By Dr. (Barr) Faraday Iwuchukwu
“The Lord examines the righteous but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates” (psalm 11.5).
VIOLENCE HAS ROOT IN MAN
The truth must be spoken and admitted that violence has it's root in us, Human Being as certain issues likely force violence out of the being within us mortals basically. No human argument or theory can dispute or fault our Lord Jesus' submission in Mark 7.21-23 “For from within out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, covetousness, wickedness deceit, lasciviousness ,an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness, all these evil things come from within, and defile man.”
This divine profound insight about Human beings can't be faulted by any human theory or philosophical position of mortals. With the aforementioned vices in human beings, here will be no room for sanity or purity without the Lord of Lords and King of Kings being given his rightful place in our hearts and lives. The salvation from sin through the efficacious blood and name of Jesus Christ has no substitute.
Wrong desires or inclination are bound to produce wicked actions more so when we look at these, severally or feed our hearts, eyes and minds on and with these negative things to the extent they become inseparable part of us. The opposite is the case when we think and deeply reflect on what the book of Philippians 4.7-8 says” And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren whatever things are true whatsoever things are pure, what so ever things are lovely, what so ever things are of good report, if they be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things”
It is a known fact that our inside is bound to reflect and control our external aspects. Absence of regeneration is bound to produce e satanic seeds including violence.
THERE ARE OTHER CAUSES OF VIOLENCE
It is needful to also state without fear of contradiction that the original and cause of violence can be a complex issue. In some situations violence can not be narrowed down to any one segment. Environmental factors, relationships, associations, peer mentality or peer groups, social media, entertainment industry, value system, family upbringing. Remarkably Mobs are bound to display less inhibition in their behavior reason being that their own moral behaviors and standards will likely lead to aggressive and violent conducts.
This indeed is the analytical social psychology of Mobs. The mobs feel that they have not too much at stake. Such mobs can be misguided; mindless, unfocused as they consider themselves not to belong to Racial, tribal, religious or social settings and can spring up violence.
FIRST MURDERER – (Gen. 4:1-8)
-----“But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell- - - - - - And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him - - - “(Genesis 4.5 ,8)
Questions such as
Why doesn't God intervene anymore?
Why does not He feed the hungry, heal the sick on a constant basis or stop wars completely. If God really exists why does not He make Himself physically more obvious? I decline to join such questioners because I hate to dabble into the why questions when God is involved. One why question would naturally beget another why question and could be endless. Most times God would not condescend to that level. A feeling of helplessness or frustrations in marriage, carriers, studies, economic strangulations or denial of justice or equitable distribution of social amenities or nepotic tendencies by those in leadership or those in charges of our Nation's Common Wealth. Ostentations lifestyle by people with questionable moral values or pedigrees. Etc.
In political settings or democracy -----When the winner would conscript the whole wealth meant for the masses making the losers the worst pretenders in their aspiration to be in the corridors of power administratively, legislatively or economically etc. Individuals' desperation or inordinate ambition or a degree of real or imaginary marginalization, Group or Personal frustrations or deprivations can be a breeding grounding for violence especially when patriotism is clearly ridiculed. Discriminations, deliberate oppression against miserable masses. This could lead to mob negative behaviors aimed at compelling the well-placed in life to see reason to adjust and get rid of being aloof from the people they persuaded to support their mental or political aspirations etc.
Despite God's warning to Cain he murdered Godly Abel his brother “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” James 3:16)
Alcoholic and Addictive Drugs can create or prepare the soil for violence. Most people who are under the bondage of Alcohol and mind altering substances are violence – prone.
Violence has defied and the surprised sound expertise or Knowledge of many. It is obvious that some places or countries in the World experience increased violence more than others maybe because of exposure to criminal and violent activities or satanic violent inclinations, drug addictions or cheap but dangerous liberal Laws that allow people of a given 'age to exercise the right to purchase or own firearms. Of wars, revolutions and my raids or forms of violence prevail in our global match towards what is termed as liberal civilization. Is there genuine progress in these directions and where have these led us to in this century? These terrible violent experiences have produced more questions with insignificant answers. God has always been there even when his beloved son was cruelly murdered by the unbelieving Jews. It turned out to bring universal provision of salvation.
