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SDA Mission expresses concern about guns, gun related crime

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The Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church has affirmed the dignity and worth of each human being and has decried all forms of crime, violence, gang warfare or manifestation of tribalism that denigrate men and women.

This affirmation was made in a release issued Wednesday, which also expressed the church’s alarm at the availability of guns and their use in criminal activity.

“We are alarmed at the relative ease with which guns are available in our communities and are often used to commit the most heinous crimes. They illegally show up in homes, on the streets or at public places and are used to terrorize, maim or destroy lives. No civilized society can remain indifferent to such violent behaviour or tolerate such acts of terrorism. To condone this ‘new normal’ is to perpetuate the evil and put ourselves and families at risk of living in fear, under siege or becoming victims of crimes,” stated the release from Dermoth Baptiste, president of the SDA Mission in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Guns are made to kill people. They have no legitimate recreational use. Guns of themselves cannot kill. It is people who use them as instruments of destruction and weapons of death. The problem lies therefore with the users, who outside of the ‘will and purpose of God’ are left to follow their depraved minds and carnal passions. The Church strongly condemns all forms of crimes and violence and encourages all offenders or would-be perpetrators to draw back the curtains, look at your life, consider how valuable you are in the eyes of Christ and refrain from sliding down the slippery slope of ‘no return’,” the release said.

“Christ came into the world to save lives, not to destroy them (Luke 9:56). When Peter drew his weapon Jesus said to him: ‘Put your sword back in its place. …All who take the sword will die by the sword’ (Matthew 26:52 TEV). Jesus did not engage in violence as He modelled for us humanity’s values, lifestyle and conduct. We therefore call upon everyone to halt the spate of assault and stop the spike of criminality in our country. We urge all to return to God and to civility, respect the sanctity of life and dignity of humanity, while we pursue peace and live in community with one another. Evil cannot be effectively met with evil, but must be overcome with good.

“To all families who are mourning the loss of loved ones, we offer our prayers, sympathy and condolences, while we urge you to look to our compassionate Father, who understands your grief, knows your sorrow, feels your pain and can meet your need.”

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