Dr. Mohler had a blog entry about the BTK killer and his pastor. He says, among other things:
Rev. Michael G. Clark is a deeply committed man. I know this because The New York Times reports that he was at the sentencing hearing yesterday for Dennis L. Rader, the infamous B.T.K. killer in Wichita, Kansas. Rader, now one of the nation's most notorious serial killers, was sentenced to ten life terms in prison for a brutal series of slayings that terrorized Wichita for years. He avoided the death penalty, but will not be eligible for parole for 175 years.
Pastor Clark comes into the story because he serves as pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Wichita. When arrested earlier this year, Rader had just taken over as president of the church's congregational council. He had actually taken one of his victims to the church and had hidden torture tools in the church's shed. He was caught when police traced him through a church computer he had carelessly used.
The paper reports that Pastor Clark sat in the courtroom reading Psalm 51, even as the grieving family members of the victims poured out their sorrow and testified of their loss. When Rader addressed the court, he pointed to Pastor Clark as his "main man," adding, "If there's anybody I was dishonest to, it's that man right there."
So, why was he at the courtroom? In an interview with the paper, Pastor Clark explained, "I just tell people . . . would you want me to stop coming to see you if I were your pastor?"
All I know is that in this very public moment of national attention — with every reason to run and hide — this pastor sat in the courtroom and read Psalm 51. That was a demonstration of rare pastoral courage, given by a man who must surely bear a broken heart. It should not go unnoticed.
Along these lines, I was watching the news several days ago (This hotel only has CNN, so I don't have it on all the time) and saw Dennis Rader on TV. It was a report in response to his sentencing. The families of his victims–at least the ones shown on the report–were full of hate. They really hated this man. Dennis was then able to speak.
I don't have the exact quote, but the jist of what I heard was him saying that he hoped by turning himself in he would get some favor with God. What went through my mind was that he was worried about his salvation…about going to heaven.
The Bible tells us that the only way to be forgiven for our sins is through the blood of Christ (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9, Romans 10:13, Romans 5:1, Romans 8:1, Romans 8:38-39). We cannot "work" our way to salvation. Now, being forgiven by God doesn't mean that we don't have to put up with the consequences (for an example of this, see how God dealt with Israel after they refused to go into the promised land and what God told them when they wanted to go after they heard what would happen.).
So, in conclusion…what Dennis did was wrong. He must suffer the consequences. However, God still desires that no one–you, me, and Dennis–would go to hell (see the verses above). God sent His son to die on the cross while we were still in our sin. God loved us then knowing what our lives would be like. The only way to restor our fellowship and relationship with Him is to accept His gift. I wish I knew how I could communicate this to Dennis.