Kalamazoo and the Threat of Violence
On Saturday night, six people were shot dead and two others injured across several locations in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. Police have detained a 45-year-old Uber driver as the key suspect in the shootings. This is devastating news, and unfortunately not uncommon. According to The Washington Post, the Kalamazoo rampage was the 24th mass shooting in the United States during the first 21 days of February and the 42nd mass shooting overall in 2016. So how do we, as Christians and leaders, respond to the level of violence that seemingly pervades American culture?
"Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus said. But in the face of the horrific realities of mass shootings like this, we feel helpless to address such overwhelming violence. Certainly we can pray for peace, but maybe it's time to start fighting for it, too? One of the books in our Barna FRAMES series entitled Fighting For Peace addresses the issue of violence in our society and how to respond to it. One of the key findings from the study was that nearly half of Americans (47%) say they've grown less comfortable with violence in the last decade. So how do we answer the call to become radical peacemakers in our increasingly violent world?