Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Ever-Present Threat of Terrorism: How Should We Respond?

There is a scary, threatening scourge among us. It has been entrenched all over much of the world and now threatens us in the West.

We have heard of journalists, aid workers and others being beheaded from these threats among us.

According to the media, even young girls and moms are being recruited into this depraved movement in the name of "finding meaning for their lives."

Attacks by those in this depraved movement are happening and causing much fear.

A country has been named as a haven for members of this depraved and dangerous movement and are threatening to kill US nationals.

Now, Japan is under threat of attack. Where will it end?

As Christians, how should we respond to terrorists and their threats? How should we respond to their activity that has long been taking place in other parts of the world, even against our own brothers and sisters in Jesus?

I am seeing online comments that "Islam is the cult of death" and "Islam is evil and Islamists must be stopped" and so on. Here at home, I have heard comments like,"We will not hesitate to take them on" and "I do not know if there are any good Muslims." This phobia and hatred of a religious people group is ever-growing. In fact, the bombing of the 12 people in Paris, France, was triggered by comments allegedly insulting Islam. This had enraged Islamists. Now I have not read the article in question and while I believe in free speech, I think that insulting anyone's religion should be off-limits. Yet those 12 people did not deserve to die over offensive speech! While this isolated attack on France was going on, Nigeria was suffering an attack that murdered up to 2000 people. Yet the media have given far more coverage to the attack on France, though it was isolated and involved 12 people, not 2000 people. (Yes, I know that one murder is one murder too many!). We saw the sea of humanity, the countless numbers of protesters in the streets of France. However, the attack on Nigeria has involved many more people who were murdered and it is by no means isolated. It is only one in many attacks that Northern Nigeria has suffered. The terrorist attacks that are starting to take place in the West and in isolated areas and on isolated people, have been taking place for awhile in much of the world. I think that it is too bad that we are growing more concerned about terrorism because terrorism has come to affect us personally and now we see that even females, in the name of "equality," are becoming involved in it! I have seen the sad sight of women in black burkas and with long guns, including a young mom who had left her husband and taken her son to "join the beheaders"! Recently, two girls, near my daughter's age, had been arrested by the FBI and extradited from Syria where they had joined ISIS to fight against the West. Their plea was "We did not know what we were getting into."

For awhile now, Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of the aging Rev. Billy Graham, has been openly angry at the praying of a Muslim prayer at a well-known University. He had been successful in getting the University in question to reverse its decision on this prayer. But there are other signs that Islam seems to be trying to take over the US in the name of "inclusiveness" and "tolerance." Malala, a 17-year-old girl, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as the youngest person ever to receive that award. Yes, we can admire Malala for her bravery in surviving an attack on her life when she was trying to go to school, and we can commend her advocacy in calling for education for all women throughout the world. In an earthly sense, Malala, a Muslim, deserves this award. She has written a book and she is open about her Muslim faith. I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with giving this girl this award, and she has promised that the funds from her award will go to the education of girls. Yet I notice a strange trend and it isn't making the news. Weeks ago, a public school was calling for Muslim prayer, and other campuses have done the same. Currently, a Christian nurse was "sacked" for praying with a Muslim person and helping this person with needs. Our politicians have been said to introducing Muslim prayer, garb and body poses, in the corridors of power. At the same time that Muslim rituals are allowed and encouraged, Biblical Christianity (I'm not talking about the watered-down, cultural version), is firmly discouraged. Are we really surprised?

We Christians in the West are beginning to experience, in mild forms, the harassment and persecution that many of our brothers and sisters in Jesus experience in much more severe forms. They often suffer beatings, crime, losses of loved ones, imprisonment and even death. Of course, none of us wants persecution for ourselves or our families. But it is a fact that persecution weeds out the true converts from the false coverts ad the committed from those who are using using God as a hobby. Persecution purifies us as a Church and as individuals. So how should we respond to all this terrorist panic? From my understanding of the Bible, we should do some things in response:

1). Pray. Pray for the terrorists and pray for their victims, especially our brothers and sisters in Jesus.

2). Reach out to the Muslims among us; the more of them that come to Christ the more we defeat Islamization.

3). If you can, donate to causes that make Christ know to unreached Muslim people groups. I began a fund-raising campaign that I would ask you to consider supporting. You can check it out here. Thank you!
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