What would I do?

Today I read about the recent massacre of over 370 Christians in Nigeria.  If you have not read this news article…read it now by clicking HERE.

The entire story saddens me deeply and, at the same time, makes me grateful for being born in America, where extreme persecution of physically violence does not occur.

The most troubling aspect of the story is the following lines: 

The weekend’s attack appeared to be a reprisal for violence that claimed at least 300 lives in January, when Christian villagers targeted Muslims in a separate, nearby village, according to rights groups.


A village chief chastised area youth for not being ready to fight. “This is a lesson,” the chief said. “Now is the time for everyone to wake up. Elders are calling you youths to come out.”

An elderly woman prayed at the edge of the burial pit, chanting. “By God’s grace we will enter their villages and kill their women and children,” she repeated.

“We will do much worse to them,” one baby-faced man said.

As a Christian, I believe in peace, unity, and love for all my “neighbors”, no matter race, religion, beliefs, or lifestyles.  I am to put others before myself and forgive continually.  I am not to seek revenge, but still look for justice in the correct manner.  I do not condone violence or any type of horrific treatment against anyone, no matter what they’ve done.

I do not know how these acts of violence and revenge began between the Muslims and Christians in this area of Nigeria.  It’s apparent, from the first quote, that the violence has been happening for some time…from both parties involved.  It seems to be this ongoing circle of revenge. I do not know the entire situation.  Their way of life, their government, and their justice system are all foreign to  me.  I don’t know what the Christians are taught about peace, unity, love, forgiveness, and revenge…so I cannot judge their salvation or their level of relationship with God or knowledge of His Word.  And I sincerely pray that they can stop the circle of violence and revenge.

Other than pray, the situation has made me think.  What would I do if my family was slaughtered?  If my children and husband were lured out of our home and hacked to death, would I be able to sit back and trust that God would bring justice?  Especially if I knew who did it?  Would I be able to restrain myself from retaliation? 

Our human nature is fragile.  If allowed, it will react solely on emotions and circumstances, ignoring the Truths that God has called us to trust and obey.  That’s why our foundation in Christ MUST be strong…so HE can give us wisdom and guidance through the turmoil, and give us strength and grace to forgive.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Alan Beckett
    Mar 10, 2010 @ 08:46:25

    Your article just shows how all to often Christianity is confused with the culture of those receiving it. Christ came to transform our culture (by making us into new creations) not to affirm it (leaving us unchanged). It is not enough to confess belief in Jesus as the Son of God without abandoning our cultural beliefs and embracing those of His Kingdom


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