Friday, April 20, 2007

People Kill People

Again we reel from yet another outpouring of rage & violence in our society. The recent shootings at Virginia Tech are awful. Some people say Cho Seung-Hui was the problem. Some people say the easy access to the guns were the problem. I say it was both -- and neither.

My internal struggle is this: behind the arrogance & narrow-mindedness; despite the misgivings I have with each one, I can still read a couple glimmers of truth between-the-lines of these editorials by Tom Pate & Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent and the NRA say "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."
Tom Pate & others say "People with guns kill people."

I believe we should have gun restrictions which are much more strict than they currently are, but it also makes sense to me this alone is insufficient to solve the problem.

I say, simply but sadly, "People kill people." All the way back to Cain & Abel. In a very real sense, I suppose, Eve & Adam killed us all.A reimagining of the story of Cain & AbelMartin Luther King, Jr. said it better than I could, when he addressed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on 16th August 1967 in Atlanta, Georgia:
I'm concerned about a better world. I'm concerned about justice; I'm concerned about brotherhood; I'm concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.

And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems. And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn't popular to talk about it in some circles today. And I'm not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love; I'm talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate.
Dr. King believed and lived this way because he learned it in his head and in his heart from The Master, Jesus. I see a progression in Jesus' teachings.

In John 8:12 Jesus said "I am the Light of the world"

In John 9:5 Jesus said "As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the World."

In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus said to His followers (and therefore, by extension, to us today):
You are the light of the world.
Now go live like that
so people will know God is love.
(paraphrase mine)
I'm not sure how it will look but I, for one, would like to quit cursing the darkness, and instead seek Jesus' heart for how I can be a better and brighter candle.

~ Keith

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keith,

I love your closing statement! And I love the fact that sometimes someone seeking the heart of Jesus, like you, manifests his better, brighter candle in someone's life with a history like Cho's soon and often enough that the person will no longer choose to become another Cho in his fullness.

Such Light-filled intervention makes me so very grateful that acid heads, alcoholics, sexaholics and intelligence worshippers that received and walked in the Light showed me their candles! I needed more than wanted THAT Light at the time! Nevertheless, I did not walk further into darkness after I met THE Light in the Person of Jesus Christ. And I am so thankful that he is helping me get a little better and brighter in Him.

Multiple candles are being put on a shared lamp stand in a wonderful way at Virginia Tech. -I ran across this article "Compassion: Students Forgive Virginia Tech Killer" the other day. (http://wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_107170729.html)

While this story may have made one of the national network or cable news outlets, I missed it if it did. The local media market here in my neck of the Canadian woods never touched on it.

Again, Keith, I agree with your closing statement, but the absence of this kind of Good News coverage makes me wonder if, even under the darkest of circumstances, "men love darkness more than the Light" so much that they will not allow Jesus heart changing Love to be seen through the Light reflecting candles of those found in the article mentioned above.

I trust, this observation is not "cursing darkness". Rather, it is, at best, acknowledging that the "media" typically avoids Good News stories of candles and Light. At worst, it is an accurate portrayal of yet another deep dimension of darkness for what it is.

So what? We should recognize darkness for what it is, but rather than "curse" it (i.e. the people through whom it manifests), we should seek to shine our candles toward and into it.

The "mainstream media" is a punching bag for many Christians I know -- to often, including me. Let's find a way to reach them with the Light of Jesus Christ instead. Here's one way:

Just a few days ago I sent an affirming email with the Web link to the article to a very popular local radio talk show host. Honestly, I did not have the opportunity to tune in the next day. Whether the talk show made it on one of his "talk segments" or not, one thing likely did happen: He probably read the article and saw some light. -A little light here, a little light there and what do you know ... a new candle has joined THE LIGHT! :o)

Joseph Martin

P.S. I hope there are other "Can Opener Boy Translation" readers that can testify that this Good News story did, indeed, get it's fair share of media coverage and more.

Madison Richards said...

wow... always meaty around here.

thanks for your thoughts and your heart!