Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The Good and Bad of Terrorism and Attack
Christians in the west have enjoyed a time of great peace and prosperity; however, as recent events have shown, and the record toward the future continues to reveal, it is going to be incumbent upon these same believers to wake up and face the reality that the future may not be as rosy as the past has been. We must prepare ourselves and deal with that reality.
My support for this thought comes from several observations:
1. Not only the increasing technology when it comes to firepower as well as other means to inflict harm or death upon individuals, but man's continued willingness to use it for this purpose (apart from legitimate uses of the sword by the state)
2. There seems to be an increasing trend for the perpetrators of evil to gain additional notority and seek additional effect by carrying out their crimes in mass (the bigger the better, the more who are harmed the better). (Note: in spheres of decency and peace, acts of this nature should be viewed as of greater guilt and shame!)
3. An increase of attacks on the majority Christian position and strongholds in the west both by enemies outside and within.
4. The encouragement that 9/11 gave to those outside that they can attack within (though thanks are in order to God that since that time, nothing of that size and nature has occurred.)
Why these things are happening to the west I'm not sure. Perhaps, it's because of
steps in which we've taken which communicate our hope and dependence has shifted in degree from the Lord. (Scripture states that God will provide peace even from enemies toward those whose hope, trust and service lie with him. Perhaps other factors such as greed among our corporations, or the constant ramblings within internal politics, or the selfish interests of individuals, etc., and I'm sure factors from other parts of the world affect this as well, but for whatever the reasons, it appears whereas we here in the west have been shielded from much of this, the future may not hold this for us. (It's interesting to hear/see people whose foundations have been shaken to be alarmed and to fear; but those whose hope is in the Lord have no need for fear, though we face the trials and tribulations that come).
There is good and bad that can come from this. The bad, in that being recipients and targets and victims of evil always results in difficulty and suffering. Yet, on the other hand, situations like these can be used by God to wake Christians in the west up again to the realities of this world, to remove indifference and to keep us from being or becoming slothful, lazy, apathetic, and prideful.
What's this got to do with Christian Skepticism. Every aspect of evil that we come up against comes from some source (even from within) that sets itself up against the Lord and his Scripture. Jesus is right on when he said that "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy" but he has come that believers "may have life and have it to the full." We continue daily to see the deceit, death and destruction that takes place around the world, which comes not from Christ or in keeping with his Word. Yet, at the same time, we see not only the difference, but the opportunity that lies ahead, come what may, for the good that God desires, to come even in the testing and fires that loom potentially on the horizon.
This is all the more reason for individuals to examine their foundations, to act in keeping with the true foundation, to stand firm in the Lord, and to pray and prepare both for the present and the future.
It shouldn't shock us when we hear of wars and rumors of war (Didn't Al Quada even this week speak as though they want to attack on the level of Hiroshima?). It shouldn't shock us when we experience and witness greater and greater tribulation (Has not the Scripture even foretold of this in the latter days?). The diffence that Scripture provides us is... that these things not only don't have to take us by surprise, but they also don't have to leave us without hope! Here, the premises, positions and practices of the world prove to be lacking in comparison with the hope found only in Christ and his kingdom.