Since his death, the family of Mr Cochran have said, “We know that Kurt wouldn’t bear ill feelings towards anyone. His whole life was an example of focusing on the positive. Not pretending that negative things don’t exist but not living our life in the negative – that’s what we choose to do.”
Their faith-filled words of hope and forgiveness stood in stark contrast to the online comments I read in an article about the family’s response.
“Never forgive – they’d do the same to you in an instant”
“The family must be weak minded and in need of therapy”
“Forgive? Never. Annihilate them all? Yep”
1 John 4:18 states, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” When people respond to terrorists in the language of hate it always comes from a place of fear. And as long as we live in fear, then the terrorists are winning.
As attacks have continued to multiply in Europe and in Egypt (See News, p11), we are reminded that, like the family of Mr Cochran, Christians have a unique calling to speak hope and love into a growing climate of fear.
Christ is the only hope for combating a malignant strain of religion which chooses death and destruction. Christ is the only hope for bringing perfect love into hearts turned cold by fear.
I’m thrilled that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has written this month about Thy Kingdom Come, a movement praying for people across the UK to come to know Jesus (p28), an initiative for the whole Church, not just Anglicans.
We live in dark and fearful times, but the opportunity for Christians to shine as beacons of love, light and hope has never been greater. We are here to show the world what it means to choose hope, to choose life, and to choose love over fear.
As Justin Welby writes: “We are the Church of Jesus Christ, called together by him, made for his glory and empowered by his Spirit. We exist for God’s sake and for the sake of others. And in Jesus’ name and in his power we witness to the one who was dead and is alive again.
“Come, Holy Spirit, and renew the lives of your faithful people!”
Justin Brierley Senior editor