The Spirituality of Violence
Author: Lydia D’Ross, Brookhaven Hospital, Renewal Program Outreach Chaplain
This past week weekend, the horrible tragedy involving officers killed in the line of duty could have been avoided.
Hatred has escalated in United States against racism to a new level, and only one person can control that hatred. You!!
God says in his word, that we have the power to choose life or death and He eminently says ” I prefer the latter, that you choose life.” -Deuteronomy 30:19
Can a person be redeemed from violent behaviors? Violence is the ethos of our growing society that suffers from the pressures of this world through means of lack of finances, economic strain, poor communication and repeated behaviors learned from childhood.
Cain was the first murder recorded in biblical history. Their was an emotional war within himself that he needed to have Abel’s birthright at all cost. Hate drove Cain to kill Abel. If Cain fought off the hate he had for his brother and sought God’s wisdom and trusted him for his own inheritance, the spirit of murder would not have entered into his thoughts.
Scriptures says, “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:7
The spirituality of violence is that violence attracts other people who have the same spirit. It is one of the reasons gang exists and eventually becomes so extreme that it can lead towards terrorism.
Spiritual violence builds up overtime and it begins with a simple conflict, a thought. Entertaining those thoughts, if not treated, leads a person to be a threat to themselves or others.
How a person transforms themselves from the spirituality of violence and power is to control those violent thoughts and patterns of behavior through reformation of their inner soul. They are many anger management school of thoughts and education awareness programs that teach society how to identify someone who is in need of help, so that they can control their anger thoughts and resolve unwanted hatred.
God has given us gifted hands to build, not to use to destroy. God gave us a mind to create, not to hate others but rather to love one another. We become what we hate and it is usually a direct response to an evil done to us when we were children or seen done to a dear family member. Like anything else, the spirituality of hate, is a learned behavior.
We need to build a bridge of hope and as clergy leaders of the community, identify and recognize symptoms of patterns of violent behavior. According to Bent-Goodley (2006) some “…clergy missed opportunities to stop violence in the home ..” based on their own “ lack of preparation, denial and minimization, solo ministry, and theological confusion .“ (Fortune 1991)
Spiritual competency deepens cultural competency, meaning that social services practices are ill equipped in to incorporate the strengths that faith plays in the life of victims or survivors of physical violence.
Lastly, God can not control the choices that a person makes. Cain could have stopped himself from killing Abel, but he chose not to do so. Our heavenly father condones violence and it grieves Him to see the creation [man] allow themselves to destroy one another.
The prophet Isaiah shares this insight: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8–9. This passage is foundational to understanding violence undertaken by God.
Heartfelt-prayers for those affected by the horrible violence that recent occurred at Charlottesville Virginia University. Prays for the families who loss their loves one and the officers who risked their lives to protect the citizens of Virginia.
Brookhaven Hospital Renewal Christian Care program is here to serve you, to help you recognize symptoms of behaviors that may be need to be address by professional counseling.