norwegian government is showing in the Anders Behring Breivik case. Breivik is accused of killing 77 people on July 22, 2011 in a bombing and shooting rampage. Not only is Breivik accused of these crimes but he has admitted to committing the crimes saying:

I took the gun out and thought it was now or never, and it seemed like a year. 


‘It was extremely hard to shoot that first shot, it is contrary to human nature. But after that it became easier,’ he said. ‘To take a human life is the most extreme you can do, but you weigh that against superior motives.’

From our perspective this case is open and shut. This man has taken the lives of 77 people and should be punished accordingly. However, what people all around the globe are wondering is why this man’s maximum sentence is only 21 years in prison? Even Breivik showed his confusion over the possible maximum sentence. The Huffington Post reports:

Breivik, himself, ridiculed Norway’s maximum prison sentence of 21 years, saying the only proper outcomes of the case would be death or acquittal.

Anders Behring Breivik

What this shows me is that even though many people fight for justice we often fail. When we fail the consequences can be horrendous. Sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes the wrong person goes to prison. Sometimes the right person goes to prison but for not nearly long enough. Breivik is now 33 years old and if he gets the full sentence he could be out of prison when he is 54. That is hardly a punishment that fits the crime. Sometimes we can get it wrong but there is going to be a day when justice will be complete.

God is just and righteous as Deuteronomy 32:3-4 attests:

 For I will proclaim the name of the LORD;

ascribe greatness to our God!

  The Rock, his work is perfect,

for all his ways are justice.

  A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,

just and upright is he. -ESV

Not only is God just but he will exact his perfect justice:

  Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;

let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

 let the field exult, and everything in it!

  Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy

 before the LORD, for he comes,

for he comes to judge the earth.

  He will judge the world in righteousness,

and the peoples in his faithfulness. -Psalms 96: 11-13


The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. -Acts 17:30-31

Our world is filled with injustice and this story out of Norway is just one example. It is heartbreaking that this is happening but as Christians we have hope that justice will come. God is patient but he is also righteous and sin will not go overlooked forever. This should be a comfort but it is not a reason for apathy.

God calls his people to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. God calls his people to stand against injustice. God calls his people to be people of justice. We, undoubtedly, will fail sometimes but we should all strive for justice.  When we fight for justice we are fighting for God and when we fail we can take heart that justice will one day be carried out fully and righteously.

Thanks for reading.


About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we have one amazing child! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on April 24, 2012, in Christianity, Culture, Life, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on first33 and commented:
    this is crazy

  2. Very interesting. Unfortunately, injustice happens much too frequently.

    • Hey Stephanie,

      You are right we are surrounded by injustice but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stand up for justice. What stories like this shows us is that the pro-choice stance is inconsistent and should be pointed out. Then we pray that God’s mercy and grace falls on our communities and these terrible abortion laws get removed.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,


  3. Travis, Great blog. Great thoughts. I certainly agree with you that injustice runs rampant in our world today. Evil abounds. Paul teaches us, “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” Romans 5:20. Here’s a thought: If this murderer goes to prison and God draws him to Himself and the guy confesses Christ as his Savior, he will become our brother in Christ. He will be with us in heaven. Not saying it’s going to happen, but it might. In our flesh we don’t want it to happen. In our flesh we want the guy drawn and quartered. But God still loves this guy just as much as He loves you and me. Until you and me and this murderer draw our last breath. Just sayin’.

  4. You’ve hit a tender spot with me. I worked in the foster care system for 17 years and am now pursuing opportunities to work with organizations seeking justice for the victims of human trafficking. I don’t want to be complacent and comfortable while there are people out there being victimized. Our lives will expire before we know it. Let’s live fully now. As Jim Elliot said, “When the time comes to die, be sure all you have to do is die!” Thanks for stirring me up this morning!! 🙂

  5. 77 people. Wow. I think we are seeing the results of a godless society. Human life is no longer sacred, it’s no longer even viewed as significant. This is the result, at least in part, of evolutionary teaching and a materialistic/naturalistic worldview. In other words, God will have His justice and these people won’t even know why. In the past people claimed ignorance, this man will probably say, “what’s the big deal?”

    • Hey Cliff,

      I have heard a countless number of atheists say things like, “If your god is in heaven then I will be happy to go to hell.” Stuff like that baffles me. They hate God enough to willingly throw themselves into Hell. I guess “everybody wants to go to heaven” just doesn’t relate anymore.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,


      • I’ve heard the same thing. They’ve suppressed the truth for so long that not only are they incapable of recognizing truth, but they believe their lie has always been true. All the more reason to pray hard for them. They’re not the enemy, they’re held captive by the enemy.

        Really appreciate the work you put into this blog. Keep it up.

      • Great point Cliff! And thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Ma 24:12, 13 says “Because of the increase of wickedness the love of most will grow cold, but he who endures to the end will be saved.” We are indeed seeing the increase of wickedness but the power to endure in the midst of it comes from the knowledge that our God has everything in hand and this present darkness will last only a season before it is engulfed in His glorious light! Thanks for posting this!

    • jelillie,

      Great point. God does have everything in hand and I am thankful that vindication will come in the form of righteous justice.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,


  7. I am not a big supporter of the death penalty but if you kill 77 people for any reason, you are one of the select few who needs to be put down.

    • James,

      I am not a fan of the death penalty either but this guy can only get a formal sentence of 21 years. Yikes!

      Thanks for reading and commenting,


      • Travis,

        I agree that the formal sentence is only 21 years and that is disturbing. People have been put on death row for far less than that, some innocent people have been on death row too. I hate how the death penality is over used here in America. The death penality should be left for cases of high treason and mass murderers. There has to be no doubt the person is guilty. This man who killed 77 people is guilty of it, there is no denying it. Personally I believed it was a mind control program and that he was a puppet doing as he was told. However it does not change the fact that he needs to be put down like dog because that is what the guy is.


  8. I am proud of the Norwegians for the way they have handled this with love and unity, and followed their conscience and their constitution. Of course Breivik is evil and there is nothing humans can do that would be justice enough in his case. But let’s not forget that it is GOD who will bring justice, not ‘man;’.

  9. The king does not wield the sword for nothing. This is sad…

  10. Good article, Bryan.
    I believe righteous anger is not only justifiable, but neccessary. There also comes a time when justice will only be obtained if fought for.

  11. Great post Travis. Yes, justice will come but I throw out caution not to think too much about it and become a Jonah (I’m way too prone to Jonahitis) and still dwell on and pursue salvation for those we love and even those we don’t. I was married to a Norwegian once……ok, I’m not going there……..

    Have a great day 😉

    ps: I got here through Bryan.

    • Thanks for the kind words. Yep, justice is important and I point out in my article that justice will be complete on judgement day. I think that is a way to keep away from Jonahistis as you call it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,


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