Word of the horrific shooting in Roseburg, Oregon at Umpqua Community College has begun to make its rounds as we learn that 9 people lost their lives and scores of others are injured. The most saddening part of the whole ordeal is that it seems that the shooter specifically targeted Christians to kill. It has been reported that he asked the victims if they were a Christian right before he shot several of the them (You can read the Washington Post article here).
While trying to understand the senseless killing in our country, I’m left with asking the question, “Why so much hate?” What has happened to our society that just being a Christian leaves you with accusations of bigotry and downright evil intent? Jesus warned us of such:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”
This shooting was a sobering reminder that the world will always hate Christians and what we stand for. And while I will pray for the injured and the killed and pray also for their families, I would like to remind them and us all what Jesus asked us to do in situations such as these:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”