Anger and Murder: Monday Monologues, November 25, 2019 (podcast)

Stephen W Hiemstra, 2018
Stephen W Hiemstra, 2018

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

This morning I will share a prayer and reflect on Anger and Murder.

After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

To listen, click on the link below:

Hear the words; Walk the steps; Experience the joy!

Anger and Murder: Monday Monologues, November 25, 2019 (podcast)

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Thanks_2019

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Anger and Murder

Stephen W. Hiemstra, Living in Christ“You shall not murder.” (Exod 20:13)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The Sixth Commandment—you shall not murder—seems cut and dry. In case you missed it, the Bible repeats it five times using the exact same words.⁠1 The punishment for murder—death—is given in the account of Noah (Gen 9:11).

When Jesus talks about murder, he compares it with being angry with and insulting your brother or sister. He then makes a curious comment: [if]

“your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matt 5:24)

This comment is curious for two reasons. First, at the time when he spoke only priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place in the Temple and approach the altar. Second, this comment appears to make reconciliation with our brother or sister more important than reconciliation with God.

So what is that all about? Jesus is reminding his listeners not of the Temple, but of the first murder story in the Bible—the story of Cain and Abel. He uses it as an object lesson. Cain got angry with his brother, Abel, after Abel brought a better sacrifice to God. For this, Cain murdered Abel (Gen 4:1-8). The lesson is that we should reconcile with each other before anger gets out of control and before we do something that we may later regret (Matt 5:23–24).

Jesus is making two important points. 

First, Jesus teaches us to prevent murder by removing the incentive to murder. This lesson can then be applied to all sorts of situations, not just murder.

Second, asking God for forgiveness (bringing a gift) does not erase the sin that we have committed against one another. If we murder someone, asking God’s forgiveness does not restore the life lost or heal the emotional devastation experienced by the victim’s family. Forgiveness cannot be just about words.

The point is that asking God for forgiveness, such as repeating a prayer of confession on Sunday morning, neither requires a change of attitude towards our sin (Jesus’ first point) nor compensating those hurt by what we have done (Jesus’ second point). True repentance (a real change in heart) answers the first point; making restitution (compensating our victims) answers the second point.

Does Jesus’ lesson mean that we should never be angry? No. Anger has an object. Some objects of our anger are selfish and evil; some are not.

Jesus clearly got angry about injustice, about those doing business in the temple (John 2:14–17), and about the hard-hearted Pharisees who refused to allow good works, such as healing, on the Sabbath. By contrast, the Pharisees got so angry at Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath (because it made them look bad) that they responded by plotting his death (Matt 12:10–14).

Footnotes

 1 Also: Deut 5:17; Matt 5:21; Matt 19:18; Rom 13:9.

Why Not Murder

Also See:

Value Of Life

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Thanks_2019

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Caminata de Oración (Prayer Walk) in Manassas, Virginia

Holy Spirit Cross at First Presbyterian Church of Annandale in Annandale, VirginiaCaminata de Oración

“¿No te he mandado? Se fuerte y valiente. No tengas miedo; No te desanimes, porque Jehová tu Dios estará contigo dondequiera que vayas.” Josue 1: 9

Lugar: Desde el Centro Comunitario de Georgetown South atreves de la comunidad.

Día:     1 de Diciembre del 2016

Hora:  7 p.m.

¿Por qué una caminata de oración?

Para reunir a personas de todas las religiones de dentro y fuera de la comunidad para orar por el alivio al miedo que ha causado el homicidio ocurrido el 25/11/16. La comunidad de Georgetown South en Manassas, Viriginia ha sufrido ocho tiroteos en el transcurso del 2016. El que resulto con graves consecuencias fue el homicidio de José Tomas Velasquez, de 44 años que ocurrió el día 25 de noviembre a la l a.m.

Algunos de estos incidentes están relacionados con los mismos sospechosos, pero todos tienen una cosa común; Los que dispararon  no son de nuestra comunidad.

Ellos vinieron a nuestra comunidad para herir, robar y matar, pero vuelvo a repetir no son de nuestra comunidad.

Ellos necesitan entender que sus acciones no van alterar o detener el progreso de esta comunidad que está trabajando por un cambio a sí mismo.

La Comunidad de Georgetown South necesita entender que es apoyada por todos los presentes esta noche, muchos de los cuales no viven aquí, pero que apoyan a esta comunidad de todo corazón.

