Pastor's Corner 042813

posted Apr 24, 2013, 10:08 AM by Music Director

              We were all shocked, horrified, saddened and angered by the terrorist attack in Boston at the end of its world-famous marathon 2 weeks ago tomorrow.  How hard it is to comprehend the kind of hatred that motivates people to commit such heinous acts against innocent people!  There is absolutely nothing ˗no ideology, political persuasion, religious belief or philosophy˗ that can justify such despicable acts.  They are rightly condemned by anyone who considers him/herself a civilized human being.

               As Christians, however, we must be careful in expressing our rage at such acts.  We must limit our condemnation to the acts themselves, and resist the temptation to condemn the perpetrators.  Even more, we must resist the temptation to seek revenge. 

Certainly it is right for us as a society, including believers, to seek justice.  We rightly applaud the efforts of various law enforcement agencies to capture wanted criminals, and support the justice system in trying and convicting them in courts of law.  For the good of humanity it is right that such persons be punished by incarceration, for life if necessary; and that society works toward their rehabilitation regardless of whether or not they will eventually be released. 

All human beings, including criminals, are made in the image and likeness of God, are therefore children of God (whether they recognize it or not) and so must be treated as such.  “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay them,’ says the Lord.”  (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19)  As for us, “Thou shalt not kill.”  

Equally important is to recognize that just because someone commits a despicable act in the name of his/her beliefs is no reason to condemn that particular belief system.  Islam is not evil!  Many Christians have committed similar acts in the name of Christianity.  (Remember the Klu Klux Klan?)  Does that make Christianity evil?  The problem is not religion.  The problem is people twisting religious beliefs to suit their own perverted attitudes, pride and prejudices.

This may be a bitter pill to swallow, temptations quite difficult to overcome; but Christians have no choice.  It is not our emotions that we worship and follow (or are they?)  No, it is the Lord, and the Lord alone!  And His Word in this regard is quite clear.  (A re-reading of Genesis chapter 4, the story of Cain and Abel, might help, with particular focus on verses 13-15.) 

Let us continue to pray for the victims of this hideous attack:  the 3 victims who were killed and the over 180 who were wounded, their families and friends, the people of Boston and our entire nation.  Let us also pray for the perpetrators to be forgiven, as Jesus forgave His executioners even as they drove the nails into His hands and feet; as we pray for our own forgiveness for our trespasses.  Let us pray for their families who must bear the shame and remorse for acts committed by two of their own.  And let us pray for an end to all forms of violence, which does no good, but only seems to breed more violence.  Let us pray that there will be peace on earth, and that it will begin with us!

 

                                                                    In His Love,

                                                                        Fr. Mike

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