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Churches Suffering Violence
Why is it Happening?   

Q. Why do you suppose there is escalating violence and shootings against pastors and churches - here and abroad?


Good question. I'm not sure I know the reason either. But, I suspect it is the same dynamic that causes husbands to turn on their wives and children and kill them and themselves, too. In a culture that has placed so much emphasis on money and success those who don't "cut it" are left feeling despondent and desperate.

Perhaps the torching of symbols of wealth such as expensive cars in Europe is a good example. I suspect that the same kind of resentment is building up here in America, too. We are seeing it occur first through acts of violence against families and churches.

Churches Represent Relationships

Churches represent family values and close relationships. Some pastors give the appearance of great wealth and peace - even if it's a lie. For those who are left out and rejected by their own family members the mental anguish is terrible as they compare their own lives to what they perceive as successful relationships in the church.

It's possible that in a last ditch attempt to "even things out" some hurting people think that by causing others to suffer their own pain will be lessened - even by killing themselves, too. They are ignorant of, don't believe or have forgotten the following verse:

"Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'VENGEANCE IS MINE, I will repay,' says the Lord" (Romans 12:19, NASB).

Preaching Truths

I'm not sure we can do much of anything to stop the violence. It might help a little if pastors at large quit preaching a false message of prosperity and perfect family relationships. It could help if they stopped presenting their own false facade of family perfection and great wealth to a hurting world.

There is a fine line between setting a good example and presenting a lie to the public. For example, hundreds of churches across America have had to drop their multi-million dollar building plans due to the credit crisis.

But, pastors of these churches do not readily come out in public to declare their "failure" to raise funds. Maybe these same pastors need to quit denying their own problems. Furthermore, the divorce rate among Christians is just as high as their secular counterparts. Few preachers admit this to the public.

The truth about Christian life is something most Christians don't want to hear:

"Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:12-13, NASB).

Last Days People

Finally, we have been solidly warned:

"in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving. They will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly" (2 Timothy 3:1-5, NLT).

Finally, the last piece of advice in this passage is to "Stay away from people like that!" (v. 5b).

A pastor who speaks in public cannot follow the last piece of advice to "stay away from people like that." It comes with the territory. All we can do is to support them in their quest to save a lost and hurting world.

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