The work of a detective, private or public, real or fictional, is to find out "Whodunit" in order that justice might prevail. We have read and seen enough detective stories to be familiar with the process. At the present time, however, the process is becoming quite complicated.

In the first place, it is increasingly difficult these days to determine who, exactly, commits the crimes of the world. This is due to the fact that society is now so organized and institutionalized that the role of the individual has been largely obscured if not altogether lost. Consequently it is well nigh impossible to "pin" a crime on any individual anymore. If an evil deed is done within the confines of his government, his company, his union, or even his immediate society, it cannot be laid at HIS feet for goodness sake. After all, he is only a tiny, very inconsequential part of the system. If the said crime was committed HE certainly did not do it, although he may have been instrumentally "involved" somewhere along the way. Thus the usual plea is, "I had nothing to do with it. It was not my decision. Do not blame me."

Blame? The question of blame presents even more difficulties. Once upon a time not so long ago, when the world was uncomplicated and man was simple minded, the problem of solving a crime was merely a matter of finding out "Whodunit." Back then the "one who done it" and the guilty party were always one and the same. To find one was to find the other. Alas, this is no longer so. Today a person actually caught in a criminal act is not necessarily guilty on that account. By no means. GUILT means being "liable to or deserving of penalty." Though he may indeed have "done it" and been caught red-handed in the act, this is no longer sufficient to prove culpability. To the contrary, there is a strong possibility that the one who commits a crime will turn out NOT to be responsible for what he did at all, therefore not to blame, therefore "not guilty." As a matter of fact, the more vicious his crime the less likely he is to be held accountable. In the end the culprit may be judged to be the "victim of society" rather than the other way around.

In many ways you can see a parallel between crime and sin here. Crime is a sin against society. Sin is a crime against God. Since it is a human instinct reaching all the way back to Adam to try to escape personal responsibility for wrongdoing, it is not the least bit strange that men would devise ingenious methods of separating themselves from the sins they commit. So the frequent refrain is heard, "Yes, I did it. But you can't blame me because ........... "What goes in the blank can be one of a dozen common excuses or sophisticated theories. The conclusion is always the same however. It reads, "I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT I HAVE DONE." A greater error has yet to be conceived.

The willingness to accept full responsibility for our own deeds is one indication of maturity. It is a basic ingredient of true freedom. It also is just about the first requisite for having a right relationship with God. When it comes to sin, if we DID it, we may as well take the responsibility. We have it whether we like it or not.