Friday, January 25, 2013

On guns, God, love and hate.

Nothing is so clearly and poignantly evil than the murder of innocent lives.  Evil is rooted in hate. Hatred of self, hatred of others when fully realized leads to the most deplorable of evil acts.  Perhaps this is at the heart of the apostle’s letter when he says, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” or in Jesus’ equating of murder to hatred in the sermon on the mount. 

The idea that at the root of murder is hate stands as a warning to us all.  When we allow ourselves to be filled with hate, we succumb to the evilest passions of our being.  To hate is to reject God and the message of our common depravity instead embracing our supposed goodness over the object of our hatred.  Hatred is the very antithesis to God, because God is love.

The recent communal discussion on guns and the role they play in our society has taken a significant turn toward hatred. With time passing farther away from the latest tragedy many pro-gun individuals feel free to express this hatred through mockery or disdain for anything or anyone who would ‘take our guns away.’ Similarly, still impassioned by the heinousness of this crime others are calling people lunatics, or wishing people rot in hell who simply believe their rights are being taken away. This too is rooted in the same hatred. 

It’s easy to hate. It’s our natural stance because we are evil. The sad irony is that the church who has supposedly been set free from evil control is leading the charge from both sides. 

Instead, choose Love.  Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your father in heaven. If you love only those who love you what reward is in that?  Everyone does that. Its time for us to recognize that we must love one another in spite of our differences. We must realize that people are in different places, and have different ideas.  We must remove the idea that we are better then anyone else.

I can foresee the supposed hypocrisy in this statement. Am I not saying the same thing; that I am somehow better than those that have chosen to hate. I am not. I have done the same things. I have enjoyed the quiet ridicule of those who have no idea the difference between a M-16 and an AR-15. I have, at times, allowed the idea that because I may know more than others on this topic, I am somehow better then they are. However, I am not the standard, God is. His rule, his morality is the standard, and I am consistently trying to reject those ideas and replace them with love. That love may not lead to my changing my opinion on a topic, but it aught to change the way I interact with another person who holds a different idea. I have seen very little love. 

We are a deeply divided people, which means the light that shines from our choosing love instead of hate will shine brighter than ever. 

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