Thursday, July 1, 2010

G8 and G20 Summit

The G8 and G20 Summit came and left Toronto in the past weekend.

My friend worked in coordinating the emergency task force in the back end.  Hearing some of their preparation, I knew something big is coming.

On radio and TV countless reporters discussed whether it was necessary to spend 1 billion dollars on security.  There were more than 20,000 police and related security personnel to handle the protesters.  This is a big number for Toronto.

I didn't know much of what was going on.  Nor did I know the magnitude of the clash that would take place.  Over radio, I heard multiple groups will come to protest.

Most of the protesters were peaceful.  They were there to raise a voice and a concern.  This is their rights to live in free and democratic society.

We also have to be realistic that some (a small number of them) came to create havoc.  They were extremist and saw this an opportunity to vandal and bring destruction to the city. I am sure majority of them are peaceful protesters.  Those who wished to do evil would hide underneath the peaceful demonstrations.....(wolf under sheep's clothings??)

On Sat night, I saw the footages of a police car burning in Toronto downtown core.  I was saddened to see that.  I am also glad that the police were in place to maintain order.

There were those damaged stores along the streets. They also saw an opportunity to loot.  Here's a footage I stumbled upon which I am joyful to see.

This photo pretty much sum up why I see a need to bring as much security as they see fit to Toronto.  Yes, it was a hefty price tags.  When you see someone smashing Tim Hortons, a coffee shop that symbolizes Canada, they need to be subdued by a strong man.

So as a Christian, what's our response?

Paul, during the era of persecution, told the first century Christians to pray for the worldly leaders.
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-4

I never given much thought about praying for the world leaders.  After all, they are the 'kings' of today.  It is easy to easily criticize a government for not doing their part. For raising taxes.  I do it.  Almost all the time. At the same time, Paul is directing us that we should pray for them and intercede for them...hmm....

Note: Again, this is a context where Christians in that era is getting persecuted by the government.  Paul told them to not fight back.  We see that also in Romans 12.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: 
   "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; 
      if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. 
   In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:14-21

The 'anyone' and 'everyone' is not just Christian brothers and sisters.  Especially Paul is talking about those non believers who are persecuting them. Paul said, don't fight back....not only that, God will be the one that fight back (if He chooses to).  Instead we ought to pay them with loving kindness.

I am still wrapping this with how to apply in my context.  2010 living in Mississauga.  Though, I think the idea of living peace with everyone and anyone is not too hard to interpret.

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