No one knows the deep
ache and/or numbness one can experience
when they lose a loved one.
Lethal violence is distinctively
a major global phenomenon. Violence
perpetuated against another
can escalate and take on many forms,
We live in a world where power
is often established through violence.
High levels of crime and violence
have now become a major societal
challenge. It is one of the leading
causes of death worldwide.
When we allow hateful ideologies to make groups
or classes of people to be viewed as different, bad,
or even less than human... violence increases.
All too often, violence is linked to misunderstandings,
fear of the unknown, and hatred.
The adverse effects of violence are harmful to us all.
For some... the culture of fear cripples their ability
to even entertain the possibility of building a relationship
with anyone who is different from them.
For some... the culture of fear diminishes one's ability
to see anyone different from themselves as fully human,
or worthy of dignity and respect.
For some... this culture of fear legitimizes
their vicious acts of violence.
The more any group is misunderstood,
the more the unknown can fuel fear
Misunderstandings, insecurity, inferiority complexes,
jealousy, ego, frustration, petty nonsense, bullying,
revenge, and being judgmental can also lead to
hateful words which can snowball
into violent and unpredictable behavior.
Does family dysfunction
attribute to violent behavior?
We believe being a victim of physical
and/or verbal abuse at home
or witnessing others being abused at home
may be a factor for violence outside of the home.
We believe whether children witness or experience abuse,
it can take a toll on their development and increase the
risk for emotional behavioral problems.
It is also possible one may feel alienated, left out,
unworthy, unattractive, unappreciated, unloved
by those at home... and will act out.
Some may be encouraged or dared by peers
to commit heinous acts of violence.
To add insult to injury...
glamorized violence in the media,
including television programming,
movies, music programming, self recorded videos,
print, internet, videos and video games
can contribute to the reduced sensitivity to violence.
We believe exposure to media violence
can trigger all kinds of mayhem.
Researchers suggests that performing violent acts
in video games may be contributing
to children’s aggression more than passively watching
violent acts on television.
According to this view, the more children
play violent games, the more likely they are
to perform violent acts.
It is believed that acting out such violence
as opposed to just viewing the violence
causes the children to become more familiar
with how to act out violence... without consequences.
Unfortunately, violent situations are all too common
in everyday entertainment and there are far less
programming choices that are non-violent
than there are violent.
According to our research...
media violence is somewhat of a precursor
to increased aggression in children and young adults.
This, in and of itself, should be enough for parents
to become more involved
in what their children are exposed to.
Violence has been normalized,
and that is not a good thing.
It has become a way of life for far too many.
Even more disturbing, is some human beings,
like few other species,
have become extremely violent predators
and murderers of other human beings.
They lurk for victims, set traps, are full of evil plots and
wicked deeds, their feet make haste to run to evil,
and they will perform heinous acts of violence...
without a second thought.
There will be a price to pay for violent lifestyles.
If we are not very prayerful and careful...
and don't take the time to think about
the consequences of our actions...
we run the risk of losing connection with ourselves,
each other, and God.
Those profoundly affected
by violence are:
individuals, children, communities, ethnic and/or minority
groups, etc., from all socioeconomic backgrounds and
Dealing with death is a life experience
no one wants to face.
No one knows the deep ache and/or numbness
one can experience when they lose a loved one.
The loss of a loved one can leave one totally devastated.
A tragic loss can be one of the most difficult
experiences that one will encounter
during the course of life.
The overwhelming feelings and emotions that surround
the experience is bound to be accompanied
by a great deal of mental suffering, intense sorrow,
grief, regret, numbness, disbelief, and shock.
When someone important to us dies...
our lives suddenly become different.
There is an end to what has been familiar for us,
and we find ourselves trying to adapt to the new reality.
It takes time to know and decide what to do
and where to go in this new territory...
and changed life that is left behind.
Loss is understood as a natural part of life,
but one can still be overwhelmed and numbed
when emotions begin to take over.
Grieving is uniquely personal.
For the survivors...
it can take time to adjust to feeling safe,
especially if the perpetrator was severely violent.
Violence is a complex phenomenon
that is very difficult to define in one capsule.
Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power
intended to cause physical pain or kill someone.
Damaging or destroying property also fits in this category.
According to wikipedia, violence is a force that could be
threatened or actual, against oneself, another person,
or a group or community,
that either results in or has a high likelihood
of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm,
mal-development or deprivation.
Scripture also shows us that the very words we speak
can be considered as a form of violence.
Common types of violent acts:
Homicide, which is defined as killing
regardless of the circumstances,
assault, aggravated battery, manslaughter,
verbal abuse, slapping, biting, sodomy, date rape,
punching, marital rape and spousal assault,
intimate partner abuse, family violence,
peer group violence, community violence, etc.
Impact of violence:
Violence affects the whole community.