Those who ask these and more questions often assumed that if God could ever spectacularly reveal himself all human doubts would vanish as everyone even the doubting Thomases would fall in line to believe in him.
In our own Nigerian experience some, years age some of our notable politicians such as, our current President Muhammadu Buhari had accused the man of Peace and wisdom he succeeded _ Dr. Good luck Jonathan.
The Improper offering of Cain (Gen:4:4:5) why God Preferred Abel's offering to Cain's offering is quite uncertain. By virtue of the Old Testament both animals and agricultural products / offerings were accepted by God. It is possible that it was Cain's offering, attitude towards God and the offering being offered. Cain really had a problem of wrong attitude or motive
Cain became instantly angry with God and Abel when things or political or economic equations did not favour him or go his own way. Wrong attitude is very crucial in Man's relationship with God. Extreme hatred and jealousy and got interwoven. Hence God's curse on the wicked Cain. Cain therefore became the first documented Murderer in world history. Inflamed animosity with Jealousy and Hatred. Dr. Jonathan was accused of ineptitude and inability to provide enough employment for the teaming poor youths in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Hence the rising tempo of terrorists such as Boko Haram in the North East. Adamu Ciroma, Kaita Lawal etc re-echoed same. I remember. I wrote in this column and stated that Nigerians should speak with one voice to condemn needless militancy in the south based allegedly on inequality and the growing terrorist activities in the North East so far violence hardly respects any one or anything. I pointed out that it was too early for any contender to the presidency to assume that the same violent behaviours and groups would cease their nefarious activities even if Dr. Jonathan was no longer in office. The rest now is history.
Today these violent Boko Haramists and Fulani Herdsmen have rather intensified their violent effort with so much effrontery despite the concerted dynamic efforts of our gallant military and other security agencies to curb violence in our country. Kidnapping cattle rustlings and armed robbery are no doubt on the increase. I also stated that poverty and unemployment may not totally be the causes of these violent behaviours so far there are other young people from the same geographical settings who did not and would not engage in these notorious violent activities. A good person would not necessarily get involved in violence.
As at July 2018 Governor Ortom of Benue state stated that 30 people have been tried and convicted while 400 others are currently facing various trials for violating the Anti-Grazing Laws of Benue State.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State made a touching appeal to the churches in Nigeria to rise up for the redemption of this country during the 3rd synod of the Anglican Diocese of Evo in port Harcourt on 5th August 2018 as reported in the daily sun on page 2.
He e stated thus “The church must pray and rise to redeem this country. You can not build a stronger church in isolation of the society. If there is a total break down of Law and order; the church also will be affected”.
There were researcher in violent behaviours which concluded that extreme poverty and orchestrated inequality nepotism and lopsided Federal or State appointments can spark off or trigger violence. Some statistical submissions by some researchers also conclude that about 85% - 90% of all manner of violent behaviours or activities that are death-related violence like suicide as seen also in less wealthy countries or cities than less wealthy countries or cities that are poorer economically. However it is not easy to prove that the poorer the people, the more violence-phone the environment would be. Poor people can't necessarily be accused of being more violent. The poor people can as well suffer more violence as a result of their environments or communities not being able to provide workable Law enforcement. In view of L.D. Brandais, “our desire to respect Law first must be to make Law to be respectable”.
There are poor people in different parts of the world. There are places like India's Calcutta where several millions live in adverse poverty yet Calcutta has the world's lowest violent or murder records. On the average a violent person does not necessarily need to be poor in order to engage in criminal escapades.
Easy access to acquisition of weapons or guns for violence can also make curtailing of violence a bit difficult. It is not however clearly certain according to some experts why some societies experience higher level and proportion of violence among their people.
