Friday, November 28, 2008

Praying for the people of India

Another senseless blood bath - this time in Mombai, India. I really don't see how anybody can achieve anything positive with violent attacks like these. The killers will be killed and the only thing that they will have achieved is more hatred, more suffering and more killings of innocent people. Why? What on earth do they think they are doing? Do these murderers really believe that they are heroes? God will judge them, I'm sure.

There is something terribly wrong with human nature. This is our only hope: we need to follow Somebody who is not fighting-back and who is not calling us to take revenge. I have a clue who He is. We need to change from the inside-out, and that's not just true for terrorists - it's true for all of us!

To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. (Jesus in Luke 6, The Message)

Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it." (Paul in his letter to the Romans, Chapter 12, the Message)


Anonymous said...

Great post. Thanks.

I love India and it's awful to see the suffering that is going on there at the moment.

Bob said...

But that hitting back came in pretty handy against Hitler. Such a shame America didn't get around to it until after he'd exterminated millions of innocent people.

marty said...

A sad incident indeed. So smart of the Pakistan government willing to help out. Maybe this horrible shooting will somehow bring these two hostile nations closer together.

Quite a stunning fact that all the Dutch people present miraculously survived the assault.
- A group of engineers always had dinner in that hotel after work, at that particular time. Just that evening they were delayed, because someone didn't turn up. They spent the night on a boat in the harbour. Not comfertable, but still alive.
- Another couple was about to be shot. When the gunner was distracted for a moment by one of his fellow executioners, they quickly fell to the floor and kept themselves as if being hit and dead. Minutes later they were able to escape and run for freedom.

It is a good thing Paul, that you show your heartfelt concern. But, is it only human nature which is to blame, or is there also some religious deception messing us up? We don't dare saying this anymore, do we? Afraid as we are of even more repercussions.
Mind you, I am not challenging you. Maybe simply expressing my own fears and feelings on this darkish aspect of the drama. Ik ben namelijk niet zo 'goedgelovig' als jij :-) ..., not just kidding!

Paul said...

@ Rodney - thanks for your comment.

@ Bob - I get your point, but there is a lot more to say about this, of course. Did the Americans come to Europe primarily because they wanted to stop the killing of innocent Jews in Europe? Did they hate racism themselves? It is not as simple as that. Please look at the American history and find out what white people did to Indians and blacks... There is always a mix of motives - the same is true for the wars going on in the Middle East right now. I am not a complete pacifist, I struggle with these issues like any other sensible human being. Sometimes tyrants need to be stopped, but it is better not to let them come to power in the first place. Hitler had a lot of support in Germany and in this European country there were many Christians that seemed to be sleeping or ignorant. The same is true for the Netherlands, we were occupied, but many Dutch people just tried to survive and adapt. Only a small group of people was courageous enough to speak up, help war victims, hide Jews and pay the highest price themselves if necessary. I don't believe that Jesus was wrong or naive when he told us not to use violence against our fellow man but to answer hate with love. I also think there's a difference between the sword in the hand of the state and personal use of violence by civilians - to strike back or get even. Of course we need police, of course we need safety measures, of course we need an army to intervene and protect. But we can't stop violence with more violence - the chain reaction has to stop somewhere and people of faith must be the first to show courage, be vulnerable, face persecution and pay the highest price in order to bring more justice in stead of more injustice in this broken world.

@ Marty - yes, let's hope that both India and Pakistan will co-operate to stop these kind of killings. Of course there is religious deception all over the place, we are in the middle of a spiritual war! Religion has often been abused in order to change people into violent and merciless monsters. 'Christians' have done a lot of harm in Jesus' name, but I believe they were not following their Master when they forced black people from Africa to work as their slaves and many of them had no good intentions when their ships sailed the seas to bring 'progression' on the other side of the globe. They were only looking after themselves and used the Bible to defend their cruelty and egoism. But this is one side of the issue, because many true Christians throughout history cared for the sick and poor, liberated slaves, educated kids, looked after the weak and vulnerable people and brought justice to the oppressed. And by doing so, they did follow their Master's instructions and their work has not been in vain and they will get their rewards in Heaven. This is the example I would like to follow and I will not use violence as long as I can still talk, pray and care.

En Marty... ik, goedgelovig? Dat meen je toch niet... ;-) Nou, een heel klein beetje dan.

@ all of you – thanks for your comments, friends!

marty said...

Mooie tekst schreef je weer. Ik heb op mijn blog een linkje geplaatst, maar die is bij jou niet zichtbaar.
Dat vind je toch niet erg?!
Er komt nog een artikel bij, maar dat wordt volgende week of zo.
Weer een reden om eens naar de Meerkerk te gaan...

Mike said...

I join you in your prayers.

Paul said...

@ Marty - geeft niks van dat linkje. Ik werp mijn brood uit op het water... (Pred.11:1)
Leuk om je een keer in de Meerkerk te zien!

@ Mike - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Why not pray for the countless hundreds of millions of human being that have been murdered by members of the insitutional church over the past 1700 yeras. More often than not with the active encouragement of the then church leaders too.

This reference points out why Christians have no basis for being "righteous" about anything.

What about the millions that were slaughtered during the post-"Reformation" catholic vs protestant wars.

Meanwhile "christian" America is responsible for nearly 50% of the worlds armanents trade.

And some of the loudest supporters of this situation are bible-thumping christians. Indeed I would say that all "right" wing USA christians are supportive of this situation.

Paul said...

@ Anonymous - thanks for your reply. "Why not pray for the countless hundreds of millions of human being that have been murdered by members of the insitutional church over the past 1700 yeras." Good idea - pray as much as you like for all people! (Although it makes more sense to pray for people that are still alive).

Make sure you know what you are talking about. Countless? Hundreds of millions? Please read your History books, anonymous commenter. Many people have been killed by people who claimed to be Christians, but if you read the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, you can see that this is 100% in contradiction with Jesus' teachings.

I am educated as a History teacher and you need to study History before you make outrageous claims. No serious Historian will support the idea that Jesus never existed. There are sources outside the books of th eBible that mention Christ (Flavius Josephus) and it takes a lot of phantasy to believe that human beings have made up the figure of Jesus Christ. Why would anybody do that? Why would anybody live and die for somebody who never existed? It just makes no sense.

It is strange that the number of Christians has exploded since the first century (and it still goes on, believe it or not) but it takes a lot of faith to believe that this movement was not started by a man (whether that man was or wasn´t who he claimed to be).

Christians have no basis for being "righteous" about anything.

Spot on! Or, Amen to that as we, Christians often say!
That is exactly the reason why I am a Christian. I am a sinner and I need to be forgiven.

People do a lot of bad things in the name of Christ. But you can´t blame Christ. Read his words and make up your mind.

If you are an atheist, I will not hold you accountable for the millions of innocent people killed by Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. You can not blame me or other sincere Christians today for the terrible things that have happened in the past by people who claimed to be Christians.

Thanks for commenting - I do appreciate your feedback.