I know how the world stops for you when a loved one is killed all of a sudden by violence. I know many in Oregon, elsewhere, are shocked and numb by the tragedy there. Right after I heard the news I was at work and felt a need to pray. I felt a keen sadness for some reason, I wondered why this mass shooting was different? It was later I found out the shooter had asked his victims what their religion was. If they answered ‘Christian’, he shot them! I’ve prayed for all the grieving families, also the churches, temples in that area to be strong.
After we hear of these horrendous crimes, yes, we need to seek God’s comfort, healing, etc. But …. I just need to share how there’s another aspect to murder these days, there’s a trend to discriminate against Christians, Jews! There will be talk about how people died for their faith at the school. And to a degree they did. But it wasn’t like they went to jail to speak out re: some issue, or were in a pulpit or wrote a book on a subject that is supposedly against our Constitution. There are different degrees of persecution of religions.
While there are many godly men and women in our military and police forces, it really has bothered me that it’s getting to be so common that Christians are lying down and just taking violence. Thank God for those 3 buddies on that Paris bound train couple mos ago who stood up and saved the day! Thank God for that young Army vet in class the other day who stood up for himself and the group, and charged the shooter! I don’t know where he was positioned in relation to the lineup of victims, but he ‘did’ something!
If I was in the group and being questioned by a shooter, the first thing I thought of the other day was to say, …. ‘why should I tell you’? I don’t know what I’d actually say but I think it’s good to ask yourself what you’d do in this or a similar kind of situation? It just seemed to me mostly a ‘demonic, terrorist’ tactic from that kind of shooter. There’s no reason for us to divulge our faith to a murderer, we can buy time with other thinking. At least if you’re shot, you did it fighting! But maybe you will be braver than you think and live thru it! Maybe you will cause him to stop a couple seconds so you can get his weapon, or maybe someone will see the chance to be brave or lunge for it? That’s the way I see it.
I get so tired hearing reporters, others say, ‘why did this happen’? That’s just not the right question to me! We’ve studied so many minds, behaviors of murderers but we keep asking ‘why’? We need to understand the world we live in. It’s broken. We have to be careful wherever we go these days! Our culture is so schizophrenic rather than realistic, we just listen to the recordings in our minds so much ….. ‘ it will never happen to me’, or’ good always triumphs’ or whatever! But some citizens know they have to take good care in their everyday life to be alert and safe. The police, military do it.
Few years back I saw someone burglarizing my car! (I’d left it unlocked to go inside few minutes.) I felt I understood my danger level, so I went down and confronted him. I told him it was my car and to give my things back. He gave me some ‘story’, several times, but I just persisted and stood there waiting for the rest of it to be handed back. (This was before I had a cell phone.) It was daylight, some people near by, I knew I had enough in my favor.
While Directing a local preschool one day 10 years ago, I happened to see a homeless-type guy ride his bike right across the path of a guy in a pickup. The driver had to brake hard, and then pulled to the curb and chased down the homeless guy right in our front yard. He began pummeling him really bad …. yelling, etc. I was watching from the front windows and locked the doors and was sorta freaking out inside what to do. I hate violence, bloodshed and suddenly I blurted loudly out the window …. ‘In the Name of Jesus, stop!!’ And you know ….. both guys stopped and starred at me …. and they broke it up and went their ways. I think I scared my staff member in the room but my point is that we are going to find violence many places, but we can have some say so about what happens to us in a dangerous episode! We don’t have to live with a victim mentality.
I can just hear Marc pausing for composure, and then saying to the Umpqua shooter, “So, what do you need to know for!?” Without sarcasm but just sensing his safety or comfort is being held in jeopardy. Gaining time to see what he should do next. We Christians (and Jews) are going to be targeted, that’s a fact of life right now. Learn Karate, carry mace or a weapon certain places if necessary, protect your stuff, watch your environment ….. do what you need to do to decrease the chances of being taken hostage by violence. Pray for protection every day, ask God for the right words & safety. You don’t have to sit there and take it.
Jesus was cornered, pinned down by Pharisees? They were trying to catch Him lying about His deity, and He was trying not to be captured and taken early on, it wasn’t His time yet. He stayed above their snares by saying, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ He threw them off-guard by out-witting them.
A lot of people understand from their family or cultural experiences how to fight with words, mental perceptions, etc. There may be times we may have to lay down our lives, and times we can save not only ourselves but others.
Don’t live in fear of evil, live in strength!!
Orig. post: 10/15