The Hatred of Mass Shootings by AChuckAllen
It seems so incredibly terrible that we now have to think of an active shooter at every place that large groups gather. I am beyond greived that this is the new normal in America. This evil could happen anywhere in our country.
There is no explaining how an individual can be so overcome by evil that they might actually load a magazine and empty it’s contents into the bodies of unarmed, innocent people. I understand that many of these evil perpetrators are mentally ill, but even in that state, it requires an evil presence that extends beyond the typical barbarian bigotry that resides in their souless person.
My heart breaks for the families in El Paso and Dayton. My heart still breaks for the familes at Sandy Hook, Charleston and Columbine. I am not here to ask for more stringent laws for guns, although I must ask, “why does any civilian need an assault rifle with extra large magazines filled with enough amunition to reel off multiple deaths in a few seconds?”
I am appealing to the churches and the people that attend them to rise up in a radical force of graciousness, kindness and service to our neighbors! I am asking each of you that read this article to start where you are and offer a graciousness to every person that your life crosses paths with. I am asking you use what you have and extend grace to the extent that it changes the narrative from what is wrong in our society to what is great about walking in the peace, power and presence of Jesus, the Son of the Living God! I am asking each of you to do what you can, and create an attitude of servanthood, that causes you to act more like Jesus and serve others as His story of the Good Samaritan describes.
I greatly appreciated the wise words of Dr. Jim Denison in the wake of these needless killings – “While society should obviously take all effective measures to protect itself, here’s my biblical point: Jesus can change any life he touches. He can heal any trauma. He can redeem any crisis. The God who turned a murdering Pharisee into a missionary of grace can transform anyone. The more secularized our culture becomes, the more evangelistic our churches must become. The more people during a crisis ridicule our prayers, the more they need our prayers. The more traumatized and victimized our society, the more vital our compassion.
As I write this article, I am on the way to El Paso to help minister to first responders and families that have been scarred forever by the evil hatred deployed by a madman intent on breaking our will and thus allowing evil to win.
I beg you, do not allow hate to win! Don’t allow the wild-eyed, bigoted haters infect you with their vile evil. Do not let the fear of hate-filled evildoers rob you of your peace! Do not give in to bigotry and to those who spew it from their mouths! Don’t buy the lies that good and godly people are extinct! To give in is to join these wicked, cowardly people in their desire to rid our world of people created in the image of God.
I plead with you to not join the ranks of “us versus them” in your conversations. Please don’t join the likes of talk show pundits on the right or left side of the aisle. To do is to grant the wish of every evil shooter that has ever walked the face of this planet. This isn’t about Republicans, Democrats, Independants or politics. This the result of sin and hate-filled hearts. Yes, politics and policy are part of the discussion, but we must cease the rediculous finger pointing and blame game.
The only way to defeat hate is to overwhelm it with love. Like many of you, I enjoy a good ol rip roaring dress down of whoever “the other side is.” But friend, we cannot afford to only see solutions in others! We can no longer cast blame to whoever or whatever is the “other side.” We can no longer fall prey to the ratings demons that clammer for our attention as we nod our heads as though the shtick they play is the gospel truth. We must have an answer within us, before the problem comes to our door. That solution has been clearly described in the four gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In short, it is a world striving to live more like Christ and walking away from the bait cast before us as though we were being fished for, only to be weighed, fileted and displayed as co-conspiritors in Satan’s grand game of evil.
For the first time in my ministry, I received a threat that disturbed me. I feared for my family, my church and my community. But hear me! I will not be detoured from the high calling to love one another and neither should you. It is in that faith-filled commitment that we will regain the sanity of this run amuck evil.
I cannot adequately write how desperately I long for you to stand firm on the foundation of Jesus and proclaim in your words, actions, attitudes and convictions, that He was right when He walked on this earth and He is still right. We are to love one another. We are to love white people, brown people, black people and all people. We are to love the immigrant, the migrant, the Muslim, the Jew, the Athiest, and the Hindu. We are to love gay people and straight people, the transgender and the redneck. We are to love the rich, the impoverished, the single mom, the addict, the widow, the orphan and the hardliner. We are to love each other. Not just those we agree with, but love others…period!
If you are sick of this evil, stop blaming congress, the administration, the gun, the educational system, or the government! Take a deep and sincere look at your own heart and ask where bigotry, hate, anger, pettiness or unconfessed sin might remain in your heart. Confess that before the God of all Creation and receive His forgiveness…and then open up your heart and hands to love people into a radical, life-altering relationship with His Son.
For those of you that know me, you know that I can be sarcastic, quick tempered and completely biased. I am asking you to hold me accountable to a higher standard! I am part of the problem and I desire to part of the solution. Will you join me in taking the high road when everything is screaming to take a bite of justice on your own? Will you join me in seeking to take the lowest possible position and serve others in the model of Jesus, instead of demanding more rights? Will you lay down your pitchfork long enough to allow the voice of reason, found in a daily walk with God to shock you into the trust that God can and will deal with evil, if we will simply trust Him more and enough?
One last thought, for those of you that might say, “Chuck, that’s just preacher-talk.” Will you try the way of Christ before you jump to earthly assumptions? I think you know what assuming does to us.
Choose Peace Today,