Wednesday, June 15, 2016
What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. Isaiah 5:20(NLT)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor during World War II, knew well the face of evil. Living through a period when the unchecked power of Adolph Hitler saw the extermination of 6 million Jews, as well as the mercilessly callous treatment of all human life, including “medical” experiments on unsuspecting victims, war crimes, and the abuse of power beyond description, Bonhoeffer understood – it was not an option to be silent! He spoke up when others did not, knowing that silence in the face of evil is, itself, evil. Bonhoeffer spoke – but he also acted, joining (on at least one occasion) with others in an assassination plot to kill Hitler. Eventually Hitler returned the favor, imprisoning and eventually executing Dietrich Bonhoeffer by hanging.
This past Sunday we awoke to yet another mass casualty event. Wow, it is almost clinical and clean, neatly-organized, to use that phrase. It’s somehow a little easier on the gut to categorize these terrorist killings as “events” – it makes it a tad more bearable to not say slaughter out loud.
But it’s still slaughter!
Ideology-aside, the act of spraying bullets into a crowd, executing indiscriminately and with intent is not just war; it’s not jihad; it’s not defending your beliefs and/or family – it is slaughter; it’s evil of the highest magnitude.
Beyond basic civics and history in high school I never took a political science course, so I know I’m not the right person to speak authoritatively on how governing bodies in our world ought to respond to this international wave of guerilla murder and terror. I only know that hatred, spawned by evil intentions, has been going on since Cain lifted a rock behind Abel’s back.
And the blood still cries out to God from the ground.
And it makes me sick to think of the pain 50 families and the human community is struggling with today.
I still cannot wrap my head around the permission inside Omar Mateen’s head to repeatedly pull the trigger, snuffing out the God-given lives of those souls early Sunday morning.
I don’t expect to understand it anytime soon.
I can only lift my eyes to heaven and repeat:
Lord, in your mercy;
Christ, in your mercy;
Hear our prayer, O God; humble our hearts…and help us to speak against this madness, lest we become silently evil.
I have no neat one-line nugget of counsel for living the Christian life today. I only offer my prayer for you that Christ will give you mercy to live courageously, speak courageously and, with courage, resist the presence and intention of evil in every form.
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