Twenty three years ago I witnessed first-hand, a bank being robbed at gunpoint in Kilbirnie, Wellington. As I walked past the bank I saw customers lined up against the wall. Then the bank robber calmly walked out brandishing a pistol, and a balaclava covered his identity. He literally brushed past me. My instinctive reaction was to trip him up with my foot. Thankfully I was too slow and he fled. At the police station all witnesses gave different descriptions of the gunman. The vision of that day is imprinted in my memory; such is the trauma of witnessing things that are violent and wrong.
As Christians we can respond to the mass shooting in Christchurch in two ways; we can “react,” such as me trying to trip up the robber (which may have resulted in me getting shot), or, we can “act” in love. After the Christchurch shootings I felt utter outrage that the killer claimed to be a “Christian” crusader of the reborn Knight’s Templar (which is actually Freemasonry). Thankfully God’s Laws, written on the hearts and minds of every Christian (Hebrews 10:16) brought me back to “love and grace” needing to be shown to the victims and their families. Our role, as the Christian witness is to ‘love.’ Without love we are just “clanging cymbals,” (1 Cor 13:1). Remember the Golden Rule commanded by Christ. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these,” Mark 12:30-31. When we see evil unleashed, like last Friday, our prayers and practical help must always be toward the victims.
We may have different faiths but we are all made in the image of God.
So let’s witness the Truth and may the Truth set us all free.