A New Church response to the evil of violence

Once again, our world is exposed to the extreme trauma of another school shooting and the insane murder of innocent children.

Once again, we are asked to pray (and we should) and reach out (and we should) with whatever support might be meaningful. And with broken hearts we do so with the earnest hope that the Lord and His angels might be close to those effected by these horrible acts. But one wonders if that is enough.

Why doesn’t our culture have such strong revulsion to this horrible species of despicable evil that no one, without exception, would ever dare contemplate taking the lives of the innocent under any circumstances? Have we lost the concept of sin? Have we forgotten the notion that people who reject the value of the life of another human being are inwardly rejecting their own ability to receive spiritual human life themselves with disastrous personal consequences?

The Word for the New Church teaches that all human life is sacred. The fact that all human life originates in the Lord by extension binds us all together (see New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine #278). As an illustration of this, the New Testament teaches us to “give and it shall be given” (Luke 6:38). There are also teachings about the inevitable product of one’s decision to steal life from another. The product of the sin of stealing one’s life is the absence of life in oneself – the origin of all true suffering.

As one leader of a faith-based organization, I would urge us to participate in changing the underlying conversation in our culture to make clear to all that the murder of children is wickedness itself. Nobody has the right to do that under any circumstances. The product of such murder is suffering springing from a spiritual desolation in its most raw form. We must choose to protect the lives of children, always.

-David Lindrooth, Assistant Bishop of the General Church of the New Jerusalem

Daily Inspiration

"The Lord's presence with us first becomes possible when we love our neighbor."

Arcana Coelestia 904.3