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Violence in Flint, Michigan is endemic

There are many theories on how to treat this malady. But so far, nothing seems to work, with crime escalating in the birthplace of General Motors Corporation. Perhaps that is the reason, GM has all but pulled out of Flint and vicinity.

Various treatments have been given to the patient, but again nothing seems to bring relief. One treatment that has been tried is the rally and youths in Flint gathered at Flint's Atwood Stadium back in May, where they were yelling “Peace in Flint.' Hundreds of youths attended that rally and they were encouraged by some local heroes, such as Mateen Cleaves, and his rapper protege, Jon Connor.

Another approach is to hire more police and have more patrols. Flint has recently started to coordinate its efforts with that of the State Police and the Genesee County Sheriff's Department, and the federal government. The jury is still out on whether or not this new approach will work. Meanwhile north of Flint, in Saginaw they have even implemented some space age technology called “Shot Spotter” which will give the local police the heads-up whenever a gun shot is fired. Presumably this works best at night, but crime and violence is not known to take part of the day off is it?

Visiting a neighbor recently, a toy machine gun was spotted on the porch. This led to the sudden realization, that crime and violence doesn't just happen on the outside at night in Flint, or for that matter anywhere else in the world. Violence starts in the home and just happens to play out in a physical sense in the streets. Does the amount of cartoon our kids watch have any bearing on how their violent nature turns out?

Perhaps violence actually starts in the mind of those who perpetrate it to the outside world. If that's the case, hiring more police officers won't really matter in the long run will it? Is that why the Bible has a strong warning about loving violence. Notice what Psalm 11:5 says about God: “Jehovah himself examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one, And anyone loving violence His soul certainly hates.”

After mentioning the diverse groups attempting to come to grips on the problem he said this: “There are active neighborhood groups, collaborations amongst the faith community, a multitude of youth serving organizations meeting together and looking for solutions...Unfortunately the violence isn't occurring in the meeting rooms in Flint, nor is it happening from 9 --- 5.”

His analysis touches on the root of the problem, when he writes that we begin to live our lives through our computers, ipads, smart phones and televisions. Hutchison adds that “we drive home into our garage then into the house and don't even meet our neighbor. We feel safe in this world, safe from harm, safe from hurt both physically and emotionally. the world can't get to us. In this environment our streets become safe for whoever wants to walk down them and do whatever they want. Everything from stealing copper pipes out of vacant houses to murder.”

Up to this point, we have seen mostly human thinking, on the matter. But how does the Heavenly Father express himself on the matter of violence. He cares about us, for He sent his Son, to die for our sins, and violence is big Sin. Its no coincidence that one prophetic name that Jesus carries is 'Prince of Peace' at (Isaiah 9:6). When con-men were conducting business inside the Temple, a place that Jesus called my 'Father's house,' he took the law into his own hands and drove them out. (John 2:14-17) Did he worry that they had rights which he had to respect? Was Jesus worried whether their conviction would be overturned on appeal, of course not! He took action then on a limited basis, but when he turns full attention to our earth, criminals, the wicked and those not following him, had better look out!

The blogger, mentioned how retiring to our private worlds, somehow protects us from the violence that is endemic not only to Flint, but this entire world. The August, Awake magazine cites evidence that we are not even safe from violence in our homes. After describing how pervasive violence is in our society, it cites the videogame world as a tragic example. “'The uncomfortable fact is, videogames have an unhealthy obsession with bloodshed,' stated a British magazine for video-game enthusiasts. It added: 'To some degree, a love of videogames demands a love of violence.'”( (g12 08-E)

The bottom line is this: as long as violence bombards the airwaves and permeates the streets we will never be able as imperfect humans to defeat this two-headed monster. But Christ Jesus proved that he is the only peace officer able to defeat the wicked and defend the righteous. In the model prayer he assures us all that the Father's Will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That doesn't mean that the earth will become heaven, but it will become peaceful just as heaven is. Shouldn't we all want to live under God's Kingdom?


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