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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In the wake

In the wake of the utter tragedy in Virginia, I came across a very powerful blog post by Doug Phillips. I know I could never communicate what he was able to. I think he presents some important truths and that it is well worth reading. Please do.

May God be with the sorrowing families. I simply cannot imagine.

9 comments:

spunky said...

I read the piece as well when I received it in my inbox from Vision Forum. While the piece is powerful in some of the truths it presents, I was disappointed in the overall tone of the essay and wished it was published in a few months. Not in the days following the tragedy.


He asks in the essay, "What are we to say to the families? What are we to learn?" Immediately my antennae was raised. How can we ask a question such as that when the grieving families haven't even buried their loved ones, and the facts and motives haven't even been pieced together. What have we to learn? To "mourn with those who mourn" and comfort the hurting.


There is nothing we can say. When Jesus was told about the death of Lazarus, he wept. And scripture records that the Jews knew then of the love Jesus had for Lazarus. "behold how He loved him!" Words were not necessary.


The essay contained some truth but lacked any semblance of compassion for the lost and hurting, it was a lot of words but little demonstration of the love of God for those that mourn; even going to far as to say that the rise of violence in our society was "God's judgement" and then uses the opportunity to call Christians to "arms."


It COULD be God's judgement and I have nothing against Christians owning a weapon, but do we really want to preach that message at this time? I don't think so. The call to "arms" should have been the call to wrap our arms of love and prayer around them and hold them close and weep with them and for them. This isn't the time to preach to them but to love them.


He does conclude with a call to comfort. His last paragraph should have been his first and most of the rest, I could have done without.

UndertheSky said...

Yes, I do agree with you in much of what you said, but I also felt some of his words were really important. I am not a "Phillips follower" so for me to post it meant that I thought the truth that was presented was powerful.


I do agree that we need to offer our hugs and hearts in sympathy, and that should be our primary focus at this time, but I didn't think it was inappropriate to bring up a subject that is being discussed all over and in the news--physical arms. If the rest of the world (and I mean that literally) are discussing it and bashing America as well as those within our own nation, I think it is entirely right that they receive a Christian response.


I hope his sympathy (because I can clearly see that displayed in his post) is heard more than the other aspects. I heard it and appreciated it.


We will all respond differently to this tragedy, but the truth that we need to be ready before our God--at any time--just needs to be heard. What he wrote here, "The only question is when will we die, and what will be the state of our eternal soul at that time. Every breath is a gift of God. None of us deserve it." is powerful truth. Even in the light of tragedy, we need to hear it--and even more for those wondering why this happened at all.


Thanks for your thoughts, Spunky!

Warmly,

Kate

spunky said...

I agree that the world needs to see a Christian response. But to what should we respond? To the pundits. No. We should NOT allow them to frame the debate based on their agenda and force Christians to respond. Just because they are bringing up a subject in a time of tragedy doesn't mean that NOW is the time to respond to it. In my opinion, our response should not be to imitate it, but to rise above it. That is the Christian response. Answer not a fool lest you become just like them. Those that are preaching gun control and bashing America are just opportunists using this for their own gain. This essay just made Doug Phillips a part of the politcal fray and made him look as much the opportunist as all the rest.


There is a time to answer a fool and respond, but in my opinion this is NOT the time. People have died, and the dead have yet to be buried. Respect and love should be our response when we attend the funerals of those that we love. No less should be expected here.

UndertheSky said...

Spunky,


You said, "I agree that the world needs to see a Christian response. But to what should we respond? To the pundits. No. We should NOT allow them to frame the debate based on their agenda and force Christians to respond."


As I said before, I think everyone is going to respond to this differently. You don't have to be a political pundit to discuss the issues that *will* come out of it. Even the day it happened on a homeschooling board I read there was discussion of "too easy access to guns in America". This was no political debate--it is just going to happen in light of such an event.


You said, "Just because they are bringing up a subject in a time of tragedy doesn't mean that NOW is the time to respond to it. In my opinion, our response should not be to imitate it, but to rise above it. That is the Christian response."


He wrote this, "But, if even one of the students in that university had been armed, Cho Seung-hui could have been stopped." I have heard this mentioned already in lots of places and I completely agree with it. What *if* there had been? Obviously we are not dealing in "what if's" but it is still very true. If someone *had* been armed they would have most likely been able to bring the shooter down. It has happened before in many cases.


