What Can the Church do About Community Violence? Get Involved.

It says a lot about our culture that we quickly resort to finger-pointing and politicking when faced with something like a school shooting.  People demand simple answers and sweeping, bureaucratic solutions to make things right, but it takes more than a new page in a rulebook to put an end to this sort of thing.

When violence happens at a school, someone is always quick to say that “it happened because we took God out of school.”  Well, they’re wrong.  Anyone who’s familiar with the history of the church should know that the Christian faith will not protect you from violence.

Others think the answer is to outlaw guns, but this will not help the underlying problem – on the same day that Lanza killed 28 people in Connecticut, a man in China entered an elementary school with a knife and injured 22 children before he was apprehended.

Outlawing weapons may help to curb gunshot fatalities (depending on who you ask), but it will not stop angry people from hurting others, and we will still see violence in our communities and wonder what can be done.

When people are angry, scared, or depressed, they become capable of physically lashing out at others.  Sometimes, these people have mental problems that require special care.  Legislation cannot prevent these things from happening, but a community can work together to help troubled people.

How can you help?  Consider how you treat those around you.  Do you shun certain people in your community because of the way they vote?  Do you ignore certain members of your congregation because of the way they dress?  Are you avoiding reaching out to someone in your life because you don’t like something about them?  That must stop, because everyone in your life needs help, sometimes.  (Just like you probably need help, sometimes.)

I’m not saying that we can put an end to all violence just by being nice to each other, but we can only help people deal with their problems if we are actively trying to care for them.

(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)
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