The Peace Alliance reports that violence causes 1.6 million deaths a year worldwide. Since 1968, more Americans have died from guns than from all the wars in American history. Since 9/11, racist extremists in the United States have killed nearly twice as many people as terrorists have done from other countries. The cost of U.S. violence alone exceeds tens of billions of dollars. Clearly, the virtue of love is lacking in our world. Still Followers of Christ are called to be salt and light–models of love that preserve the world from total chaos. Not only did Jesus teach this, his apostles stressed the same behavior. We read Paul’s words in Romans 13:8-10: “Owe nothing to anyone —except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These commandments are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We show love to our neighbors as we stand for justice, help those who hurt, and live for Christ.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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