Anger, Hurt & Grief

Anger, Hurt & Grief

I've been reading a variety of articles about the bombing in Boston. Reading what others are writing helps me sift through my own thoughts and form my own understanding of the matter at hand.

There are several writers focusing upon how the bombing in Boston is the result of U.S. foreign policy. These writers are promoting a viewpoint that the innocent are suffering because of the sins of the U.S. government. Who is doing the punishing? God.

There are also several writers focusing upon how the bombing in Boston is the result of U.S. internal shifts in law and culture offering gay people expanded rights. These writers are promoting a viewpoint that the innocent are suffering for the sins of an increasingly depraved populace. Who is doing the punishing? God.

My reaction to the above beliefs and understandings is enough to put the cussing in focus.

There is another understanding of the bombing in Boston. This one makes better sense to me. I believe it honors what we can verify. It fits my best understanding of God's character and behavior.

The understanding I embrace admits that human beings engage in murderous acts in the name of governments and gods and God without the approval of any. Their reasons exist within themselves, and although those reasons may have come to them from others with hatred born of history, their reasons are personal. They are responsible for their deeds.

My understanding of the character and behavior of God is that God allows human beings to do as they will, and I mean will in both senses of the word. People are allowed to love one another and are also allowed to kill one another. Free will.

My thinking is that governments, like individuals, are a mixed blessing. Like individuals, governments are guilty of sin. Like individuals, governments make justice possible. At their best, governments are a blessing to the citizens they serve.

God is neither guilty of sin nor guilty of inflicting horrific punishment upon the innocent for their sins or the sins of the state. Many fire and brimstone fearers and forewarners point backward, toward God's judgments against Israel. I remind you of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. The New Covenant has been established and maintained by Jesus' blood. God does not require blood sacrifice of us. Only people desire the blood of other people.

It is my thinking that God hurts for all who are suffering and grieving. It is also my thinking that when we feel the same way, and then act toward others with love and compassion, we become Jesus' disciples in a way that honors our devotion to Jesus.

I am angered over those who have been murdered. I grieve for these families who are grieving. I hurt for the maimed who are in agony.

My anger, however, does not mean God is angry in the way I am angry. So, I do not believe God is punishing the innocent out of being angry over cultural changes or national foreign policy.

I think these murderers believe(d) in a vengeful God. Be wary of finding yourself in agreement with them.

Pastor MeCaskey

06/24/2017. Evangelical United Church of Christ. Joomla 3.0 templates. All rights reserved.