Christians are unique in how we face adversity and tragedy in our lives. We’re called to deal with them according to the teaching of our Lord and savior, Jesus. This is the commitment we made to ourselves and to Him when we accepted Him into our lives and accepted the forgiveness and reconciliation He offers all of us. Our greatest struggles are the ones that arise between the world’s way and His way. We face a choice. We can stumble by accepting the world’s way; or we can embrace His way as we are expected to, by both Him and ourselves.
Sometimes this is easy. And, as we know, anyone can do it when it’s easy. It’s when it’s most difficult that our #faith and our walk with Jesus is challenged. These challenges takes many shapes. There is no greater challenge than a tragedy caused by senseless, hate filled violence. When a tragedy is senseless, hate filled and violent politicians, political strategists, activists (both political and religious), and the media all have something to say about the tragedy.
Political extremists on both side, which there seems to be no shortage of, must, by their own programming, blame those they believe to be their adversaries for the tragedy. Activists and the media also will engage in reckless rhetoric to help them fulfill their own agendas. They’ll explain the tragedy to us in terms that help them move their worldly agendas forward, regardless of how much truth there is in their explanations.
By know we all know that on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Dylan Root, shot twelve people – killing nine – at a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist #church in Charleston, South Carolina. Our hearts and prayers are with the victims, the families of the victims, our brothers and sisters of Emanuel African Methodist Church and the all of the people of Charleston, South Carolina. They are all in our hearts and prayers.
It didn’t take long for the reckless rhetoric to begin. Politicians and the media are already diving us into black and white. Liberal and Conservative extremists are placing blame. Todd Rutherford, a South Carolina state rep blames Fox News. NRA board member, Charles Cotton, blamed the #Pastor, Clementa Pinckey, who was killed in the attack. Cotton blamed Pinckey for opposing concealed carry laws during his tenure as a State Senator. Hillary Clinton said in an interview that we need to have a candid conversation about discrimination, hate and prejudice.
Longtime Democratic strategist, Bob Shrum, said in an interview on MSNBC on Friday that a greater tragedy was averted because no at the Bible study had a concealed gun. His words made it sound like there would have a huge shootout if someone had a gun on them. An article by Al Vann on the Blaze on Monday, said he was uplifted by the unity of the African American and white communities coming together in the wake of this tragedy. He calls it uplifting. President Obama called the family members of the victims an example of the decency and goodness of the American people in response to their words to and about Dylan Root.
All of this rhetoric have two thing in common. The first is that they show a complete lack of understanding of who we are as Christians. The second is that they ignore a fundamental truth that none of these people and organizations want to accept and acknowledge. That truth is that this was an attack on Christians. Its purpose was to destroy or faith and our walk with Jesus. It was meant to craee a rift of anger to divide us from one another.
There are some among us who will accept some or all of the reckless rhetoric being put out there. I hope and I pray, as we should, that they few – and that they will eventually see the rhetoric for what it is.
Christianity is under attack in America. #Christian #persecution is rising at an alarming rate. Why is this happening? It’s happening because Jesus was attacked and persecuted first. He tells us this in scripture. No one in the history of humanity is more hated and reviled than Jesus. His only crime is that He loves us all equally and unconditionally. He also told us how to deal with these attacks and persecution. The same way He did. He faced them with love and forgiveness in His heart. This is what He expects us to do.
Our brothers and sisters at Emanuel African Methodist Church are doing just that. The daughter of Ethel Lance, one of the victims, said to Dylan Root: “You hurt a lot of people, but God forgive you, and I forgive you.” Felicia Sanders, the mother of Tywanza Sanders said: “May God have mercy on you.”
The people of Charleston came together to comfort their fellow citizens, showing the decency and goodness of the American people. Christians came together in Charleston to comfort and console one another. That’s His way. Christians came together in unity to strengthen and reinforce His teaching. That’s His way. Christians expressed their forgiveness for the attack against their family and their church. That’s His way. Christians around the world prayed and continue to pray for the victims, their families, their church and their city. That’s His way. We live a life of love, compassion, forgiveness and mercy. That’s His way. That’s what it means to be Christian.[wpurp-searchable-recipe]What It Means to Be Christian – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]