People gathered in church to read God’s word and pray.
A church known for reconciliation…
A church known for its love…
A church known for wanting all to know the love of Christ. Hatred visited that church in South Carolina last week.
Hatred that some on the left are trying to use to create more racial conflict, more anger, and more division.
On June 17, 2015, Dillan Roof entered Emanuel Methodist Episcopal Church during an evening Bible study. He stayed at the Bible study for an hour. Then he opened fire and killed 9 people.
Roof’s attack was evil – not just mentally disturbed. He was not the victim in this attack; he was the perpetrator of a heinous crime. Though he may have had issues growing up, this attack was motivated by his beliefs and attitudes, not his mental health. Beliefs and attitudes that are evil: white supremacy and segregation.
Here are our 4 observations.
1) Already, greater tearing apart of peaceful race relations has begun. But the church where the murders took place was a historical symbol of just the opposite. Dating back to the founding of America and through the Civil War, this was a church that fought for equality.
And the Christians in that church – relatives and neighbors – did what was amazing: they forgave the killer. They displayed the love of Christ in word and deed. But liberals on TV and liberal politicians are trying to create more division.
2) President Obama and the liberal media immediately politicized the event, calling for more gun control. Yet, had a member of the church had a gun, maybe more lives would have been saved.
More rules and regulations are not the solution – gun control and government cannot solve the problem. Instead, three factors are relevant. First and foremost, Roof’s hatred. In his manifesto, he displays racism towards not only blacks but also Jews and Hispanics. And he alone is responsible for the racism and hatred that led him to take nine innocent lives. Second, Roof’s poor decisions to use drugs – he reportedly abused prescription drugs and was taking Suboxone to treat drug addiction. Third, Roof’s family: allowing your teenage son to drop out of ninth grade and remain uneducated, unemployed and in isolation is parental neglect – and creates a situation that is prime for exacerbating hateful ideas and sociopathic behavior.
The liberal media attacks conservatives and anyone right-of-center for the ideas behind this attack, and neglects to mention its perpetrator. But Dillan Roof was a servant of an evil that says some people are less valuable than others, that some in fact are not made in the image of God at all.
As Gov. Bobby Jindal said, evil is real, and we cannot legislate it away.
3) Attacks on churches are continuing to rise. Assaults on pastors and people within a church have been increasing. Is your church prepared? At the church I attend, they actually look in the women’s bags.
Tragically, churches are easy targets for those who want to commit violence and evil.
Bishop Jackson urges churches to heighten security. He calls on pastors and men to prepare to defend themselves and others. When there were plots against Israel in Nehemiah, the Israelites “prayed to our God and set a guard as protection against them day and night.”
4) More violence is ahead. It’s predictable that this will not be the end of church shootings. The rise of terrorism, the growing racial tension, the increasing hostility to Christianity, and even copycat murders all point to our need for diligence.
The sin of racism is still alive in America. And religious persecution is a real threat in America. This shooting was a premeditated assault on Christians. It’s no coincidence that Roof chose a church.
Let’s pray for peace and reconciliation.
Take a look at some of the videos below:
Powerful, emotional video of victims’ families extending forgiveness to killer:http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/06/19/bond-court-dylann-roof-charleston/28991607/ (relatives’ statements begin around 2:15)
People flocked to church to pray the morning after – seeking peace, healing, and forgiveness in the midst of grief: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blLYx0PNEyo
What do you think?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org