By: Gordon King
Destructive violence has plagued society since the earliest days of our history. It didn't make sense then; it doesn't now. Studying Jesus' encounter with Legion, however, can help us make some sense of evil.
By: EthicsDaily Staff
When people use religion to carry out violence, it must be condemned, Pope Francis said. Goodwill people of faith must use "unremitting efforts" to unmask attempts to ground violent acts in religious faith.
By: Don Gordon
The mass shooting at a Sutherland Springs church in Texas is the latest in a string of killings that has permeated our culture, yet Christians must not lose hope in the ongoing battle against evil.
By: Larry Eubanks
When atrocities occur, we search for a reason to explain them. We want to find a reason to label the perpetrators as different from us, but they're often normal people caught up in evil activity or movements.
By: Gary Furr
Battered by three devastating storms and now a senseless act of violence, our nation has lost beautiful and productive lives. We need laws, but more than that, we need transformation of the human heart.
By: Shaun King
Our nation's capacity to be shocked is fading, its soul numbed and desensitized. While the Las Vegas massacre jolts our conscience, it is likely to fade quickly into the news cycle. More than ever, we need peacemakers.
By: Mark Tidsworth
When their behavior was out of control, boys with mental health disorders went to the time-out room. When its door broke, staff and boys found new ways to relate. If only the world could do the same.
By: Nick Lear
Tragic events are often measured in the number of deaths and injuries. Sadly, there's been a lot to count in the news. Those numbers, however, only reveal part of the story.
When tragic events occur half a world away, we may believe our prayers won't make a difference. But prayer is doing something and it changes things, even from oceans away.
As Syria's war rages on, extremist groups have enlisted children in both combat and support roles. Churches have a moral obligation to lobby their government to protect Syria's children.
My last meal in Kenya was at the Westgate Mall. It was a personal and spiritual moment, now marred by the shooting that left many dead. When will the church bring us together?
We cannot condemn violence when we believe it has no justification and exemplify those who enact it when we believe it is warranted. That's sending a dangerously ambiguous message.
An act like Monday's bombing forces us to consider how we contend with the presence of a rage that is bent on destruction for no explicit or implicit reason.
For the most part, the blast of the first shockwave at the Boston Marathon moved people of faith to prayer. But what do we do after praying and mourning for the victims?
Three sources – an entitlement attitude, media and poverty – fuel our nation's culture of violence. Here are 7 ways your church can make a difference to reduce the violence.
We already have too many guns on the streets, and too many legally owned guns are accessible to questionable people. The larger issue, however, is our culture of violence.
In response to widespread violence in Nigeria, a Baptist World Alliance delegation visited the West African nation, urging the government to ensure the safety of all and to work toward peace.
Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out in opposition to the Vietnam War, seeing it as an extension of the same type of injustice and violence being done to African-Americans in the U.S.
Contrary to what Mike Huckabee believes, God can't be systematically removed from our schools. Even if you removed all Christians, that wouldn't keep God from showing up.
We have gotten to a point where violence is not only packaged and sold; it is celebrated as welcomed entertainment. Isn't it time that we turn down the violence?
As America comes to terms with our present-day "slaughter of the innocents," it's time to find solutions to gun violence, a broken mental health system and violent entertainment.
The weak and broken in spirit among us have been pushed to the fringe and reappear as walking landmines, exploding from Tucson to Newtown. We must offer wholeness and healing.
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., wasn't an aberration. Death and injury associated with firearms is sadly commonplace in the U.S.
In the 24/7 coverage following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, three items stood out: Huckabee's absurdist judgment, people freely discussing faith and gun-control talk.
A peacemaker can even dry God’s tears and ease God’s troubled heart over the behavior of His children. No wonder Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
Violence in Nigeria has left two Baptist pastors dead and many Baptist properties destroyed. "We never faced this type of selective destruction before," a Baptist official said.
When Western allies kill civilians during war, it's collateral damage. When our adversaries do it, we label it a war crime. Either way, innocent people are dead.
A Baptist father of five was among the casualties when Israel bombed the Gaza Strip. A former Gaza Baptist Church pastor says "40 percent" of Gaza's casualties have been children.
