15 August 2008

Violence Resistance

A couple days ago I made a visit to the Somali community at Capital Park Apartments. This was by far one of the worst visits I've ever made. The little girls were hitting and taking things from each other, trying to be in control. The boys incessantly argued over the rules of the games and who could do what. Hayou, the popular little four year old, jerked on my arm and cried when I packed up the art supplies. Two fights broke out among the boys, each time with two boys rolling around on the ground, wrestling each other. By the time the day was over, my stress level had doubled. How could kids be this violent in just a two-hour period of time?

It's not just the Somali kids. Last week, when I was teaching my kids a Bible lesson on Wednesday night, we discussed what God's peace looked like and how to implement it into the world. We imagined what the world would look like when there would be perfect peace. Ironically, the kids were everything but peaceful. They were egging each other on to anger, hitting and kicking when they thought I wasn't watching. Or sometimes when they knew I was watching.
One of the middle-school aged boys shocked me and stopped me dead in my tracks during my lesson. "I don't think that a world with peace would be very fun," I immediately questioned him why. "If there wasn't any violence or killing," he replied, "there wouldn't be any good movies."

A chill rose up inside of me. Movies. The number one reason why we have become so desensitized to violence.

It's amazing how much violence we justify in movies. It's not real, so therefore it's ok. Or telling ourselves that just watching a violent movie isn't going to cause us to go out and kill someone.
There is something completely wrong with those statements. God hate violence. Period. Even if we aren't necessarily going to mimic what we see, even the visual images and notions of killing and death are despicable to God.
If we claim to have Christ within us, then viewing scenes of violence should affect us. If the Holy Spirit resides in us, seeing murderous scenes should sicken us.

If God hates something, His followers should hate it too.

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