The London Attack: Why I say we live in the “kingdom of hate”

June 20, 2017

Written by Miles McPherson

Southbound on the London Bridge on a normal Saturday night, a van broke into the pedestrian pathway and began mowing people down, plowing them over and causing numerous injuries and 7 fatalities. It crashed to a stop at Borough High Street, and 3 men dressed in suicide-bomber vests—which turned out to be fake—exited the vehicle, going on a stabbing rampage through Borough Market and down Stoney Street before being taken out by police gunfire.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the 2-part attack. One of the attackers had known extremist ties, even appearing in an English documentary called The Jihadis Next Door.

It’s the same story of hate. Old as Cain’s feud with Abel, people of all kinds have found reasons to hate each other. This hate has propelled massive acts of aggression, and the resulting wars have shaped the world into what we know today—a kingdom of violence. That same violence that brought down empires and established territories is still rearing its ugly head today.

The phrase “he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword” comes from Matthew 26:15, where Jesus told Peter (who had drawn his sword to cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant), “Put your sword in it’s place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

“Think about that for a second: you were made for peace.”

That’s because Christ came to overthrow the kingdom of violence and bring about peace! Peter identified as a minister and follower of Christ, and as such was not supposed to be caught up in the human precedent of violence. After all, the weapons of the Christian’s warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God. According to 2 Corinthians 10:4, a Christian’s weapons are spiritual!

So, though we may be afflicted by violence, we simply cannot fight that violence with violence. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has an amazing quote on the matter, given at the Dexter Baptist Church in November of 1957. He said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

That’s the key to breaking the condemnation of our violent proclivities: love. Before Jesus Christ arrived, the Hebrew people expected their Messiah to be a powerful political leader who would liberate them from Roman rule. But Jesus—though all-powerful—was not caught up in the violent kingdom of man. Jesus came to establish a different kingdom, characterized by peace, which would not come by the sword, but by a revelation of love. As 1 John 3:16 says, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.”

I believe that, deep down, we all desire peace; and I think it’s because God made us for it.

Think about that for a second: You were made for peace.

In the beginning, we were put in right relationship with God, with others, and with all of creation and, since then, humanity has lost sight of the peace we were created for. Instead of finding it in right relationship with God and man, we sought (and continue to seek) it through the enactment of our fleshly desires—which just leaves us dissatisfied and wanting more. Through acts of violence and hate, we seek to eliminate all opposition, thinking that will bring us peace.

But that peace we’re made for can only occur if we experience God’s love and express it to others, becoming a pass-through for it. And the violence that has typified humanity throughout its existence will only be eradicated when all of creation is reconciled to God through a revelation of His love.

I implore you, usher in that kingdom—a kingdom established by love. Know God. Love God. And be a pass-through for His love, that it may reach the world so desperately in need of it.

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