Stop the blame game.

October 31, 2018

In response to the horrific shootings of the last few days, I join our Kentucky United Methodist Bishop Leonard Fairley in saying, “I am tired of playing the blame game. This is a darkness that lies at ALL our feet: conservative, liberal, progressive, moderate, Democrat or Republican.”

In the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has “called on all United Methodists to be in silent, reflective prayer for 17 minutes for the next seven days.” During this time of prayer, she urges her readers to “not suggest to God what you want God to do to bring about change. But rather, … to listen to God so that God can reveal to you what to say and what to do…”. 

Stop blaming political parties for the darkness that lies in individual human hearts. Start praying for what it is that God has called you to do in response to negative remarks and/or actions made against any people group. Except in times of deep listening to our Almighty God, no longer settle for silence. With a heart of peace, be prepared, as Peter writes, to give a defense for what you believe with gentleness and self-control. The prophet Isaiah shared the Lord’s warning not to “walk in the way of this people, saying: ‘Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what it fears, or be in dread (Is 8:11–12).’” 

We cannot be complacent, but neither should we contribute to the ugliness through our words or actions. We must be a set-apart people. Look for opportunities to apologize to people groups who have suffered because of someone’s dark heart and violent actions or for times you have failed to speak against hatred. Prayerfully listen to how God is calling you to respond and ask for the holy boldness to follow through. 

JUDITH STALLONS