Last night, like many of you, I learned of the riots going on in Baltimore. It seems like more and more this is becoming a commonplace occurrence and I decided I just needed to write *something* about it.
I try not to express all my opinions here and I play it safe most of the time to avoid controversy. I’m Christian and I believe in peace.
With all that said… I still didn’t really know what to write, but I wanted to write. I wanted to get out my frustration, my anger and my sadness.
Then our pastor spoke to us about a passage from 2 Timothy 3:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
I came home and read that verse. And then found this is verse 9: “But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
I also read an article this week about how the church is offending people by not being loving enough, not being forgiving enough and, oddly, for both having TOO much to offer (with our fancy praise bands – which my church actually does not have) and also not ENOUGH (because the church speaks in a dusty language that is too antiquated.) (So are we supposed to be hip with the praise band or old and curmudgeonly with our “dusty” words?) (Read it for yourself here.)
This person didn’t write this to actually tell the church what they were doing wrong. He wrote this piece to get a rise out of people. (It worked for me…) He did it because he probably has been hurt by a church in his lifetime and, perhaps, never truly loved in a way like God loves. Sadly, he’s never been to a church that expresses God’s love in the way that they should (or maybe just not in a way HE thinks they should.) He thinks he’s right in his rash and conceited way. But it’s really just a generalization. And he did it in an unforgiving and unloving manner – exactly what he is accusing the church of being.
2 Timothy is coming to fruition. People are lovers of themselves – not God. They care more about their money, their “bling,” their status and their proud, boastful moments than they do about anything else. They are without love, forgiveness, self-control and are BRUTAL to one another.
Don’t like what I have to say? Well, just go ahead and yell obscenities at me or, for that matter, just shoot me. That’s the answer now isn’t it? Isn’t that how it works now? That’s how it worked this weekend in a local bar.
Don’t like that I hate abortions because I think it is the killing of an innocent life? Oh well. Let’s not just agree to disagree. Let’s get into a fist fight instead. Or a shootout.
Think that, because I’m white, I don’t have any love or compassion for a black person? Well, I guess that gives you the right to throw a garbage can at me. Without even ASKING me first my true opinions.
Do you think this world will heal and be able to move forward when there is this kind of hate in the world? The people of this world are becoming treacherous, brutal individuals … gee, where have I heard that before?
I have friends in Baltimore. Friends with children who are just trying to live a nice, peaceful, normal life. They were only several blocks from the riots. My friend was working in his garage, with his little son assisting him, just trying to have a normal life. He had no idea there was anything even going on at the time. No cause to think, “I should keep my child inside today.” He had no clue, that only blocks away people were being beaten just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. For being a couple of blocks closer than he was.
Fortunately, the riots did not come to his neighborhood.
But what if they had? When does it stop?
Consider some of these last words of the Bible: See, I am coming soon, and I will bring My reward with Me. I will pay back every person according to the deeds he has done. Rev. 22: 12
What deeds will you get your reward from? Wouldn’t you rather be remembered for your love and not your hate?
Stepping off my soapbox now… I return you back to your regularly scheduled riot…