Friday, December 6, 2013
In the Central African Republic there are men with machine guns who are killing other people. They refer to themselves as "Christian Militants" but don't you believe it for a minute.
There is no such thing as a "Christian Militant" who goes around shooting his enemies. Just as there is no such thing as "Open Secrets" or "A Fine Mess" and just as no one can ever be "Almost Pregnant" or "A Little Drunk", there can also never be any such thing as a "Christlike Killer".
Would Jesus throw a grenade into a Mosque? Would Jesus bust a cap into someone who didn't agree with his views? Would Jesus set a bomb to kill innocent people at a train station?
No, he would not. How could anyone ever imagine that he would?
That is why a "Christian" - which by definition is someone who follows the teachings of Jesus - can never take a weapon in hand and fire a bullet into their heart. Because once that person does such a thing, they cease to be like Jesus.
Certainly, Christians are capable of failure when it comes to following Him. We've all fallen short of the high calling of Jesus Christ. And for those who have killed others in war, or in the line of duty, can always repent of their sinful actions and receive the full and complete forgiveness of Jesus.
But what a Christian cannot do is to continually kill others in the name of nationalism, or political ideology, or "freedom" or anything else. Not even in the Name of Jesus. Especially not in the Name of Jesus.
So, when you read news stories like this one you can't accept the words "Christian Militant" at face value. There is no such thing as a "Christian Militant" who takes the life of other human beings who are made in the image of Christ.
"The nation was in shock. This does not happen in our country," said Thora Arnorsdottir, news editor at RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.
She was referring to a 59-year old man who was shot by police on Monday. The man, who started shooting at police when they entered his building, had a history of mental illness.
It's the first time someone has been killed by armed police in Iceland since it became an independent republic in 1944. Police don't even carry weapons, usually. Violent crime in Iceland is almost non-existent.
"The nation does not want its police force to carry weapons because it's dangerous, it's threatening," Arnorsdottir says. "It's a part of the culture. Guns are used to go hunting as a sport, but you never see a gun."
In fact, Iceland isn't anti-gun. In terms of per-capita gun ownership, Iceland ranks 15th in the world. Still, this incident was so rare that neighbors of the man shot were comparing the shooting to a scene from an American film.
The Icelandic police department said officers involved will go through grief counseling. And the police department has already apologized to the family of the man who died — though not necessarily because they did anything wrong.
"I think it's respectful," Arnorsdottir says, "because no one wants to take another person's life. "
There are still a number of questions to be answered, including why police didn't first try to negotiate with man before entering his building.
"A part of the great thing of living in this country is that you can enter parliament and the only thing they ask you to do is to turn off your cellphone, so you don't disturb the parliamentarians while they're talking. We do not have armed guards following our prime minister or president. That's a part of the great thing of living in a peaceful society. We do not want to change that. "
READ FULL STORY HERE>
"You are not your job.
You're not how much money you have in the bank.
You're not the car you drive.
You're not the contents of your wallet.
The things you own end up owning you.
What are we? We're consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession.
Murder; crime; poverty; these things don't concern me.
What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra."
Thursday, December 5, 2013
How can those who say they follow the Prince of Peace shoot their enemies? How can those who say they have experienced the transformational power of love and forgiveness kill 12 civilian citizens and wound 30 others? How can Christians murder children?
It has to start with a redefinition of the term "Christian" from "one who obeys Jesus" to "one who is in agreement with a set of doctrinal statements". Then one may behave however one likes without doing violence to the concept of "being like Christ" as a prerequisite for identifying with Jesus.
Over and over again, we read news items with headlines that reveal the sad news:
"Christian Tutsi's Slaughter Thousands Of Their Hutu Brothers in Rwanda"
"UN Reports That Armed Christian Groups Known As "Anti-Balaka" Have Killed 12 Muslims in Central African Republic"
Is this what Jesus had in mind? Did Jesus come to earth as an infant, and teach us to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us - and Himself forgive those who nailed him to a Roman cross - so that those who come after Him could form an army and slaughter their enemies?
This is the same Jesus who said, "My Kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my disciples would fight." (see John 18:35-37)
So, if we fight, are we truly His disciples? Or are we fighting for the wrong kingdom?
Yes. When we take up arms and kill our enemies we are doing so for the kings and kingdoms of this fallen world.
As a follower of Jesus, there are many things worth dying for, but there is nothing - nothing - worth killing another human being for.
What could make me betray my Lord Jesus and take another life in disobedience to His clear commands to love and forgive? If I am more loyal to my nation than I am to Jesus, then I am not fit for His Kingdom.
“If any man come to Me and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." - Jesus (Luke 14:26)
So, let's be clear: Someone who is like Jesus cannot take up arms and kill another human being. Anyone who does this, in the name of God, or country, or patriotism, or national pride, or "freedom" is doing so in outright defiance of Jesus.
If Jesus is Lord, then let us obey His commands:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 4hat you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:43-48)
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
"There's the television. It's all right there - all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray. Commercials! We're not productive anymore. We don't make things anymore. It's all automated. What are we for then? We're consumers, Jim. Yeah. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you're a good citizen. But if you don't buy a lot of stuff, if you don't, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally ill. Fact, Jim, fact: If you don't buy things - toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers..."