A rebel military group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has displaced thousands when it advanced on the city of Goma. Baptist families and churches are housing many.
In the wake of a bomb blast on Oct. 19 that killed a top security official and others, Lebanese Baptists are appealing to Baptists worldwide to pray for the country.
An amateurish film that offended many Muslims triggered violent reactions around the globe, revealing the deep gap between the Muslim and secular worlds. How do Christians help bridge the gap?
Millions tune in to watch two teams battle it out in professional sports. It's an American pastime. But should we be concerned about society's addiction to violent sports?
Drones could be this generation's nuclear weapons. So far, the church has been eerily silent about them. Will we intervene in their proliferation or remain quiet?
A warehouse in Jordan was the site for a U.S.-funded "weapons fair." Imagine the differences if we had offered agriculture resources instead of shilling weapons of war.
With another shooting and mass murder – this time in a Sikh temple – it's time for the community to say no to violence and to the bigotry that can lead to such acts.
Four years ago, Lynne Hybels heard an NPR story about the violence and brutal rapes occurring in the Congo. She knew she had to get involved, she tells EthicsDaily.com.
What can your church learn from the Colorado movie theater tragedy? Don't live in denial. Faith doesn't inoculate us against misfortune. Is your church prepared?
We may not be able to make sense of the shooting massacre in Colorado, but we can start talking about how to interrupt the patterns of violence, an activist and author tells EthicsDaily.com.
In the wake of the Colorado theater shooting, we have witnessed leaders who point toward God without pointing toward the moral obligation for the well-being of neighbor.
After one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, faith leaders are sharing words of comfort as the nation comes to grips with the tragedy that left 12 dead and 58 wounded.
We can't stop all the deranged persons bent on inflicting pain. But after Friday's tragedy in a Colorado theater, will we face the violence in human hearts and work for peace?
Sunday marks the first anniversary of the massacre of 77 people in Norway. The tragedy is "second only to World War II" in terms of national grief, a Baptist minister there says.
We often yearn for the way things used to be, but those days never existed. As one teacher reminded, the world always changes and is always the same. What matters is how we respond.
More than 5,700 children and teen-agers were killed by guns in two years. Because of gun violence, desks now sit empty that might have held the next great scientist or writer or parent.
Unquestioned religious devotion takes its toll in many ways. Sadly, people throughout history have never done so much wrong as they have done in the name of religious conviction.
The legislator who pushed Florida's 'stand your ground' law is a leader in a Baptist church. As we follow Jesus, it should become more difficult to engage in and approve of violence.
Some sort of military strike by Israel to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon seems to be growing. Will a peaceful solution be a priority for our leaders?
WASHINGTON (RNS) A delegation of Egyptian Christian leaders said they do not support the development of a Christian political party.
(RNS) The threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism is "tiny" and often exaggerated by government officials, a leading anti-terrorism expert said in a new report.
Christians eager to condemn Islam as a religion that spreads itself through warfare should be reminded that Christians often have ignored Jesus' teaching in order to justify war.
CLEVELAND (RNS) A federal judge refused to release the leader of an Amish splinter sect from jail on charges he orchestrated the cutting of beards.
As a new of religious violence moved across Nigeria, some Muslims and Christians in Africa's most populous nation have exchanged sharp rhetoric while others called for peace.
The Christmas bells may ring "peace on earth," but the ringing has been drowned out by Christmas bombs signaling "no peace on earth." Perhaps we can echo the Christmas Day prayer of Pope Benedict XVI.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Nearly one in five clients of Christian rescue missions said they were victims of physical violence within the past year.
British Christians called for an inquiry into the deaths of at least 26 Coptic Christians during a peaceful protest in Egypt, condemning that nation's army for downplaying its role in the incident.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI lamented the killing of two dozen Christian protesters in Egypt.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (RNS/ENInews) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has asked Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to intervene to stop attacks on Anglicans.
Granting a rare and brief "interview," God discusses politicians who say they're suited for office because they have a special relationship with God. Does the Almighty endorse?
