Terrorism And Turning The Other Cheek

Somewhere along the lines the Western church has remade God into a touchy, feely, hippiefied wimp lacking backbone or moral principles. They skip over the “uncomfortable” lessons of the Old Testament where God’s judgement was swift and terrible. The imprecatory Psalms where the Israelites, including David “a man after God’s own heart,” prayed for the devastation of their enemies are rationalized away. They skip over the fact that Jesus drove the defilers from the temple with a whip. He referred to the Pharisees and Sadducees as “Snakes! A brood of vipers.”

Make no mistake, we are “sinners in the hands of an angry God.” Not an annoyed God, not a God who just lost His temper but a God who is righteous and just and angered by humans who choose to ignore His law and His sacrifice. Anger is not wrong when it is directed at injustice and evil. It is not wrong to be angry when our fellow humans are trapped in slavery, tortured, raped and murdered and His anger and righteous wrath for such things will be terrible…and rightfully so.

As I said, we are all sinners. We all fall short. If we accept His gift of grace and turn away from our sins they can be forgiven; that forgiveness was paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If we do not accept, if we turn away, we will pay for and suffer the full measure for our sins. Islamic Terrorists, by definition, have not accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation. They have not accepted His grace. They, by definition, follow a false prophet and are condemned to Hell for doing so. They, obviously, would disagree and they believe I am condemned for not following their prophet. When they make that statement it is accepted, when Christians make the statement I made we are scorned by as small minded bigots.

I do not make war on Muslims to convert them nor do I persecute them because they believe differently than I do. They, however, do make war on my brothers and sisters in Christ that happen to live within their reach and persecute them.

So, should Christians “turn the other cheek” when it comes to terrorism?

I know what I believe to be true and I think it is pretty clear.

God bless.

London Terror Attack

First, our thoughts and prayers are with those killed and injured in this attack including the officer who was killed defending others against this terrorist.

Second, I am tired of the recurring tap dance the media and government officials put on after every single one of these attacks to hide the motivations and background of the attackers. I have news for you, the more you try and hide it the worse it is. More animosity is created by when a particular group of people appear to be more protected than the rest of society. If this attack were carried out by Brexit supporters, members of Britain First, or Christians it would be broadcast with banner headlines. If you want to prevent backlash plaster the airwaves with anti-terror rallies in the Muslim communities, invite the leaders of Mosques to publicly and unreservedly condemn such attacks and call on their congregations to join them denouncing and turning in potential terrorists. That will go MUCH further towards reducing or eliminating any potential backlash.

And finally, just a quick tactical suggestion, if the police are responding to an incident in full battle rattle and at a run you should probably put the cell phone away and gte the heck out of there…

God bless.

Never Surrender, Never Forget: Pearl Harbor

Seventy five years ago today, in two waves of attacks starting at 7:55 AM the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the US Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor. In the 110 minutes that it took for the two waves of attacks over 20 US ships were damaged or destroyed, over 300 aircraft were destroyed, 1,178 Americans were wounded and 2,403 were killed.

pearl-harbor_0We can never let ourselves forget this day. We can never let ourselves fall into the trap of complacency and and hubris that allowed such an attack to happen and to be so devastating. Evil exists in this world and we should never allow ourselves to forget that.

We can never surrender because as long as evil remains a part of this world we must stand fast and oppose it. For good to win over evil we must remain vigilant and committed. If we do not, then we condemn more human lives to be lost.

Lord have mercy on the souls of those lost that day, their families and the thousands more who stood up to fight and defeat the evil that perpetrated this attack.

God Bless.

Safe Spaces

Several months ago when I started really focusing on getting closer to God through prayer and Bible study I followed the advice of picking a spot in the house and making that my “prayer room,” the place I go to get closer to God.

This week has been so busy and so hectic that, in many cases, I was praying and studying the Bible in some fairly random places. One day it was in my car as I waited to go in for a meeting with a customer. Several times it has been in my office, at my desk during a break. On occasion, my prayer time has been in the shower or standing in the kitchen.

What I have found is that prayer or Bible study in these places leaves me feeling like I missed the mark somehow. I don’t feel as connected to God in my prayers, I almost feel as if I am just going through the motions. The same way with reading the Bible, it becomes more of a mental study than something that touches my heart.

Some might say that the “prayer room” I have set aside has been blessed in some way that allows me to commune more closely with my creator. Maybe, that is the case. Maybe the Holy Spirit has touched this spot and made it somehow more holy or sacred but I don’t that’s the case. I can be in this part of the house at other times and not feel that spiritual connection. Instead, I think that I have made this my “safe space.”

When I go there at the time of day I set aside for prayer, the association (in my own mind) generates that feeling of peace and closeness. This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. In fact, I think it is a good thing but there is a danger there too. My relationship with God should not be limited to that safe space. I should feel that same closeness in my car in an office building parking lot, at my desk, in my chair (yes, my wife and I have reached that age where we have “our” chairs) or in a crowded restaurant.

This “safe space” has served me well. It has nurtured my relationship with God but it is time to leave “home” and take my faith and relationship with God beyond the bounds of this little corner of my house. Like a child leaving his parents home it is time for my faith to face the struggles and trials of the larger world. Like many, young people I may fail and end up back at home for a time; but that’s OK. It is only by stretching and reaching for more that we reach maturity.

Thank you Lord, for that little bit of insight this morning…as I sat in my “safe place.”

May God bless you and fill you with his peace and love. 🙂

The Ghosts Of Charlie Hebdo

On January 7th 2015 two Islamic terrorists attacked the offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo; killing twelve and injuring another eleven. The reason for the attack?

Several satirical columns and cartoons that depicted the the prophet Muhammad. Not only was his image displayed but the magazine staff and cartoonists made fun of the prophet. The magazine was known for ruffling feathers and had previously published cartoons making fun of Jews, Jesus Christ, the pope, as well as most world political leaders. To be honest, on the whole, I found much of what they published to be offensive but that did not give me or the Islamic terrorists a justification to murder them…

In regard to the criticism or satirizing of Muhammed and of Islam as a whole, terrorism has succeeded. It has won. The countless death threats and fatwas, the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, the murder of Theo Van Gogh, and the attack on the Garland Muhammad cartoon event have been successful in stifling free speech in the West. No one dares criticize or, in many cases, simply speak the truth because of the fear of offending the Muslim community; for fear of being the target of another Charlie Hebdo…

The definition of terrorism is:

“the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”

In that regard, regardless of the body count. The terrorists are winning…

God bless…