He wrote, "We have one of two futures — a police state full of regulation and controls, where only the state and criminals have access to guns, thus leaving most women and children defenseless to evildoers, or an informed, well-armed citizen population, which is, to my mind, the surest safeguard against lawless men."


I tend to agree with him here and think this is not an "opportunist" speaking, but the truth. What does he physically have to gain from it? At the top of his blog today he has been both lambasted and praised for his words. (Not really uncommon where Mr. Phillips is concerned!) I don't really want to debate it but I don't think he is wrong or "a fool" for stating it. You wrote, "Those that are preaching gun control and bashing America are just opportunists using this for their own gain." Perhaps yes and perhaps no - there are those who feel just as strongly as I do for the other side. I feel we *should* be an armed people and they feel guns should be absolutely illegal. I cannot call them fools or opportunists for feeling strongly about something.


You said, "People have died, and the dead have yet to be buried. Respect and love should be our response when we attend the funerals of those that we love. No less should be expected here."

I don't think anything he wrote was disrespectful to the dead or those still living and his words were written with deep sympathy for those who are suffering. As far as waiting for some unknown time in the future to discuss what you think should wait - we are a nation of information and discussion and that usually happens immediately. That is just the way it is. We have the instantaneous internet and the news channels and the phone and media pounding on the doors of the parents who lost their children two days ago. It is not right, but it *is*. Discussion is happening all over the world about what happened in VA. I don't think discussion is harmful and I would defend anyone's right to have it. In your past blogging days, you have blogged about some things I felt were inappropriate because it was hurtful to those you blogged about yet you claimed the freedom and even the responsibility to do so. So Phillips has a different standard? That is what you are saying to me.


Here, I don't think he is hurting anyone. You may dislike his manner or timing in which he stated his thoughts, but we all process things differently and this is his way.


Warmly,

Kate

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I didn't say Doug Phillips does not have the right to blog about this. Not at all. He has the same right as all others who choose to use this medium. And just like with my blog posts, you (or anyone else) is free to offer their commentary. Nor did I say discussion is harmful.


But we just had a funeral of a young homeschool father of 5 who committed suicide by a self-inflicted gun shot wound. The days before the funeral would not have been days to talk to the family about guns and his standing before God. They were hurting. Yes, the truth is that he took His life and any body would have the "right" to speak anything they wanted to say including gun control that they believe could have prevented his death. But that would not have been appropriate.


The fact that we live in a 24/7 immediate news cycle does not mean that we abandon civility and the politics of gun control can wait until another day. That's just my opinion and nothing more.


As far as what has been written on my blog, I have apologized to those that I believe you have brought to my attention for the hurt I have caused. If there are instances in which I am unaware, please don't hesitate to let me know.

spunky said...

Oops that last comment was mine.


BTW, here is a response by Al Mohler that speaks the Truth without the politics. This, in my opinion, is a much more appropriate response for a Christian leader.


http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/r_albert_mohler_jr/2007/04/facing_the_reality_of_evil.html


Spunky

UndertheSky said...

This will be my last comment on this because really, it is just not necessary to keep going. There are going to be ongoing discussions about this whether you or I think it is right or wrong.


I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. I am truly saddened for the living family.


You wrote, "The days before the funeral would not have been days to talk to the family about guns and his standing before God."

I completely agree. I hardly think that Phillips is writing directly to any of the victim's families or that any of them will even see it. His commentary is out on the web, but he didn't send this to the victims that I know of. The situation you bring up is tragic, no question, but is really quite different than a blog post. (At least I think so.) I certainly wasn't suggesting we go to the victims and talk about gun control and I really don't think he was either.


"As far as what has been written on my blog" - I cannot answer for anyone's feelings. I have not discussed your blog with anyone for a long long time. I mentioned it because to me it seemed very similar. You felt compelled to blog about some things--perhaps Phillips feels compelled to as well. It is all a matter of one's perspective.


Warmly,

Kate

Peruvian Lily said...

It is a tragedy. So sad for the lives of so many young people (and professors) to be suddenly ended by unreasonable (seeming reason-less) violence.


May many hearts turn because of this to the One who alone is in control, through Whose eyes alone one can make some sense of this crazy world in which we live.

Lori said...

very sobering--It doesn't seem that the murderer was a product of our society, but that he was bitter against it...


It was good to read both articles. I may be the only person who hadn't thought of the argument about another individual being armed...

Lori