. . . a moral victory for Christianity
Exactly when the right to own a weapon, fight for personal liberties, and advocate for violent retaliation became entrenched in the American “version” the gospel, I do not know. I do know that none of these things have anything to do, at all, not even remotely, with the Christian faith. Jesus told his followers to be prepared to suffer and die for righteousness’ sake, not stockpile arms and defend to the death their lives and property. The right to personal individual liberty is a Constitutional right, not a biblical guarantee. The Rittenhouse verdict may be a victory for the Second Amendment; it may be a victory for conservative Americans; it was certainly a victory for Kyle and his legal team. But, given that guns, violence, and personal rights have nothing to do with Christianity, it is not a victory for Christians.
John 15:13; Acts 7; Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 4:12-19
. . . cause to celebrate the death of another person
Immediately after the news of the Rittenhouse incident broke, internet “detectives” immediately dug up the criminal records of each of the men that Kyle shot that day in Kenosha. They alleged that one of the men had a burglary conviction in his past, another was charged with domestic violence, and another was a pedophile.
The insinuation, of course, being that these men were not good people, so they deserved to die anyway. Good riddance.
Thank God that he doesn’t feel the same way about us.
I can assure you that God does not rejoice in death. The hope of the Christian faith is eternal life. There is nothing more “worldly” than death; it is never God’s will. Jesus literally died for your sins so that you wouldn’t have to. Why rejoice in death when God grieves over it? Are we right to celebrate our own salvation while celebrating the destruction of others? Scripture warns us against that kind of hypocrisy.
Jonah 2:9, 4:1-5; Romans 6:23; Luke 15; Matthew 12:38-41
. . . an excuse to stir division and hatred
Kyle Rittenhouse is the classic “political football”; a figurehead championed by both sides of the aisle: either a as a shining example of American freedom and the infallibility of the justice system, or as an example of the inherent corruption, racism, and injustice rampant in American society.
He is neither. Kyle is a teenager who killed two people. It was a decision he will live with for the rest of his life, and a decision that cost two families their loved ones. This story is a tragedy in all respects, not a triumph for either side of the political aisle. It is not an excuse to shove the verdict in the faces of people with whom we disagree, or use it to spread and propagate hatred and vitriol toward other people.
This incident is a call for both sides of the aisle to turn a listening ear to the needs of their neighbor; to foster discussion and dialogue, to agree that something is not right in our society, and to work toward a resolution. Christians are responsible for being on the forefront of that discussion. Having been reconciled to God, we are now called to be reconciled to one another and united under a gospel message that provides hope for all. The life of a Christian is one that unites, strengthens, gives life, and brings out that which is good in the world around them. It’s time for us to step up.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.2 Corinthians 5:16-21
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