How Should We Respond To These Mass Killings?

Kevin Cain   -  

What can we do about these mass killings? How should we respond?

The mass killings in New Zealand and Nigeria are absolutely appalling. Killing people because they are different exposes a worldview that is not tolerable. So what can we do?

Be informed: In this day and age, there is nothing keeping you from being informed of what is happening in the world. The reason many of us didn’t read about the Nigerian killings is due to our choices of world news providers. As followers of Jesus, we cannot afford to read only US-focused news.  Even though you currently may not know where many countries in the world are, read and learn. Use your map app or software to look up where a country is located.

But information coming from and about Nigeria killings isn’t as clear as it is about the New Zealand mosque shooting.  How can I truly know what is going on? I’m aware that Snopes.com questions the reason behind the killings in Nigeria. Are there other trusted sources? Who can I trust? This is all part of being informed. Find those news reports that reference two or three other sources as well. Find an organization that you can trust. Personally, I like World for a Christian perspective.

Pray: As you read, pray for these countries.  Pray for believers, for missionaries, for those who are suffering, and for the government to act in a way that provides opportunities for the people.  At least once a week, as you are reading about a global event, go to the Joshua Project and learn what God is doing in that country. As you learn about a country, read about one of the distinct people groups in that country and what is going on to reach them with the gospel.

Act: As we get informed, we learn things in our heads.  As we pray about global events, we slowly develop God’s heart for the world.  Once our head and heart are engaged, how do we get our feet moving?  Reach out to those who are different from you.  Learn how to interact, ask questions, and develop a love for others.  Learning to connect with those who are different than us—especially those who hold different views than us on very important topics—takes practice.  It takes God’s help to move us forward. It takes the Spirit’s help to sustain us.  Have you stepped out so far from your comfort zone that you really needed the Lord’s help?  If not, try it!

As you act locally, learn how you might act globally.  Since it really is a heart problem that is behind these killings, how can we play a role overseas while here in the U.S.? Yes, pray! Then find out what is happening in that country or in that people group (I’m more than willing to help you in this endeavor!). Write and encourage missionaries, support them monthly (once you do this, your prayer life for that are will likely increase), and talk to your family and others about this need. May God use you as a catalyst.

I am always shocked by mass killings.  To have a month where 50 are killed in New Zealand and over 120 in Nigeria is overwhelming.  I’m practically numb. But that cannot stop me. Frankly, with over 7 billion broken, selfish souls walking this planet, I’m thankful this type of thing doesn’t happen more often.  Let’s get (and stay) informed, let’s pray, and let’s be intentional about taking action.

When killings take place, no matter where they are, we should weep.  May we never become like the writer behind the mournful lyrics:

A thousand die, and that news goes by, 

And I don’t think twice, cause’ it’s not my life

A thousand die and I do not cry, 

Though at times I’ve tried, it’s a hopeless fight…

“Desperate Faces” (Jenny & Tyler Somers – This Isn’t a Dream). Copyright 2009. One Eyed Cat Music (BMI).