June 12, 2009

How Do We React To Violence?

With all of the violence we have heard about lately, I've been thinking a lot about how to deal with it.

I mean, we've got two wars in the Middle East, Dr. Tiller being killed in his church, Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns (the security guard at the Holocaust Museum who was killed today), and all the other horrible things that are going on.

Dr. Tiller was an abortion provider who specialized in late term abortions. Now, I'm a pro-life person and didn't like what he did for a living. However, it doesn't mean that killing him is okay! Didn't Jesus say to love our enemies? Didn't God tell us to forgive 70X7?! What happened to that? Every life is precious. What gets into peoples' heads that makes them think it's right to kill someone? Yes, some of us believe that abortion is morally wrong, but when we take the law into our own hands, we are no better than the people we're upset with.

The latest killing of Officer Johns really affected me. I've wanted to visit the Holocaust Museum many times, but for one reason or another, I never got over there. I've lived in the DC area most of my life and yet I can't seem to get downtown to honor all those who were killed by the Nazis. I can't imagine how I would have felt if I had visited only to have this crazy man walk in and start shooting!

Now, how should I react to these things? Let's see... Proverbs 20:22 says: "Do not say, 'I'll pay you back for this wrong!' Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you."

Micah 7:18-19 says: "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."

Matthew 5:24: "Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift."

Then there is Matthew 5:44-45: "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven..."

God commands us to forgive. There is no choice in the matter! Is it easy? No, but it's what we are called to do as Christians. I forgive these people for doing such evil as taking another's life, especially those who kill in the name of God. They will no doubt have a lot to answer for when they meet their Maker!

In response to the latest act of violence, I intend to make a donation to the Holocaust Museum. I hope you, dear reader, will consider doing the same.

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