Billy's Blog
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December 3, 2015, 10:08 AM

Responding to Hate

Yesterday at a government building in San Bernadino, CA two people, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, killed 14 people and wounded 17 by opening fire with automatic weapons. Apparently, Farook was employed by the county and left the Christmas party in an apparent angry state. He came back a little while later and the story unfolds from there. 

We don't know much about these two, and I don't know how much we ever will. They were both killed by police yesterday. There is a third suspect in custody but who knows what we'll ever really know about this horrific incident. 

As I was driving in my truck listening to a news station's coverage of the shooting I just became angry. What a waste. Here are people just working, having a work Christmas party, just living their lives, and for no apparent reason are gunned down. Unfortunately I believe it's more than just "no apparent reason." There is hate in this world. We don't want to believe it, but it's true. We want to believe that if we are nice, Christian people who for the most part treat people well, then we will also be treated well. 

In Matthew 10:22 Jesus says, "You will be hated by everyone because of me..."

John 15:18 He said, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."

Christians are hated all over the world, why do you think America would be any different. There are people who kill Christians simply because they are you think America will be exempt from this for some reason?

There are many reactions and responses to this type of hate that we see in our country.

Some are eager to pass new laws in an attempt to stop criminals who hate. I don't know if you understand what a criminal is, but a criminal is someone who does NOT FOLLOW LAWS. More laws do not stop criminals. 

Some are eager to come up with a conspiracy theory to explain the hate away. There are conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shooting, saying that it never happened. Try explaining this hoax to the parents of the 20 first graders who were shot and killed. 

Some are eager to blame. Just a few days ago there was a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Instead of blaming the crazed lunatic who did the shooting, people are blaming the videos that have come out exposing Planned Parenthood for selling baby parts. 

We see many reactions, but what are the right reactions. In other words, how did Jesus react?

How Jesus handled injustice and wrongs

In John chapter two Jesus enters the temple area, actually it was the area that the non-Jews could go to, and finds all these men cheating people. The people did have to buy their sacrificial animals there, but they were being gouged by the men and the temple was being turned into a marketplace. This infuriated Jesus and he got a whip and he turned over tables and made these people leave. Jesus had righteous anger over the mistreatment of both the people and the temple. There was a great injustice being done, and Jesus got directly involved in it. Sometimes Christians have to stand up and protect people whether they are policeman or just co-workers. 

In Mark chapter ten people were bringing their small children to Jesus. For whatever reason the disciples rebuked them and tried to send them away. Jesus became angry with the disciples and told them to bring the children to him. He saw an injustice being done by his own followers and he fixed it. 

So I believe that sometimes we have to get directly involved in helping fight an injustice and help protect people. Jesus himself told his disciples to buy a sword. (Luke 22:36) I read many different commentaries on this and many commentaries try to explain this away, because we cannot imagine Jesus allowing his disciples to have a sword. We read about Jesus in the Garden and Peter is rebuked for cutting off the soldier's ear. It wasn't that self-defense was wrong, but Jesus knew that this was not his mission. He had a clear mission to be arrested and die for our sins. I don't think Jesus allowed them to have sword so they could cut their meat at supper time. I believe it was clearly for self-defense. 

The main mission of Jesus is still our mission

As he did over and over again, Jesus reached out to the least of these. In Luke 19 this particular one was a tax collector named, Zaccheus. He was hated by most people because he was a cheat and he admitted as much to Jesus when offered to pay back four times the amount he'd stolen from people. Jesus tells Zaccheus that he want to go to his house and the religious leaders are just appaled. How dare he go to the house of a sinner? Jesus responded to them with these words, "For the Son of Man came to seek and the save the lost." Luke 19:10

Whenever Jesus was criticized for being with people the religious leaders thought he should not be with, he reminded them of his mission. He did it in Matthew chapter nine when he was criticized for having supper with Matthew and all of his "sinner" friends. 

Jesus did get angry about injustice. He did take action to help right wrongs against people. But his main mission was simply to seek and save the lost. He knew that this was the only thing that would really change lives. 

We are faced with a real hate epidemic in our country and in our world. While there may be room for war and fighting injustices and hate, this will only temporarily stop anything. What really changes lives is a conversion to follow Jesus Christ. This is what we must be after. No amount of laws will do it...the Bible teaches that the only thing law does is point out wrongdoing. Laws and legislation don't change lives. 

As we watch the horror of hate on our televisions, let's be driven to be more ambitious to share the love of Christ with our neighbors, friends, co-workers, family, and strangers. Let's be made aware of the reality that those who do not have Jesus our bound to a place that none of us really want to think about. Ultimately, lets be driven by our love for lost souls who desperately need the salvation that only comes through Jesus Christ. 

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