One of my big things, as a follower of Christ, is forgiveness. In the Lord’s Prayer, we are told ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive others’. I think those are some of the most terrifying words and implications in the entire Bible. We are forgiven as we forgive. It is one reason I have a very real problem with those who were abused by Catholic priests. They demand retribution. As a
victim survivor of child sexual abuse, I know the only way to truly recover is not to seek retribution but to forgive the unforgivable. That is how you recover. Christ forgave those who caused his death. If we claim to be followers of Christ, we must be able to forgive, period.
Unless you are living in a barrel, you must be aware that, so far, something like 6 black churches in the vicinity of Ferguson, MO, have been targeted for arson. The attacks appear to be the same, which may be even more terrifying than the arson itself. I would bet the toy poodle that the arsonist is male and white. There are very few times when you hope what is going on is a hate crime. This is one of those times. They fires are all the same. They are being set by the same people or person. And, you’d better hope it is a group of people instead of just one person. A serial arsonist is as terrifying as a serial killer, and basically has the same motivations. In some cases, they are one in the same. One of the stepping stones to becoming a serial killer is arson. Hope & pray this is about hate, and not a serial arsonist, unless they are one in the same. Arsonists can be difficult to catch. I would also bet, if this person knew how to do these specific fires, they’ve done other fires.
I hope I am wrong.
David Triggs, the pastor of New Life Missionary Baptist Church is most impressive, and ministers, these days, rarely impress me.
“…“There’s so much division among the body of believers. I think God is allowing this to happen to bring churches closer together so we can fight a spiritual battle. The arsonist, he’s not my enemy. I forgave him the moment I pulled up to the burning church. I believe he is spiritually sick, and that’s the way we have to address this — by setting our differences aside and praying together.”…”
He went on to say
“… “I have prayed for them. I have forgiven them. I don’t want the communities to be angry. I don’t want the churches to be angry, because it is in these moments that our character is tested.”…”
Michele Brown, business manager at St. Augustine:
“…”We are upset and we’re concerned that there’s an individual who, for whatever reason, is sick. We prayed for them Sunday. There’s something wrong with someone who would do something like that,”..”
The Reverend Roderick Burton, Pastor of New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, is very right that it is a mental health issue. He does not think there is evidence of a racial attack or a hate crime. Like I said, previously, this is one of those times when you hope it is a racial attack or a hate crime. There are things which are worse. Having a seriously disturbed arsonist is one of them. If it is not racist, the arsonist will strike again, or will go from starting fires to killing. Then again, it could also be one of those arsonists who want to be a hero. (FBI profile of arsonists)
- pathological fire starter
- vandalism motivated
- excitement motivated
- revenge motivated
- extremist – political
Racists like to burn churches. They have a tendency to be young, male, white, and lower middle class to middle class, and poorly educated. They may also have a substance abuse problem. They’ve probably been arrested before, for something. Extremist arson can be a sub-set of a serial arsonist.
I am so impressed with the ministers and congregations of these churches. They are truly exemplifying the love of Christ.