FINAL SOLUTION IS PEACE FROM GOD
it is obvious that some human beings are born with negative inclinations. However violent people and violence are usually learned-behaviours. It is also applicable to people –oriented.
The word of God and proper peaceful upbringing in our lives and neigbhood can facilitate peaceful co-existence God is the most authentic being who alone can release his unsurpassed wisdom as stated below.
Absolute trust in God who has the final power to tackle the wicked (Romans 12:17-19) states = “Recompense to no man evil for evil. provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord”
The kingdom of God will usher in eternal peace on Earth. Government of Heaven under our Lord Jesus Christ has prepared to release very soon the kingdom where the wicked and violent will be dealt with in equity and justice as ordained by God. Peace will be sufficient as the righteous people of God are bound to emerge and take over (See Psalms 37:8-10) Daniel 2:44; Psalm 72:7).
A choice must be made when it matters most in respect of who to relate to or associate with. An ungodly man diggeth up evil and in his lips there is a burning fire. a forward man soweth strife and a whisperer and separates chief friends. A violent man enticeth his neighbor, and leadeth him into the way that is not good” (Proverbs 16:27-29).
Conversely proverbs 13:20 says “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed”.
Your association with peaceful people with self-control and mild spirit will no doubt positively influence such association.
Your must avoid becoming envious of others. Avoid being greedy. Be contented with what God has provided for you as you work hard to improve because the biggest room in the whole world is the room for improvement. Do not park at your frustration, failure or defeat. Keep moving forward despite odds. Maintain positive ego. President of America, Donald Trump once said “Show me someone without an ego, and I will show you a loser”.
Grace to achieve and become non-violent and peaceful is beautiful, alluring and good. But any grace that gives you a license to sin and be violent is a disgrace.
Do not be a bad person in a good company or Nation. Your faithfulness and peaceful disposition is more important than brief fame, wealth, and popularity that violence may bring Let not the current Naira or Dollar madness to overshadow your vision and call of Nigeria of our founding Fathers' dream.
The much you know about God, Nature and humanity will reveal and compel you to care and love others including those that may appear unlovable. Every idea has a clear consequence. Violent death or Natural experience may not be the end of life or constitute the most tragic experience. However living without a purpose of God in your life is the worst tragedy.
Violent rank does not confer or give power. It rather imposes responsibility. Our current social political or leadership challenge is just one rare opportunity to positively change our path to explore new chances to help to secure Godly lasting peace to become the people or Nation you or we were meant to be.
Our leaders in this Clime must get out in front and stay there by raising the solid peace standards by which they will judge themselves and by which they are ready and willing to be judged. Mother Theresa passionately stated that – “It is not how we give (peace?) but how much love we put into giving”. Is it not true that whoever that smiles in crisis has indeed found someone to blame?.
Let it be known that there are situations in the history or life of a country when the extra ordinary opaque will meet the extra ordinary obtuse. Nigeria and Nigerian should look for the following people that matter most at a time like this.
Those who wish and desire that we as a Nation and people should do well and better even at the age of 58.
Those who would worry about Nigeria, Nigerians, intercede passionately for a positive change.
Those who honestly value Nigeria and Nigerians in good and bad times.
Those who through their seasoned speeches, articles, publications, rebukes and holistic objective corrections invoke workable reforms provided our Leaders are amenable to correction or honest rebukes.
Those who will tell you the Truth bluntly and damn the consequence.
Those who strictly remind us that doing the same things and expecting different results is the best definition of insanity. Is it easy to recover an addict who started taking addictive substances from childhood? Is there the need to re-work Nigeria structurally, politically, economically, educationally, religiously and medically? We must take proper action now or it might suggest that we don't really exist. It is easier to start violence, marital war, and political crisis than to end it. So let peace from God reign supremely in our land and the crisis ridden world at large.
if we can't achieve the kingdom ordained solutions on earth let us now work assiduously to come close to such while we await our Lord's second coming to take us back to God's eternal paradise.