We live in a violent world! We have all recently experienced the horror of mass killings, church shootings and terror acts both locally and around the world. Most of us just do not understand how or why people can be filled with such hatred for each other. How does such a lack for the value and sacredness of life exist? How does a person get to the point of taking another life? How do we all become so used to this that we simply move on with our own lives a couple of days after a tragedy?
Unfortunately, our first thoughts concerning a proper response to these events exposes our own condition. Do we declare our political opinions and how we should propose a particular policy to become law? Do we organize a retaliation that further perpetuates more violence? Do we suggest we “wipe the whole bunch” off the map? What does our response, both inward and outward, reveal about the heart of man and the state of civilization in general? After a close examination and logical realization, we realize that violence is the very foundation of our existence! In the story of Cain and Abel we see violence erupt when Cain was displeased with the Creator’s thoughts of his and Abel’s offering. “It just isn’t fair!” “It’s not right!” Our own views and opinions of “right and wrong” cause violent outburst from inside us! Why? I believe it is because violence is in our “fallen DNA”! Violence was Cain’s first response to what he felt was unjust. After this event Cain “goes out from God’s presence and dwells in Nod.” So here we have it! The first known civilization in the world was founded upon violence!
I am convinced that we do not fully appreciate the power of our fallen natures and how contrary it is to the nature of God! All through the narrative of the Old Testament we see violence perpetuated! What was the reason and basis for all of the blood shed? It is interesting that God told David he would not see the fulfillment of some things “because he had experienced so much violence and bloodshed”. If Jesus is the “express image of God” and “His exact representation” then it would seem the life of Christ would express and reveal the nature of God! Jesus says “love and pray for your enemies” and to “pray for those who despitefully use you” and also to “turn the other cheek”! Okay, I know I just lost some readers right there. I don’t pretend to have all the answers much less pretend to be perfectly Christlike. Let’s at least admit that things are amiss! More to come……….