Ruta del Recorrido:

Iniciara en: 9444 Taney Rd

Continuando por la Taney hacia la Grant Avenue. Luego procediendo de la Grant hacia la Byrd Dr. Luego Aspen y Byrd hacia l “H” Green (detrás de la 9251 Byrd) hacia Maury y Taney, de la Maury a Buckner Road. Despues a la Taney y retornar al Centro Comunitario.

 Direcciones: Mantengan sus velas encendidas durante toda la caminata para poder ver lo que se esconde de tras de la oscuridad en nuestra comunidad.

Para más información:

Martinez Family Ministry: OASIS Mission in Manassas Virginia (click here)

****************************

English translation: Prayer Walk

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Location: Georgetown South Community Center through the community

Date:  December 1,  2016

Time: 7 p.m.

Why a prayer walk?

To bring together people from all faiths from within and outside the community to pray for relief from the fear that has been brought about by the homicide that occurred on 11/ 25/16.

The Georgetown South community in Manassas, Virginia has experienced eight drive-by shootings in 2016. The most serious of which resulted in the homicide of Jose Tomas Velasquez, age 44 on November 25th at lam. While some of these incidents are related with the same suspects, they all have one thing in common; the shooters are not from our community.

They came to our community to wound, rob, and kill, but they are not from among us. They need to understand that their actions will not alter or deter this community’s progress to change itself. The Georgetown South community needs to understand that it is supported by all those present tonight, many of whom do not live here, but who support this community wholeheartedly.

Route:

Begin: 9444 Taney Rd

Continue on Taney to Grant Avenue. Proceed down Grant to Byrd Drive to Aspen and Byrd then through the green “H” Green (behind 9251 Byrd) to Maury and Taney, down Maury to Buckner to Taney and return to the Community Center.

Directions: Try to keep your candles lit the entire walk chasing the shadows and what lurks within away from our community.

For more information:

Martinez Family Ministry: OASIS Mission in Manassas Virginia (click here)

 

 

 

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Do Not murder (Sixth Commandment)

Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Art by Stephen W. Hiemstra

“You shall not murder.” (Exod 20:13)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

The Sixth Commandment—you shall not murder—seems cut and dry. In case you missed it, the Bible repeats it five times using the exact same words [1]. The punishment for murder—death—is given in the account of Noah (Gen 9:11).

When Jesus talks about murder, he compares it with being angry with and insulting your brother or sister. He then makes a curious comment: [if] “your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matt 5:24) This comment is curious for two reasons. First, at the time when he spoke only priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place in the Temple and approach the altar. Second, this comment appears to make reconciliation with our brother or sister more important than reconciliation with God.

So what is that all about? Jesus is reminding his listeners not of the Temple, but of the first murder story in the Bible—the story of Cain and Abel. He uses it as an object lesson. Cain got angry with his brother, Abel, after Abel brought a better sacrifice to God. For this, Cain murdered Abel (Gen 4:1-8). The lesson is that we should reconcile with each other before anger gets out of control and before we do something that we may later regret (Matt 5:23–24).

Jesus is making two important points.

First, Jesus teaches us to prevent murder by removing the incentive to murder. This lesson can then be applied to all sorts of situations, not just murder.

Second, asking God for forgiveness (bringing a gift) does not erase the sin that we have committed against one another. If we murder someone, asking God’s forgiveness does not restore the life lost or heal the emotional devastation experienced by the victim’s family. Forgiveness cannot be just about words.

The point is that asking God for forgiveness, such as repeating a prayer of confession on Sunday morning, neither requires a change of attitude towards our sin (Jesus’ first point) nor compensating those hurt by what we have done (Jesus’ second point). True repentance (a real change in heart) answers the first point; making restitution (compensating our victims) answers the second point.

Does Jesus’ lesson mean that we should never be angry? No. Anger has an object. Some objects of our anger are selfish and evil; some are not.

Jesus clearly got angry about injustice, about those doing business in the temple (John 2: 14–17), and about the hard-hearted Pharisees that refused to allow good works, such as healing, on the Sabbath. By contrast, the Pharisees got so angry at Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath (because it made them look bad) that they responded by plotting his death (Matt 12:10–14).

[1]  Also: Deut 5:17; Matt 5:21; Matt 19:18; Rom 13:9.

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