The Muslim violent protest in reactions to the cartoons of Mohammad is wrong. No matter how offended the Muslim world is by the cartoons of Mohammad, it does not justify violent protest. However, it seems now that some Christians have felt justified in returning such violence by engaging in violent protests themselves. This is wrong too.
Christian violence should be of a special concern for Christians when we consider the fact that our Lord and Savior was treated unjustly, resulting in his persecution and eventual crucifixion. Jesus could have, as the song we sometimes sing, called ten-thousand angels – but he didn’t. His disciple, Peter, tried using violence to defend him and he told Peter to put away the sword unless he wanted to die by the sword. Consequently, the earliest Christians, victims of severe persecution as well, refused to resort to violence as a means of defending themselves from injustice. This was in part because of their understanding of the Kingdom they now belonged too but this was also but this was also because they knew God had already given them victory over their oppressors and would bring about this victory upon the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.
Unfortunately today many Christians believe violence is a needed and justified solution to the evil acts of others. Where did we ever develop this idea from? Certainly not the life of Jesus we have modeled for us in scripture. When we use violence against our enemies, it makes us no better than our enemies. It surely does not demonstrate for our enemies and the rest of the world the new “kingdom” way of living to which God has called us to in Jesus Christ.
As a child my mother always told me “two wrongs never make a right.” There is a lot of wisdom in this little proverb. Violence is wrong. Violence is wrong whether it is the Muslim community reacting in protest to a perceived wrong done to them and violence is wrong when it is the Christian community reacting in protest to a perceived wrong done to them as well.
God our Father, your Son was a peaceful and loving servant who went to the cross so that we might live in victory as he does. Father, you raised him from death showing the world your victory over sin and death. Now you have called us to follow your Son Jesus, carrying our own crosses, becoming servants in this world, trusting in you as our victor and our source of life. You have sent you Spirit to empower us to live such a life. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we may walk by the power of your Spirit and express in our lives the very fruit of your Spirit. Amen!