(RNS) For years, many religious and political conservatives in the U.S. have sought to connect Islam to violence carried out by Muslims.
Violence is a vicious cycle. We have fought for so long against each other that warfare has become our natural state. But Jesus' call to nonviolent resistance to evil shows us the path to genuine humanity.
WASHINGTON (RNS) A group of 40 religious leaders called for the president to “bring the war in Afghanistan to an end.”
Since massive protests forced Egypt's President Mubarak from power earlier this year, the country has seen a surge in violence against the Christian minority. And the interim government seems to be looking away.
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) The Dalai Lama says peace in the world begins with peace in oneself. Some of his fellow Nobel laureates, however, aren’t convinced.
While many feel a sense of great relief that Osama bin Laden is not able to murder again, biblical and rabbinic traditions caution us not to rejoice when an enemy falls.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) Breaking a two-day deadlock, a federal jury convicted a white man, Michael F. Jacques, on all three charges.
Human trafficking is alive and well in today's world. Women and children are trafficked for sexual purposes and as unpaid labor – even in the United States. And some Christians are doing something about it.
Although the Christian music industry won't have her, Kate Campbell's music, as reflected in songs like "Bear It Away," brings a prophetic insight into social issues.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI is calling for an immediate cease-fire and peace negotiations in Libya.
A handful of U.S. Christian leaders and commentators weighed in on U.S. military force against Libya. Other Christian quarters were silent, but several Christian right leaders predictably advocated for war.
The military campaign against Libya rests on untested assumptions and unexamined myths. Christians should be slow to pronounce the rightness of the campaign until they address those myths.
The "war to end war" was nearly a century ago, but wars continue to erupt around the globe. Instead of trying to end violence with more violence, maybe it's time to practice the way of nonviolence taught by Jesus.
When politicians ramped up their anti-immigrant rhetoric to garner votes, violence against Hispanics increased 40 percent. Is it any surprise that even Hispanic U.S. citizens are fearful?
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Violence committed in the name of God or religion is a “favorite instrument of the Antichrist.”
Many believe the threat of war and violence is the only way to limit war and violence. Recent events in Egypt have revealed that this doctrine of mutually assured destruction is precarious at best.
Thirty-four people a day are murdered by firearms in the United States, which means every three months, more people are killed by guns in this country than were killed by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
Following a church bombing that killed 23 and injured 80 and a shooting that killed one and injured five, Egypt is becoming a "very dark" place for Christians, according to a Baptist minister.
Language has consequences. Words are powerful, and when they are carelessly unleashed, disaster almost always ensues. The psalmist is correct: "A soft answer turneth away wrath."
If we act as our brother's keeper, we care that incendiary political talk can harm. However, too many in our society – many of whom light verbal fuses for a living – favor the ethic of Cain.
Freedom of speech has always given rise to extremists who abuse that freedom. When rhetoric turns violent, we need to do something about it. It's time to tone down the rhetoric and find a way to work together.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI decried violence against Christians in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
The political rhetoric of the past few years has been hateful and loveless. We need a national repentance that involves leaders from all sides coming together in confession of and remorse over their vitriolic speech.
The statements and actions of a few have consequences on the entire community. Let's encourage leaders who speak for less heated, self-righteous rhetoric and for more statements based on truth and care for neighbor.
Muslim and Christian leaders began the new year with a flurry of statements and comments condemning Islamic attacks on Christians in Egypt and Nigeria.
As Coptic Christian worshipers left a New Year's Eve service in a church in Alexandria in northern Egypt, a bomb exploded outside the church killing at least 21 Christians and injuring 97.
An extremist Islamic organization took credit for multiple attacks in Nigeria on Christmas Eve that resulted in the death of a Baptist pastor and the burning of Victory Baptist Church in Maiduguri.
The birth of Jesus represents the supreme effort on God's part to reshape our flawed humanity back into his own image. If we would only accept as true the things Jesus had to say to us, what a different world this might be.
As longevity increases in Western societies and actual encounters with dead bodies and rituals of death become rarer in the lives of children and youth, the fascination with suicide and violent death increases.
