Sunday, October 10, 2010

Verbal Violence and the Kingdom of God

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I wrote yesterday on Violence and the Kingdom of God and when do we, as Christians, follow the teaching's of Jesus even if it may not turn out so well for us. Most of time when we think of violence we think of things that have to do with physical violence such as war, death penalty, and torture and these are all huge topics which need to be discussed (and rethought).

But we often to not talk about “verbal” violence and the harm it does to others. We do not realize, or we do not care, how much our words affect those around us. There has been much in the news and media lately about teens who have committed suicide because they had been bullied to the point that they saw no other way out than to end their lives. The reason they were bullied is because they were gay.

Why do kids think its ok to make fun of and pick on these kids? I dare say it has something to do with how they have seen us, their parents, treat the gay community. Of course they think it is justified when most of us can not go one day without hearing someone refer to someone else in a derogatory way by calling them gay or queer or faggot (or worse). For some of us these kinds of words are in our every day vocabulary and we think nothing of them, but someone is noticing and that someone is not only those people the words are directed towards, but also our children.

I want my kids to grow up respecting all people and loving everyone. I know, it’s a crazy thing to hope for, but I think this can not happen if they do not see their parents loving everyone as well.

I admit that I had a hard time trying to decide whether or not to write about this at all because I know there could be repercussions. (Not that I for one second think those people will actually contact me directly with their concerns but instead will go through my friends as people seem to like to do.) But after writing about doing what’s right even though it may not be successful I really don’t think I have a choice.

So what are we, as people who have been commanded to love our neighbor, going to do about this senseless violence? People, no matter who they are, should not feel like they are not welcomed in our churches, and if they are made to feel that way, then we are not being the body of Christ.

For starters, I think we have to change our language and how we speak about others, and set an example for our children and those we encounter everyday.


paultilly said...

Yep. Growing up in church I have seen many people attack Gays while living with 2nd and 3rd wives. I have heard many criticize a glass of wine during a lunch of high cholesterol fast food...We chose certain things to attack more than others. Maybe we hate whats in the mirror and use our hateful feelings for others to suppress how we feel about ourselves. Because we too fall short of Gods standard. We build those things into strongholds that we wont allow love to penetrate. The difference is for some reason, we think God can forgive and love and restore the man in the mirror but not the one in the closet.

I think that once we see how God TRULY feels about us that then and only then can we feel it for others who may have lifestyles that we disagree with or at the least don't understand.

Most people aren't starving for acceptance. They are starving for true love.

melissa said...

paul....i like that phrasing..."we think god can restore the man in the mirror but not the man in the closet" that's so true and so sad.