Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Shootings in Colorado

Language warning (particularly some of the links)--but that isn't really the biggest issue here. A much more important concern is that:
  • there are people who hurt so bad that a shooting spree seems to be the only solution,
  • a person's mind and spirit can be so blinded that they truly believe the things they say and write, and
  • far too many people hear the message coming from us as Christians as: ".........God hates...... ........do this, don't do that......." Instead of hearing: "I love you. God loves you. How can I help?"
As you read this, PLEASE don't let yourself get angry at Matthew. Somehow, we as (supposedly) the family of God didn't communicate God's love as strongly as we communicated His holiness. It looks like here was one young man in a lot of pain, and his response was similar to other similar tragedies. Somehow the enemy of truth, beauty, and love is able to make someone believe his lies, and the result is a lot more pain. Makes us realize how messed up the world is, and how much we need God's love and peace to deliver all of us.

Many of you know that I am on staff with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Victoria, BC. This is the same Christian missions organization that suffered the loss of two staff members in the Colorado shootings on Sunday, December 9th.

You can see some articles on the main YWAM website, linked from the main page. As well, here are a couple more links: Denver Post 1 and Denver Post 2. It appears that the gunman had been a student at a YWAM Discipleship Training School back in 2002 at the same YWAM location, but for some kind of health reasons was not allowed to complete the school.

If you have read any of my postings, you may realize that a big chunk of my heart is trying to demonstrate the love of God to those who need it. It seems that so many people are receiving a negative, condemning message from the church as a whole, and from us as Christians individually.

A few quotes from the
Denver Post:

"A message posted between the Youth With a Mission shooting in Arvada on Sunday, Dec. 9 and the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs is believed to be Matthew Murray's last posting. It contains language which many may find objectionable.

"... (It) copies from a manifesto written by Columbine killer Eric Harris before the 1999 high school massacre. Matthew J. Murray, 24, who police say carried out attacks at the Youth With a Mission dormitory in Arvada and New Life Church in Colorado Springs, left behind final words that are rearranged but otherwise largely word-for-word the same as Harris' writings. Some expletives from the Harris version were replaced by Murray with symbols."

  • "You christians brought this on yourselves
  • "All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you ... as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.
  • "From now on I don't give a @#%$ about what all you mutha fuckers have to say, unless I respect you which is highly unlikely, but for those of you who do happen to know me and know that I respect you, may peace be with you and don't be in my line of fire"

And a quote from: KMGH Denver

Web site postings that authorities believe were the work of shooter Matthew Murray paint a picture of a young man angry at his religious home schooling and finding release in rock music.

"Nghtmrchld26 had been posting to the site for at least 11 months, ranting against conservative religious organizations."

  • "I remember how it was like every day was Mission Impossible trying to keep the rules or not get caught.
  • "The way I see it, why should we allow some Pentecostal charlatan "prophet," or church or group such as C. Peter Wagner or YWAM/King's Kids Denver or other self-appointed "source of Truth" like Bill Gothard to dictate who's going to hell and who's not and who's accepted and who's out casted?," he wrote Oct. 6. "I remember growing up in pentecostalism/evangelicalism, we were always told to support republicans/conservatives and to hate those evil satanic democrats. Jesus never said to put trust in any political leaders."
Let me repeat what I said earlier: As you read this, PLEASE don't let yourself get angry at Matthew. Somehow, we as (supposedly) the family of God didn't communicate God's love as strongly as we communicated His holiness.

I think the big issues now are:
  • to pray for the gunman's family, the victim's families, the YWAM staff, the church family and anyone else connected with the tragedy.
  • to decide again to live our lives towards everyone based on the love of God.
  • to pray for and actually demonstrate God's love and acceptance towards those who are in such pain that they strike out in violence.

1 comment:

Manfred said...

Thanks for taking the time to put this together.


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