I stumbled across a link to an article on the Baptists Today website that was sad and tragic beyond words.
It seems that a dispute surfaced in the home of a South African family this past Sunday over what would be watched on television. The father, David Makoeya (age 61), wanted to watch the soccer match between Germany and Australia in the World Cup, while his wife and two adult children wanted to watch religious programming featuring gospel music. When the father tried to assert his authority by changing the channel by hand on the TV set after being refused the remote control, the family responded violently, banging his head against the wall. The family did phone the police, but only after the father was badly injured. When the police arrived, he was already dead. Initial court proceedings also revealed that he had been stabbed in the back.
What can anyone say in response to this senseless tragedy? That such violence could be generated over the choice of television programming is itself ridiculous, but to compound matters even worse, the violence was perpetrated by those who insisted on watching religious programming and listening to gospel music.
Clearly there was a tragic and complete disconnect between the supposed profession of a Christian faith by the family members wishing to listen to gospel music and their actual conduct. The scandal of hypocrisy casts a long dark shadow over this entire incident. When religious zeal (if you can call it that) runs amok and totally disregards the most basic Christian ethical principles imaginable, such unspeakable tragedies can and do materialize.
It's high time that Christians examine their lives for evidence of the fruit of God's Spirit at work in them, rather than merely relying upon some supposed conversion experience or their affiliation with a religious group. I can only grieve the loss of this father's life at the hands of his own family and speculate as to how this senseless tragedy may well fuel the arguments of skeptics as to the truth of the Christian faith.