A small stand of solidarity may seem like a routine action but can be a source of God's healing love for those in need. For 14 Advents, Highland Baptist Church has placed crosses on their lawn in memory of victims of violence.
(RNS) A recent survey found that public school students were more likely to participate in physical violence.
We lived in a blessed time and place in the relative safety of the United States, but our brothers and sisters in Christ in war-torn corners of the globe aren't faring as well. When fear and anxiety grip us, we must stand firm.
The attack of a Catholic church in Baghdad, resulting in the loss of dozens of innocent lives, has focused attention once more on the plight of the Christian population in Iraq as well as the Middle East.
Society is so saturated and prone toward violence that people find it hard to believe in anything else, but only nonviolence can break the cycle of violence and open a door for peace.
Following an attack on a Roman Catholic Church in Baghdad that left more than 50 Christians dead, Baptists and other Christians in the Iraqi capital say they are living in fear.
(RNS) Three outbursts of violence in or near churches, including one during worship services, are raising safety concerns for church leaders.
The tension that drives the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo developed long before the Rwandan genocide of '94 or before the conflict minerals became issues. So what ultimately motivates the ongoing violence?
While the British government talks about prison reform in its own country, it cannot turn a blind eye to women in Afghanistan who are unjustly imprisoned – some because they fled domestic violence.
Some Baptists have a distorted reverence for guns. They see protection in faith and a firearm. For these Baptists, the church is a mighty fortress – fully armed. Other Baptists have a more realistic approach.
How do we bring an end to violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo? It won't be because the United Stated passed legislation to create an auditing and certification system for mineral supply chains.
The U.S. Supreme Court has now made it clear in a 5-4 decision that the Second Amendment right to own a firearm in this country is inviolable. Why does the right to "keep and bear arms" trump the right to public safety?
Once health care reform passed, the anti-reform minority became vitriolic, shouting racial epithets, carrying out acts of violence and claiming states' rights were usurped. It all mirrors the objections to civil rights in the '60s.
The rhetoric of the Tea Party members and others, who were unable to make their will mandatory through the electoral process, is crossing a dangerous line into a social activism that condones violence.
Violence between Muslims and Christians continues in Nigeria with heavy clashes occurring in Plateau State, a region in the center of the country with a long history of religious conflict.
Why do so many Christians support violence when our Savior seems to have done otherwise? Do we support war in order to forget that we were once victims?
Nigerian Baptists have asked for prayer following violence between Christians and Muslims that has left an estimated 500 people dead and displaced around 18,000 others.
Hopefully, goodwill Baptists will show discernment about what has happened at Fort Hood and avoid the path towards demonizing Muslims.
The system failed Fiona Pilkington, who took her life and her daughter's after years of bullying. When will more Christians speak up for those who can't speak for themselves?
Our society has an appetite for violence. The rise in mixed martial arts fighting is another way that appetite's being fed. What's the Christian response to pervasive consumer violence? (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)
Members of the Baptist World Alliance paused to pray for Nigeria, where more than 800 people were reportedly killed during the latest round of religious sectarian violence.
When a well-respected rabbi advocates the killing of civilians and the destruction of holy sites in time of war, one must ask what makes him different from Muslim extremists. Further, what do we say in response to this?
A church encourages bringing guns to worship. A survey reveals regular church-goers believe torture is often or sometimes justified. Are we surprised that the Christian gospel has become associated with militaristic imperialism?
The news that a U.S. soldier is suspected of gunning down five other U.S. soldiers in Baghdad is a sober reminder of the stress of war. With statistics showing a rise in violent crime within the U.S. military, what will we do to help?
Efforts are under way to slow or even end the conflict in the Congo by cutting demand for minerals in the global market. However, the fight over these minerals, which power our mobile phones and LCD screens, is not the primary cause of the conflict.
Ten years after the Columbine High School massacre, the shootings have become part of conservative evangelical culture war mythology. However, much of what we heard and much of what we as evangelicals told ourselves simply was not true.
In less than a month, 49 people were murdered in a hail of bullets in eight separate incidents. We need a rational approach for serious gun regulation. We restrict driver's licenses by type of vehicle, why not gun owners and guns?
