09 February 2008

Threats... deal with it!

Threats and resultant damage
(Paddo Robbery, Air New Zealand hijacking, Bondi slashing)

Where will it all end? Some stories from the wires today are blood and danger. First, yesterday arvo an armed bandit held up a central Sydney post office. The man walked into the building on Oxford Street, Paddington, just before 5pm yesterday.

"(He) demanded money while threatening staff with what appeared to be a small firearm," police said in a statement today. "The staff complied with the man and he left the premises with an amount of cash.

The man is described as being of white appearance, between 163cm and 173cm tall. He has a thin build, with stubble around his mouth. At the time of the robbery he was wearing gold-framed glasses and a black and white track-suit jacket.

Across the Tasman
A woman charged with hijacking a small commuter plane in New Zealand was committed to a psychiatric hospital when she appeared in court on Saturday.

Asha Abdille, 33, a Somali immigrant, was committed after a brief appearance at the Christchurch District Court, Radio New Zealand reported. She also faced charges of wounding the two pilots on the 19-seater aircraft which was on a scheduled domestic flight from Blenheim to Christchurch on Friday when she attacked them with two knives.

She also injured a woman who was one of the six other passengers on the Air New Zealand flight.

Bondi Attacks
Back in Australia, Three men were slashed by broken bottles in an attack by a group of teenagers in Sydney's east on Friday night.

A group of Pacific Island teenagers were throwing bottles at a house in Hastings Parade at Bondi. "Three men who lived in the premises approached the group and spoke with them about the bottle-throwing," a police statement said. "The group then assaulted the men, using broken bottles as weapons."

Seems Good Samaritans ended up getting hurt but thankfully, not critically.

So what about threats?
And threats are nothing to take lightly. As a shopkeeper, I’m reminded of significant police recommendations about giving money to possible robbers. Standard Operating Procedures, they say.

Threats are often breathed out by thugs against people whom they consider lesser, easier, dominable. But really the threatener is the lesser person. A group or mob take on a house, and three stand-up-for-good men from inside. A Blenheim passenger takes on two pilots. An armed man took on a postie on duty at a counter.

The Bible tells us several times about threats:
• King David in the Psalms says, “Those who seek my life lay snares for me; and those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction, and they devise treachery all day long.” (38th Psalm verse 12)
• “Save me, O God, for the waters have threatened my life. “(David again, in Psalm 69.1)
• Finally in the book of history of the early community of faith, Acts of the Apostles, chapter four, we read, “And when they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which they might punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened.”

Threats without warrant are not only unjustified, they rarely are successful in any sense of the word with God-followers. People of good will and people of good hope don’t cow to such demeanour by the lesser threat-breathers.

Consider Y’shua, the Great One, of whom we read in the letter by his friend and follower Peter,

(Jesus was) being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (1Pet. 2.23)

Let’s speak well to each other. Let’s get along peaceably in these days. Taunts and threats are juvenile at best and illegal in most cases (certainly these cases listed) at worst. And let’s let the Bible teach us more things of right and wrong in a world gone mad by dismissing it.

This is not a threat… it’s good advise!