I watched someone die today

War in the Middle EastImage by Stewf via Flickr

I watched someone die today.

Tehran ProtestsImage by .faramarz via Flickr

She was murdered.
Her death was captured on video and broadcast from Tehran on YouTube. She was shot during a protest of the Iranian presidential elections. The participation of women in the protests has earned the conflict between citizens and government the nickname “Lipstick Revolution.”
I confess, I haven’t kept up with the news very well in the past few weeks. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on over there. In an effort to keep myself informed about current events, I checked on some news stories on the Internet. I ended up on YouTube, of all places, watching unedited videos of riots and protests posted by Iranian citizens without government (or media) interference.
After the disturbing images disappeared from my screen, I was left with this thought: Will I see her in heaven? Did anyone ever share the gospel of Christ Jesus with her? Did she have an opportunity to know the One who loves her more than life? It wasn’t God who killed that young woman. Hatred killed her. Hatred given free rein.
And as I skim through the tweets on Twitter from fellow ministers and believers, and read the posts on Facebook, and clear my e-mail box of all the anti-Obama forwards sent by well-meaning friends and family, my heart trembles for my own nation, and for the body of Christ.
There’s a wave of hatred that’s been allowed to run rampant in the church, and in our nation. Hatred is hatred, whether it’s in Iran or in the United States. Hatred of illegal immigrants, Muslims or Democrats. Hatred for our president, and don’t even bring up the vice president! Hatred of gays, hatred of liberals or hatred of Republicans and fundamentalists. Name a cause, a tenet, a doctrine, an opinion, a position, a group… there’s someone out there ready to hold up a sign and start picketing against it.
If we aren’t careful, hatred will creep in and start killing us, too.

“But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

1 John 2:11

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4 thoughts on “I watched someone die today

  1. Krista Phillips says:


    This is a tough one.

    There are two sides to every story. You are so correct. Hatred is an aweful thing. As much as I disagree with our president and am saddened and grieved by the direction he's leading our country, I don't hate him. Now, I don't like him either, but two different things. I love my husband but at times don't really like him, or better said, don't like what he does.

    Christians aren't perfect. There are times that our zealousness to spread the Gospel, to live for Christ, and bring sinners to God crosses a border into doing what WE think we should do for God verses what GOD tells us to do. But, I also lean on the verse where Jesus tells the disciples that it's the person's heart, their motive, that he truely cares about.

    We ARE to hate sin. And I'll agree that many times our hatred of sin comes across as hatred of the sinner, which is wrong, and sin itself. On the same token, as we search for the power and the wisdom to spread love, we are to be careful not to embrace tolerance of sin too, because it's an easy pitfall to fall into.

    I've gone on and on, I'm sorry. This is an important subject and one not solved overnight. My fear is that many well meaning Christians are going the opposite direction, embracing SIN instead of just the sinner, justifying wrong things in the name of Love to counteract the actions of the people who are spreading hatred in the name of God.

    Let us remember that both extremes are abhorant to God.

    Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

    Notice this says WHAT and not WHO.

  2. Annie says:

    Very powerful Niki and timely. I've been contemplating in my own heart and mind this very subject for the last two weeks. I haven't been able to sort it all out but am working on it.

  3. Niki Turner says:

    Excellent point from Romans 12:9! And you're right, it is so hard to separate the sin from the sinner. I think all we can do is try to follow Jesus and respond to sin (and the sinner) the same way He did! It's interesting to me that the harshest response we ever see from Him was toward the religious leaders of the day!
    Thanks for commenting.

    I appreciate the comment. It IS hard to sort this all out, and so difficult to avoid falling into either side of the ditch! But with grace, and the love of God in our hearts, it is possible!

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