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What exactly does it mean to have a culture of violence?
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Exactly what does it mean to have a culture of violence?
There is literally no escape from the inevitable touch of violence, and like death’s merciless and icy grip, there seems to be no way to avoid being touched by it in some way. But before one gives in to the dark clutches of despair and futility, perhaps the thinking about “violence” needs to be reexamined from another perspective that is basic to its intrinsic nature; the propensity to which all living things are imbued with. The first thing to realize is that violence is not a social phenomenon, cultural pathology, or moral transgression. In its basic and primordial essence, it is the natural and instinctual struggle for survival, and as such, human life or any other type could never come into existence. It might be easy to blame the media or entertainment industry for the upsurge in violence but our prehistoric and ancient ancestors seemed to have done a pretty good job of killing and waging war, even making other civilizations and cultures extinct without having the advantage of being exposed to modern technology. Let’s just see what the Bible has to say about the subject of violence.
Isaiah 51: 9b
Was it not You who cut Rahab to pieces, Who pierced the monster through?
Psalms 74: 13b-14
You broke the heads of the monster in the [cosmic] waters. It was You who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert.
NOTE: This is poetic imagery taken from earlier pagan mythology about the Creation and the struggle against monstrous and violent cosmic forces [Rahab] in making the universe.
Genesis 4: 6a, 7b
The LORD said to Cain, “But if you do not what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it’s desire is to have you, but you must master it.”
NOTE: This is probably the most overlooked, and yet, the most revealing lines of text in the Bible-one of those precious spiritual gems of great value and of which contains invaluable or immensurable truth. According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the word (de)sire is derivative of sidero/sidereal-‘astral’ (Latin astrum [“star”]; Gr. astrom- relating to or coming from the stars. Next, the word (m)aster comes from Latin aster; Gr. aster (“star”). The Biblical narrative tells the story how Cain killed Abel after getting into an argument with him.
Now keeping in mind the root words for ‘desire’ and ‘master’ presented in the dictionary,
Genesis 3: 19b
For dust you are and back into dust will you return. Astrophysicists, Cosmologists, and scientists in related fields of study engaged in researching the origins of the universe and the existence biologic life on earth, have concluded that it originated from n interstellar dust cloud in some far distant galaxy. This seems to greatly support the pronouncement by God that Adam [human race] was created from and will return back to the substance that God created and formed Adam from, namely [star] dust. Metaphysicians claim that the only existence possible consists of energy and consciousness, and I wonder if this is possibly what is meant by Genesis 1: 27, where God [Heb. Elohim] creates Adam [man/mankind] in the image and likeness of Elohim.
Let’s consider a very interesting passage found in the Bible.
Revelation 12: 7, 8, 9b
And there was war [violence] in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. That great dragon was hurled down. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
NOTE: It was a battle of unimaginable proportions and the unleashing of cosmic forces/energy beyond human comprehension. I can also imagine that the crash landing by the dragon [Satan] and his angels after their defeat in the celestial war was none too gentle.
So to wrap it up then, the cause of violence is ingrained and has nothing to do with morality because it is amoral forces or energy but it is a moral choice [based upon societal norms and values] to commit a violent act, either for good or for harm/evil. It is not an unsolvable dilemma and there is hope because Jesus told His disciples in John 16: 6 “In this world you will have trouble but take heart, for I have overcome [mastered the world]. Isn’t this the very word that Cain was told, that he must overcome the desire/urge to do wrong, that we must become the master over our impulses and inclinations? The cause is supernatural and the cure must also be supernatural because human effort, no matter how good it is, doesn’t tame, neither mortify the deeds of the fierce LEO within each of us, but salvation can only by faith in the Lamb [ARIES] of God who gave Himself as a ransom for our sins by shedding His precious blood on the Cross of Crucifixion. The apostle James sums it up nicely: What causes fights and quarrels among you, don’t they come from your desires that battle (wage war) within you [your mind]? You want [desire] something but you don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot [do not] have what you want [desire] (Cp. James 4: 1-2a).
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June 11, 2015
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13 Jun 2015
This is a terrific article. Thanks for sharing. You have presented ideas that I hadn't thought of before and they are very revealing.
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