Marking two weeks since the shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation. Thrust into the global spotlight she has shown herself to be a remarkable leader, combining the deepest compassion for the victims with steely determination to effect real change and prevent a repeat. In her address she said, ’extremism in all its forms is not welcome here’, and ‘we are not immune to the viruses of hate… But we can be the nation that discovers the cure.’
But here’s the thing: there is a cure, but our lack of extremism prevents it being applied. Let me explain.
Jesus said, ‘As I have loved you, so you must love one another’, and ‘love your neighbour as yourself’, and ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ The problem is that we are too half-hearted and don’t bother to do the things that Jesus said. Imagine if we were all extremists in terms of loving one another, putting others first and being prepared to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others? In such a world there would be no room for the hate that fills the hearts of those who pull the triggers.
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