From the Pastor
Making sense of senseless violence, as occurred in NZ, is almost impossible; but we must try.
Hatred is a destructive force. It begets more hate, and descends into a death spin. Nothing good comes from it. Hatred can come from any side: From the right, from the left, from the religious and from the atheist.
‘They started it’ is a juvenile argument. There are voices among moderate Muslim’s and the leftist media who are blaming right wing extremists as hate merchants. There are counter voices among the right who argue militant Islam started it. One has about as much chance winning this argument as you do the chicken egg argument. Attributing blame is often a thinly veiled attempt to vindicate our own position; I was provoked.
The West lacks a common positive narrative that keeps hatred in check. In a world where you can decide what is right for you, why are we surprised that some people adopt extreme positions. Our lack of absolutes creates an environment where people are looking for certainty, extreme positions promise that.
Love and forgiveness are virtues that offer a path forwards, but they require a divine nudge. It is not natural or normal for people to find these virtues inside themselves in sufficient quantities to respond to the evil in our world.
Part of the role of religion is to discourage evil and encourage good. Mahammad was a warlord; Jesus summarises his teaching as ‘Love God and neighbour’. Both are historically undeniable facts.
The abhorrence against what happened in NZ is right and proper. The media’s non-reporting of the 93 Christians killed in Nigeria is wrong and biased.
Peace will only reign when Jesus returns. Whatever others do we ought to be known for our love.