“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.”
I am not going to rehash the tragic events from the past weekend other than to say please pray for Gabrielle Giffords and all the others, for their healing and for their families.
I am going to talk about hateful words and the place for them in the Christians life.
For the record, words do cause unstable individuals to do terrible things. The murder of abortion doctors and the bombing of abortions clinics are a couple of examples. Words also cause “normal” individuals to horrific things. Hitler used words to instigate the slaughtering of over 6 million people. Gay individuals have been beaten and murdered and have committed suicide because of words. Thoughtless, and angry words are the matches that kindle the fires of hate.
Above is the map Sarah Palin’s (a Christian?) political action committee posted during the last election targeting those members of congress that voted for health care reform, Rep. Giffords was one of them. It is hard to tell whether or not this had anything to do with the horror of the weekend but it does bring up two questions. Should Christians endorse, embrace and/or even tolerate this vitriolic form of communication? Do we as evangelicals stand against it? Evidence says no!
Multitudes of Evangelicals follow and embrace the words of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Hanging on to their every word through television, radio and print media as if there were two new gospels. Some Christians form their entire worldview according to these false prophets. Thousands of believers flock after Sarah Palin and her folky, hockey mom blather as if she is the second coming of Jesus and will rescue America from the baby killers and “homosexaul agenda”. Yet these three, plus a contingency of others from FOX News do nothing to foster peace and unity and harmony that Christians are called to strive for.
The world sees us as narrow-minded, bigoted, hateful and angry republican, tea partiers, and they miss the message of Jesus. We as Christians have done great damage the Gospel. We have presented to the world another gospel. It is time to repent and seek to be the peacemakers that God has called us to be. Stop supporting proprietor’s of hate, stop condemning, start loving. For this is what we are called to do.
2 thoughts on “Peacemakers???”
It unfortunately is not just the right wing. The president has used violent images also. We also have the fact that “war imagery” has been apart of our history and even of our faith.
Having said that, times have changed. We live in a society where information and misinformation can spread faster than ever before. We live in a society where the parents are not working from home or their farm as in the past and our children are being raised somewhat by the television. We value the person who can “tell off” their opponent the best. We live in a society where people are not being taught how to “be angry, and do not sin.” Violence among children is often dismissed as “boys will be boys” or “we need to let them sort it out”.
The imagery of violence Palin, Beck and even Obama have used does not cause the violence as you stated. But does the choice of words help promote a creative, responsible, peaceable action? We want to rally people to a cause, but perhaps we need to choose our language better because the society and culture have changed.
As a Christian, I would ask for a better use of language.
Leanne suggests a shift in language. I want more. How about some old fashioned repentence for the way we have abused, misued and manipulated the gospel to become a doctrine of bigotry and hate, a political pawn in the hands of institutionalized government and commercial media? Every election I see my brothers and sisters whipped up into a froth on both sides of the issues. I’m not interested in democrats or republicans, both are guilty. I’m not interested in liberals or conservatives, both are interwoven with the sin of having compromised the truth we know in our hearts for the pangs in our bellies and and the stiff necks of our egos. Language isn’t enough. That is merely the lip-service of the Herodean puppets, the pharasees and saducees of our day. I’d rather see us call to mind the absolute grace that was given us. I’d rather see the church stand up and say, “We’ll feed them, clothe them, bandage their wounds and care for them.” Let us as Christians lay down our picket signs and take up a plow. Sure, the world would be a better place without abortion so rather than picketing and propaganzazing and polarizing our societ, we should make it our purpose to creat a place for children. How about working toward a society that has a few MORE options rather than fighting to eliminate the few we dislike? Our gospel is truly one of love and acceptance but who would know that from the outside? Mark is right on this and when we allow ourselves to be manipulated and used by the media, both right and left, for political or economic purposes, we prostitute the gospel and think, actually think, we are fighting against evil while we do it. Crazy, just crazy.