Posts Tagged ‘murder’

Wrongful Deaths

June 2, 2009

“We are at war, and the other side is winning!” 

I first heard this line used years ago by an individual who was attempting to justify the bombing of an abortion clinic.  I have not yet seen anything in print about the rationale that  has been given by Scott Roeder, who is the man accused of murdering abortion doctor, George Tiller, Sunday morning, but I imagine it will be something along the lines of “life for life”. 

Whether it was Scott Roeder, or someone else: who made that individual judge, jury and executioner?

It wasn’t God.

It wasn’t the courts.

It wasn’t society.

It wasn’t me.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Abortion opponents had a degree of hope during the Bush administration.  The current administration is decidedly different.  It would appear that extremists might again resort to violent measures.  This is the first act of violent opposition that I have heard about in recent years.  I sincerely hope that it is not indicative of things to come.  Acts of violence will not help the cause of the pro life movement. 

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

I believe this would be an appropriate quote for this event.  I am supportive of the pro life movement.  I believe that abortion is the taking of a human life.  I also realize that there are people who believe differently.  The difference is not in the sanctity of human life, but in the understanding of when that life begins.  This is a religious, scientific, and philosophical debate that should be carried on in churches, classrooms, papers, etc.  This debate should be carried on with words, not with guns.

The sanctity of human life applied to Dr. Tiller also.  He should not have been murdered.  This is made even more horrifying because it took place in a church.  What memories have been created for all the people who witnessed this tragedy?  What about the children that were present?  My heart goes out to the the family, friends, and all who witnessed, or have been affected by,  the murder of Dr. Tiller.

Both of these men believed they were doing the right thing.  Both of these men (I suspect) thought that they were serving God in their actions.

I believe that both of these men were wrong.

Pastor Shot and Killed

March 9, 2009

On Sunday morning, March 8th, Pastor Fred Winters was shot and killed while delivering his sermon.  This did not happen in some far away country but In Maryville, Illinois,  a suburb of St. Lois.  At this time, there is no known reason for the murder.  The gunman tried to commit suicide, but was prevented from doing so, by members of the congregation, who were themselves, injured by the assailant.    I imagine that in the days ahead he will give the reasons for the attack.  My sincere sympathy is extended to his wife, family, friends and congregation.  May God help them to deal with this horrific tragedy.   

I wonder if this is a sign of things to come?  A colleage of mine keeps a file of the “hate mail” that he has received over the years.  People can sometimes have very strong feeling about the actions that a pastor takes in leading the church.  Furthermore,  I have noticed that Christians, and pastors in particular, have often been poorly represented in movies and television.  Finally, the  accusation is made of  “preaching hate” when activities are labeled as sin.  These three things when added together   are a powerful toxin to the attitude that people have towards the work of the church. 

Pastors are supposed to provide leadership for their churches.  They will make decisions that will not be popular with everyone.  Pastoral leadership is not supposed to be about popularity, but about doing the will of God.

It would be nice to see the entertainment industry portray Christians, and pastors in a better light.  There are many wonderful people of faith and it does not do anyone any good to make a mockery of what is so important to so many people.   

Finally, it is not hate to call sinful activities sin.  Christians are called first to love God, and then to love those around them.  Christians are motivated by love, not hate.  When we condem sin, it is an expression  of  a religious belief, not an expression of hate. We have religious freedom in this country.  That means that I am free to preach what I believe to be true.  You don’t have to agree with me, but I hope that I won’t someday be shot for preaching the truth as I understand it.