A Terrible World

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – 1863
Encyclopedia Britannica

This poem was written on Christmas 1863, it was a lament by Longfellow, in regard to what he saw as a pacifist, the War between the States had been raging for about 2 years. His son had been badly wounded in one of the battles and he thought that his son would die. The verses here are the last two of the poem, there are two others which are cut out of the song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” because they speak to the great despair of the poet. Here are those two verses:

“Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Wadsworth is not speaking of black persons, but of souls blackened by hatred, he speaks of the beginning of that which killed and maimed so many between 1861 and 1865. Yet these words that were written so long ago, can be applied to the world in which we live today. Hatred is rampant in our world, we see death and destruction all around the globe. We want to stop it but there is no way, short of becoming a part of the destruction. If we want to stop dictators from killing their own people, we must enter the fray, we have done so in Iraq, and in Afghanistan, and yet the killing and hatred still exist.

We have seen another senseless act of violence in our own nation, in a place where there were safeguards. A school, with locked doors, you had to ring a buzzer in order to be seen and allowed to enter, so the killer broke a window and climbed into the building. You have to know that someone bent on murder, is not going to be stopped by a locked door, nor by an unarmed person who he or she confronts, witness the death of 6 adults along with the 20 children. There are laws against murder, yet that did not stop this violence. In the state of CT where this act happened, there are strict gun laws, this man could not buy a gun legally, it is my understanding that he stole the guns after he killed his mother with one of them.

So, what is the answer to this senseless violence? This evil that infects our society. First it means we must recognize that evil exists, it is not the opposite of good, it is rather the complete and utter disdain, and hatred of God. I fully believe that God wants only good for God’s people, that means those who have repented of their sinfulness and turned their lives toward God. I want people to understand that this is what must happen, you must repent of your actions against God, turn your life around and begin to walk in the paths that God has set out for mankind. I know that so-called Christian people have perpetrated horrific crimes in the past, but were these really Christian people or just people who called themselves Christian?

God does not countenance hatred, or murder. We all like to quote the commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” However the actual word is, murder, not kill. Making the commandment say not kill, makes it a bit milder, and easier to call down wrath on those who shoot a deer, or catch a fish for dinner. The word murder however, is one we don’t really like, we try to avoid this word, because it means, killing a defenseless fellow human being. That is what happens, when a terrorist kills innocent people in a town square, a shopping mall, a restaurant. That is what happens when a person takes a gun and shoots children enjoying a birthday party, or when a gang of people do the same thing, such as happened in Mexico a while back. It is what happens when a Muslim terrorist takes a machete to a young girl because she is going to school to become educated. When a woman can be stoned to death because she allowed an ankle to be seen in public, or when hatred of one group by another leads to killing and destruction because they are not like the ones doing the killing.

I see this as our living in what the scriptures refer to as the end times, we have been living in the end times since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Messiah, Lord, over 2,000 years ago. God will return to this earth and will set things right, when I don’t know, but I do believe that it will happen, and that we are getting closer to that time. Hatred shall increase, against those who follow YHWH, God, Jehovah, many more will die, probably thousands, before all this is finished. According to scripture, millions will perish in the last years called the tribulation period, so, it is really just moving in that direction. We who call ourselves Christians, need to look at what we do in our everyday lives, if it does not comport with what God has taught us, “Love the Lord your God and Love your neighbor as yourself” then we need to change our ways.

What do you think? Is there a different way to change things? Can you take the place of God? I hope and pray that we will make a difference, but I know that hatred and avarice will continue and get worse as the years go by. Join the conversation, help to make a difference in your own community, help others to find the right path for eternity is reality.

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