Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Counter-culture out in the Community

I saw this sign in Harrisonburg one evening and it caught my attention because it had scripture on it. I shared in my last sermon some of the counter-cultural Christian reactions to the VT shootings. Here is another Christian reaction to it. It is tough for many people to think about - the idea that one wouldn't take revenge on the evil, or dwell on it until you got some kind of satisfaction, but instead to overcome the evil with good.

Romans 12:19-21 says, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord. On the contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

These words are difficult, but good. Many people criticize this idea by asking, "WHEN will God DO something about all this?!? WHY does He let evil happen?" Everything God created is good. But Satan took the good and distorted it - into evil. God has a plan for dealing with Satan, and ultimately, at some time in the future, He will bring justice to all that has been done. That which is for the kingdom of God will be rewarded, and that which is against it will be punished. There will be a new paradise where God will dwell with man again, as in the garden. God will do something about all this.

Until then though, we are called by Him to be doing what WE can while here on earth to help overcome evil with good. The cultural reaction is to overcome evil with more evil - hatred, prejudice, revenge, and the like. Our Counter-cultural reaction is to overcome it with good - praying for our enemies, showing mercy, passing on the grace that has been shown to us. If we really want the world to be a different place, then we have to be different than the world as it currently is. We have to be the change we want to see in the world. Think about that, and pray about it too, because this is one of the most essential needs in Christianity today.

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