• Jack Hughes Robinson, Ph.D.

Cruelty and Christianity


Psalm 24:1-6

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.

For our brief meditation this morning, I want to speak to you about the subject of cruelty in our world.

God has granted to us a wonderful world to live in, work to do, and people to enjoy and share our time with each day. Nevertheless, despite the beauty and joy of God’s creation, we find cruelty as one of the hallmarks in life.

We do live at a great time in human history. Many things have improved and given hope to humanity – communication, knowledge, advances in medicine, and in space travel. These are some of the favorable aspects of our times.

Nevertheless, our way of life is not without its failures.

One area of grave fault is that of cruelty. We are in many ways a cruel people.

One of the objects of our cruelty is God's created world. Good and knowledgeable people have for years pointed this out. Only lately has this truth come home to us. We have reduced the place God gave us to live on, to areas devastation. We are within 1.2 degrees Celsius of turning our planet into an irreversible spiral.

The land, the rivers, the lakes, the seas, the air we breathe, outer space

itself are all of them polluted by humanity’s debris, greed, and noise.

It is an open question whether or not we can ever make it all good again.

It is good that we gather here this morning to praise God for the gift of creation and of life. God’s strength to change. We come for another, that despite our abuse of what God gave us, we may express our desire to be grateful. We come also in petition also, that God would help us in our need, that cruelty might not be so strong in us.

We also ask that we may be less cruel, not only to creation, but also to one another. When a person wounds another person, by thought, word, or deed, when a person abuses, threatens, or kills another, that person is only killing himself.

When we are cruel to anything God created, we are ultimately cruel to ourselves. This cannot be. Our time is too short to lay a cruel hand on our brother or sister. Neither can we be cruel to the earth. Neither can we be cruel to our self. For it is hatred, anger, disappointment with ourselves which leads to the cruelty to others. For hatred and anger come from the deep recesses of our hearts.

Let us be clear in closing. Hatred is not Christian or human. Hatred, anger, and cruelty are not what we were created to be.

Cruelty is not life. Love is. Love for God; love for our brothers and sisters; and love for one's self; and love for all that God has made. Amen!

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