Christians should stand against all forms of hate crimes

On Saturday, October 27, 2019, a mass shooting took place at the “Tree of Life” Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to the BuzzFeed News service, the suspected “gunman” perpetrating the “hate crime”—Robert Bowers—is said to have murdered “eleven people,” along with wounding “four police officers” and “at least two other civilians.”[1]


The “city’s public safety director,” Wendell Hissrich, noted that the “crime scene” was “very bad.” The “FBI Special Agent In Charge,” Bob Jones, described the situation at the “synagogue” as “most horrific.” Jones added that the “gunman” deliberately targeted “peaceful” worshipers during a “Shabbat service” just because of their “faith.”


To say the least, Christians should stand against all forms of hate crimes. The includes the above atrocity, which the Jewish “Anti-Defamation League” categorized as the “deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history.”


Insight can be gleaned from Micah 6:8, which in the NIV (2011) says, “[The Creator] has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lordrequire of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”


Here is what I observed in my journal article dealing with the preceding passage:[2]


>>>In particular, God decreed that the covenant community make the following three principles a priority in their lives: (1) to promote ‘justice’, that is, honesty and fairness; (2) to so highly value persistent acts of kindness that these undergirded their dealings with one another; and, (3) to ensure that reverence, prudence, and obedience were the foundation of their relationship with the Lord.


These requirements progress from what is external to what is internal and from one’s relationship to other people to one’s relationship with God. Specifically, to be just toward others, one must display loyal love. Also, such compassion necessitates a circumspect walk before the Lord that aligns with the expectations delineated in the Mosaic covenant.<<<


Toward the end of the essay, I offered the following remarks:


>>>Admittedly, during the interim between Jesus’ first and second advents, Christians fall short of displaying a forbearing spirit, responding in a charitable manner to antagonists, and spreading the joy of the gospel to others in word and deed. Even so, the priority of cross-bearing discipleship necessitates such a countercultural response.<<<



[1] See


[2] “The supreme importance of promoting equity, kindness, and humility: a descriptive and comparative analysis of Micah 6:1–16 and 1 Corinthians 13:1–13.” Conspectus. Volume 25. March 2018. Website:

Professor Dan Lioy (PhD, North-West University) holds several faculty appointments. He is the Senior Research Manager at South African Theological Seminary (in South Africa). Also, he is a professor of biblical theology at the Institute of Lutheran Theology (in South Dakota). Moreover, he is a dissertation advisor in the Leadership and Global Perspectives DMIN program at Portland Seminary (part of George Fox University in Oregon). Finally, he is a professor in the School of Continuing Theological Studies at North-West University (in South Africa). Professor Lioy is active in local church ministry, being dual rostered with the Evangelical Church Alliance and the North American Lutheran Church. He is widely published, including a number of academic monographs, peer-reviewed journal articles, and church resource products.