Dr. Alan Cureton, president of Northwestern University is a mentor and friend to us all at Northwestern Media. He sent an email out today re: the senseless acts of violence we’ve been witnessing including the most recent killings at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg. I hope you will take time to read it and pray for those who have suffered loss in these tragedies.
It happened again.
While I was traveling out of the country last week, another hate crime caused the deaths of innocent people—and once again in a house of worship. I cannot comprehend the evil in one’s heart that motivates a person to enter a synagogue (Pittsburgh), or a church (South Carolina & Texas), or a movie theatre (Denver), or an elementary school (multiple sites), or a hotel room across from an outdoor concert (Las Vegas) and intentionally seek to kill innocent people. These are acts of pure evil. These hate crimes are a plague upon our society.
As followers of Christ Jesus, the Messiah, we stand against all acts of hate and violence. The post-modern worldview that dominates our culture believes that humans are basically good. Our biblical worldview espouses that to be untrue. Humans, due to original sin, are sinful creatures capable of significant evil. We witness evil in our society on a daily basis. And, each evil act angers me.
As a biblically-grounded, Christ-centered community, all acts of hate are unacceptable to us, whether it be on our own campus or anywhere else in the world. All hate speech is unacceptable. Why? Because a foundational tenet of our biblical worldview is the belief that each human being is made in the image of God. Each individual life is sacred. Because we are made in the image of God, we hold the sanctity of life in high esteem. The Word of God instructs us to a higher standard. It commands us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and then to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). Therefore, we must relate to each human being with respect and love regardless of their age, race, gender, nation of origin, political persuasion, economic status, etc. Hate crimes, hate speech, hate actions have absolutely no place on this campus, in this community, in this country, in this world.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
With the grace of God guiding and sustaining us, as followers of Christ we must demonstrate the civility (kindness) that our society so desperately needs. Our culture, especially the church, needs to have the ability to exchange ideas and thoughts without provoking the other person to anger or making them feel defensive or uncomfortable simply because they may disagree with our viewpoints (humility). Yet, we must, at all times, be a voice for the voiceless, speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves (justice). We can do this in our offices, dorms, homes, classrooms, in chapel, at church, or over a cup of coffee.
I believe as followers of Christ we can impact the world, we can change the world. I believe this with all my heart. But, it starts with each of us first, as individuals.
Join me in doing what we can, when we can, to make a difference in this world.
Alan S. Cureton
Thank you Dr. Al for challenging us to be difference makers.
Something to think about.