The Christian Reaction to Violence

Watching the news the other night left me utterly speechless. Recently, so many acts of violence have been perpetrated in the United States and around the world. Terrorist attacks and deadly shootings. Suicide bombings. Peaceful protests that turned violent. Religious persecution. Need I say more?

Does it not violate a person’s conscience to commit such despicable crimes? Clearly, many of them thought about their plans thoroughly, and had clear, yet terrible, motives as to why they would ever do such a thing. Even after sufficient reflection, they, using their free will, made the choice to murder innocent people. Is this not contrary to moral law?

Brothers and sisters, this is a time of crisis, and prayer becomes even more important. First, we must pray for the families, both the immediate and extended, of those who have lost their lives in despicable acts of violence. After such a tragedy, many people may be tempted to believe that God has abandoned them, question His mercy and goodness, and turn away from Him. Yet God can give comfort to those who have lost their loved ones. We must pray that those who are grieving will turn to God, rather than away from Him.

Second, we must pray for the victims themselves, so that they may be saved and enjoy everlasting peace and joy with God in heaven. Through no fault of their own, they have lost their lives; some were even in the act of defending and helping others when they died. Third, we must pray for those who are thinking of following the examples of the terrorists. We must pray that these unfortunate would-be terrorists can experience conversion and a change of heart, through God’s grace. And fourth, we must pray that government officials will make morally correct decisions while handling the crisis.

Violence cannot be solved with more violence, but only with peace. As Christians, we need to, at times, fight the temptation of getting revenge on someone who has wronged us. Christ tells us to love and pray for our enemies. Instead of responding to violence with more violence, we need to solve the problem in a more effective way – love. Through prayer, we can help stop future terrorists from attacking, offer God’s peace and comfort to grieving families, and ask for the salvation of the victims of terrible crimes.

Evil exists on earth because God respects our free will, but He still loves us all as His children. Let us pray for the conversions of those who are lost, and let us help those who are in the dark see the “Son” shine!

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