In the context of responding to the tragic shooting in Connecticut in December, Ravi Zacharias dealt briefly with the culture of violence that we live in. He specifically directed his thought toward young males in our culture. I offer this short excerpt tonight as a quick glimpse into an issue that I’ve been wrestling with for quite some time now. The issue of violence, and particularly the celebration of it and sense of inevitability that comes when speaking of violence doesn’t settle in my soul with any kind of peace. But to what extent do I denounce it? Where is the line between good sense and pacifism? What would Christ Himself say about the culture of guns and war that we live in here in America?
I don’t claim answers at this point, but I am searching and praying and pondering much. I feel like this issue is bigger than this moment for me, and for the church. I fear that where we “come down” on this, and related issues, will give the world a glimpse of who we are more apt to follow – Jesus or comfort and temporal security. That being said, I can not simply step over the line to a full position of opposition toward both national and self defense.
To keep me from any more circular thoughts I offer this short piece from Zacharias:
There is one more thing. It is so obvious but is seldom ever addressed. All these recent mass murders have been done by men. Many of them young men, yes, even mere boys. Jonesboro, Columbine, Virginia Tech, now Newtown. Is there something within our culture that doesn’t know how to raise strength with dignity and respect? Is this how boys are meant to be? From bloodletting in hockey games while thousands cheer to savagery in school shootings while thousands weep, we must ask ourselves what has gone wrong with us men? Where are the role models in the home? Is knocking somebody down the only test left for strength? Is there no demonstration now of kindness, gentleness, courtesy, and respect for our fellow human beings? One young man on death row in Angola Prison told me that he started his carnage as a teenager. Now in his thirties with the end of the road in sight, he reached his hand out to me and asked me to pray with him. Life was lost at the altar of power and strength.
– Ravi Zacharias
If you have an opinion I’m open to hearing it, if not, I understand. The journey continues for many of us, and the journey is just as much a part of this as the end.
Blessings my friends.