Everyone’s quality of life suffers.
Violence reduces productivity and
decreases property values.
The cycle of violence can continue into new generations.
Violence has consequences for the person who experiences
it and for the person who perpetrates it, and the impacts
can be long lasting.
Victims of violence can experience serious and long-
lasting consequences such as:
death, physical injuries that can lead to disability-
like injuries to the head, eyes, ears, chest and abdomen.
Victims may have to deal with mental health consequences
like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress,
eating disorders, self-harm and suicide attempts,
and poor self-esteem, etc.
Violence in our neighborhoods and communities
cannot be overlooked.
We can't heal a wound by saying it's not there!
Perhaps we can, one day, break the cycle of violence
that has plagued humanity.
Inasmuch as the Scriptures address us about these issues,
so we are called to speak on issues of human violence
Violence is as close to us...
as our own hearts.
For it is from within,
out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—
sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice,
deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.
All these evils come from inside.
A profound truth is found in Genesis
in relation to the moral wrongdoing of violence.
"Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God has God made mankind.
Genesis 9:6 shares the fundamental reality regarding
violence against human beings.
According to the Scriptures...
violence is wrong because human beings
were made in the image and likeness of God.
Life is a gift from God.
Since life belongs to God, humans do not have
absolute autonomy over their own lives,
but we are to be stewards of the life given to us by God.
The lives of all humans, both their own and others’,
are to be cherished and guarded.
The value of human life is intrinsic,
for it derives from God, who made human beings
in his own image.
Consequently, the person who takes the life of another
will be held accountable and punishable by God.
Genesis 9:5–6; Romans 13:1–7
That, in and of itself, makes violence a moral offense.
I am your brother, your sister,
your neighbor, your friend.
Too many, in our society, have become desensitized
to violent acts, not realizing the true effects
of a being punched, kicked, hair pulling, being choked,
being threatened or cut with a knife,
having a body beaten and slammed against something,
being suffocated, having harsh, unkind, demeaning words
hurled, being humiliated, isolated, intimidated,
being subjected to sexual acts against one's will,
or a bullet passing through a human body.
The healing process, the loneliness, confusion,
and despair for families, friends, and survivors
of lethal violence has to be overwhelming.
Coping with the violent death of a loved one,
by murder or accident has to be one of the most
severe challenges anyone can face.
If you and your family have experienced such a loss,
our hearts go out to you...
you have our deepest sympathy and condolences.
God reserves Himself all authority over life and death.
God alone has the right to initiate and terminate life.
This is clearly stated in the Scriptures.
The intentional, premeditated killing of another person
with malice is murder.
Why would anyone deliberately take it upon themselves
to plan and methodically carry out
a murderous attack on another?
How can one feel justified in maliciously depriving
another of their likely future?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:21-22 that murderous anger
can lead the angry man to judgment from God
as quickly as a physical blow.
The violence he exhibits toward someone else
can be brought back upon himself by God.
Sadly, the major predators of humans...
are humans who are angry and empty.
All too often, violence is fueled by
anger and emptiness within.
The availability of all kinds of weaponry
adds fuel to the fire, and it increases the probability of
Personal vendettas against those one may dislike,
is the inevitable outcome of pride...
which is likened to a spiritual cancer.
Let us put an end to the madness.
The cycle of violence needs to
Violence gives birth to more violence.
A person who lives violently
will probably at some point be killed in a violent manner.
Violence begets violence.
Those who practice violence will come to violent ends.
The proverb “Live by the sword, die by the sword”
has a biblical origin.
It comes from a conversation between Jesus
and His disciple Peter just before Jesus was arrested
in the Garden of Gethsemane.
pulled out his sword and struck the servant
of the high priest, cutting off his ear:
Jesus’ placating of Peter also showed His concern
for His disciple—
in warning Peter against using violence,
Jesus prevented Peter from being arrested himself.
How can we overcome
If one does not want to be picked on, bullied, alienated,
or ostracized, one should not pick on, bully, alienate,
or ostracize anyone else.
No matter how one may treat us,
let us do right... and treat them well.
MORE POWER TO THE
Honor the King.
When we obey God's command to honor all people,
we are following our heavenly King and honoring Him.
Then what happens?
Jesus answers in John 12:26:
"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me;
and where I am, there My servant will be also.
If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor."
So first, we humble ourselves,
then give honor and respect even to those who might
appear to be unworthy of honor and respect.
God the Highest, the Supreme Being in the entire universe,
will personally bestow honor and glory on those
who have obeyed this and other commands.
This is God's way:
The more we give, the more we receive.
The more honor we give,
the more honor we will also receive.
May we make it our goal to respect the feelings,
wishes, and rights of others and not hurt,
harm, hinder, or be rude to anyone.
May we cherish life and treat others
in the same manner
in which we would want to be treated.