Summary: The riots in our nation's Capitol on January 6th are still fresh in our minds. This sermon designed for Valentines Day addresses the issue of violence.
VIOLENCE IS NEVER RIGHT
The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise in heart will receive commands, But a prating fool will fall.
9 He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known.
10 He who winks with the eye causes trouble, But a prating fool will fall. 11 The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.
Today is Valentine's Day,
celebrated each year on February 14.
It is supposed to be a day to celebrate love and romance.
However, 91 years ago today an event took place in Chicago
that had nothing to do with love.
It was the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.
7 members and associates of Chicago's North Side Gang
were lined up against a wall
and shot by 4 assailants dressed like police officers.
The incident resulted from the struggle
to control organized crime in Chicago.
It was between the Irish North Siders,
headed by George "Bugs" Moran,
and their Italian South Side Gang rivals led by Al Capone.
That act of violence eventually led
to a crackdown on organized crime.
Unfortunately, there was another act of violence
just 39 days ago.
An angry mob stormed the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
It was a riot and violent attack
carried out by a mob of supporters of President Trump
in an attempt to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election.
A lot of property was destroyed in the Capitol Building.
Four people lost their lives,
but the outcome could have been worse.
Rioters were searching for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
I shudder to think what might have happened
if they had found her.
It appears President Trump’s words encouraged the riot.
Here’s something that disturbs me.
Rioters carried crosses and signs saying, "Jesus Saves",
and "Jesus 2020".
On the National Mall, rioters chanted, "Christ is king."
One rioter who stormed into the building
carried a Christian flag.
Some rioters called themselves "God's warriors".
I don’t believe Christians should act that way!
During the 1860s our nation was embroiled in a Civil War
over the issue of slavery.
Nearly a quarter of a million soldiers and civilians
lost their lives in that war.
It’s clear that the war didn’t really settle the issue
because today there are still racial issues
that divide the whites and the blacks.
The recent riots in our nation’s Capitol
and the rhetoric we find on social media
proves there are many who accept the idea of violence.
I doubt that another Civil War like the 1860s will happen
because there are no geographical boundaries.
Yet there are staunch Democrats and Republicans
who seem to be just as opposed to each other
as the North and South in the 1860s.
Hopefully this present undeclared Civil War
won’t develop into further violence.
As a Christian and a conservative,
I am disappointed by President Trump’s actions
as well as those who stormed Washington D.C.
Point #1. Violence has been around for a long time.
Genesis 4:8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
That’s the first act of violence in the world.
The Old Testament is loaded with murder stories.
Moses kills an Egyptian.
Absalom kills his half brother Amnon.
David arranges for Bathsheba’s husband Uriah
to be killed in battle.
That’s just a sample of murders found in the Old Testament.
The fact is, God condemns the act of murder.
The Old Testament also contains many stories of violence.
The Hebrew people attacked and killed
pagan people living in Canaan land.
However, those were conducted
as acts of war against enemies.
Point #2. Jesus condemned acts of violence.
During His slightly more than 3 years of public ministry,
there was a radical group of Jews called the Zealots.
One of the 12 Disciples had been in that group.
His name was Simon.
These Zealots would ambush and kill Roman soldiers
in an effort to drive out the Roman government
and restore Israel to it’s former state.
Violence was never encouraged by Jesus.
Yes, He told His disciples in Luke 22:36 ”…and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”
However, those swords were intended for defense
and not attacks.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”