by Robert Burns
Ye hypocrites! are these your pranks?
To murder men and give God thanks!
Desist, for shame!-proceed no further;
God won't accept your thanks for Murther!
How could God sanction murder? Are some people beyond redemption and grace? Does the message of reconciliation and love not reach everybody?
I believe in a God who is good and desires the reconciliation of this world, not the destruction of it. There are many Christians who agree with the death penalty and would think that God sanctioned the wars of the Old Testament. Well, I just don't see that reflected in Jesus. If Jesus was supposed to show us what the Father was like and correct the ways in which we've messed up this world, the one major message he brought was "love your neighbour" and "love those who persecute you".
Terrence Malick's film 'The Thin Red Line' deals so beautifully with this idea. Each one of us are linked to the same planet; we are all made of the same celestial dirt, and yet we are filled with hate simply because someone lives in another country or have a different skin colour.
"We were a family. How'd it break up and come apart, so that now we're turned against each other? Each standing in the other's light. How'd we lose that good that was given us? Let it slip away. Scattered it, careless. What's keepin' us from reaching out, touching the glory?"
"Where is it that we were together? Who were you that I lived with? The brother. The friend. Darkness, light. Strife and love. Are they the workings of one mind? The features of the same face? Oh, my soul. Let me be in you now. Look out through my eyes. Look out at the things you made. All things shining."