ATLANTA -- When many wouldn’t, Angel and Jason Pittman believe—in their neighbors, in the community, and in what God can do. After years of living that message in Overtown, the poorest neighborhood in Miami, the local community is starting to believe, too.
The narrative inspiring Mark Osler's book, Jesus on Death Row: The Trial of Jesus and American Capital Punishment, is compelling. In 2001, while teaching at a conservative Christian law school, this former prosecutor re-conducted Christ's trial under Texas law in his Baptist church in Waco.
Here is a question related to what the lawmakers in Arkansas are considering: “Would Jesus carry a gun to church?” I think most of us would certainly answer no to this question. But the issue over guns in church raises a larger question about our infatuation with violence that is directly contrary to Jesus’ message and life of non-violence.
The church shooting last Sunday in Knoxville, Tenn., was a nightmare I have long feared. Churches, like schools, are easy targets for madmen wishing to inflict harm on defenseless people.
Baptist World Alliance's Freedom and Justice Commission participants spoke candidly about what they had experience in visits to the West Bank, voiced deep concern about the treatment of Palestinians and discussed the need to address the problem of Christian Zionism during the BWA's annual meeting held this year in Prague, Czech Republic.
Churches should send a strong message to youth that carrying a gun or knife is "totally unacceptable," a speaker told about 100 Christians packed into a British Baptist church last weekend.
At least 20,000 African-American men packed the streets of St. Louis on the first Sunday in June, marching one of the historic Annie Malone May Day Parade routes through "The Ville" and ending in Tandy Park.
I wish I could find just one religion without its violent wackos. I've long given up on the Abrahamic faiths, and Japanese Buddhism during World War II rules them out. So how about Hinduism?
Recent violence in Orissa, India, was the worst ever targeting the Christian community in democratic India, according to a fact-finding report by the All India Christian Council.
An Asian Baptist leader called on Baptists worldwide to pray for peace and normalcy to be restored in India's Orissa state and that local and national governments there will stand by democratic principles of freedom of religion.
This Christmas season has been tragically scarred by a series of senseless violent acts. Shopping malls and churches are the latest venues for troubled individuals to take out their frustrations on the innocent.
A Southern Baptist pastor charged last month with domestic violence after a fight with his wife resigned from his Atlanta-area church on Sunday, according to media reports.
Christians, Muslims and Jews around the world prayed for this week's Mideast peace talks in Annapolis, Md.--some for their success and others for them to fail.
Ian Smith, the former white minority president of Southern Rhodesia, has died. Smith and his supporters unilaterally (and illegally) declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1965 and ran a white minority regime for 14 years, until an insurgency led by Robert Mugabe finally forced him into peace talks at Lancaster House in 1979.
The pastor of a Southern Baptist church in suburban Atlanta is on administrative leave after being arrested on charges of simple assault and obstruction of a 911 call after an altercation last week with his wife.
The last few weeks I have noticed even less attention paid to Iraq in the newspapers and on the cable news channels. Then along came Thomas L. Friedman in this Wednesday's column in the New York Times titled "Remember Iraq."
Having served as a pastor now for over 30 years, I have seen every sort of outreach gimmick you can imagine. Churches have been willing to do almost anything to get people into church, especially young people.
I saw the Halo youth-ministry story that everyone's commenting on when I picked up a copy of the New York Times at the airport on Sunday.
Lebanese Christians are divided with factions stockpiling weapons and preparing for a civil war, according to a New York Times article last week.
Six years ago, Sunday, Oct. 7, was the day we buried my wife's mother in the old cemetery in Farmersville, Texas. Following the burial services the family gathered for a late afternoon lunch. It was a time of remembering a fine lady and the best mother-in-law anyone could ask for.
Pastors, have you ever preached a sermon against domestic violence? Odds are you haven't. I've listened to approximately 4,000 sermons and have yet to hear a pastor condemn domestic violence from the pulpit.
Christians in Myanmar, including Baptists, planned prayer services for their country, while an American Baptist leader urged Christians everywhere to follow events and pray for peaceful resolution of a bloody government crackdown of pro-democracy demonstrations now in its second week.