October 2, 2006 § 2 Comments
And close to home. The latest school shooting was not very far from here in Lacaster County, PA– one of Matt’s and my favorite places to go. Seems some guy just randomly decided to go shoot up an Amish school house. They’re pacifists for goodness sakes!!
And apparently, some folks are saying things like “they had it coming– they are freaks..” and stuff like that. Look. For the folks who aren’t from around here, as a long time PA resident, the Amish make pretty good neighbors. It just shows me how prejudicial people are about things that they don’t understand or folks with whom they aren’t familiar.
These poor kids weren’t even targeted because they were Amish, apparently. It looks like the guy picked them because they were close and convenient and not heavily armed/guarded like public schools these days. They were picked because they were there. Another senseless horrible tragedy.
Would it have made it any better though, if the guy had specifically targetted those children for a specific purpose? Not really. It doesn’t make it any better that Osama bin Laden had his reasons for picking the Twin Towers and executing his well thought out plan compared against this guy’s random senseless violence.
Man’s ability to commit atrocities is seemingly limitless and no one is untouched by the evil of which we are capable.
Even the Amish.
February 2, 2005 § 3 Comments
I just read ‘s rant on tolerance from the other day, and had much to agree with. In the comments section she quoted Mark Henry saying “…sinners are supposed to sin…” I replied with:
“Too right! You hit the nail on the head! It really bothers me when Christians try to ‘convert the nation’ and legislate doctrine into the government. That cannot (should not) happen. *We* are the ones who are called out of this world– NOT this world. So, if someone is hypocritical about their faith– claiming to follow Christ, yet blatantly NOT, then a brother or sister in Christ has something to say about it. But we cannot expect those still in the world to act any other way than the way they are. It is vain and fruitless arguing to try and tell them otherwise. God will convict, we are simply here as ministers of reconciliation, prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within us.”
I wanted to expound on that here.
In this country especially, the “Religious Right” spins it’s wheels trying to push thru legislation to keep this country “Christian.” I hate to burst anyone’s bubble but this country is NOT Christian. NO world government can make that claim. The fact is, according to Scripture, there is only one Christian nation, and that is God’s Kingdom, made up of His people, the Church. We have been called out of this world– this world which is in darkness, and does not know the light “…men have loved the darkness…”
The wisdom of men is foolishness to God and vice-versa. What makes us so arrogant as to believe that we can foist righteousness on those who do not see it, accept it, or even WANT it? It is for God to call, and men to respond to that call, either to accept or reject. It is God who opens hearts or hardens them– not us. Our job is simply to be here to present Christ. To be salt and light. To live as examples of God’s love and mercy. To be ministers of reconciliation. If we are loving our neighbors as we love ourselves– giving them the same care and attention that we automatically give to our own needs– feeding them when they are hungry, clothing them when they are naked, sheltering them when they are cold; if we are loving our enemies and praying for them; if we walk in righteousness and humility; if we are a light in the darkness that cannot be denied, THEN shall we see change. Then our faith will be undeniable, and people will respond– either with open hearts, or closed fists.
Despite the Religious Right’s best efforts, we Christians in America do not experience true persecution. Apart from gathering a few flames on message boards here and there, it is a long time since we have been burned at the stake. Other countries (especially in the Middle East and Asia) still experience this. What is so different between us and them? I think this country, with it’s freedoms and wealth, has numbed us, and dumbed us down. The Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells of this country are viewed not as a threat, but as a joke. As long as hypocrisy is the most blatant stereotype attributed to the Church, we can pose no threat to society. It is God’s devastating love and mercy, and Who Christ is, that turns the world upside down– not prayer in schools.
If we who are called by His Name will stubbornly and quietly DO what He says– instead of sticking our nose in the wrong business, and stirring a pot that does not belong to us, then God within us will ignite a flame that cannot be put out. People will wonder where our joy comes from, how we do the things we do, and Who is this Christ that we cannot hide, for His Spirit walks beside us, and prompts us from within.
Telling homosexuals they are wrong to be gay (or anyone in whom we find sin) won’t do it. Loving them with Christ’s love, and letting Jesus work on their hearts will.