Tag Archives: Terrorism

Proper Fear and Persuading Others

Not long ago I preached a sermon to my congregation, the following text being one of several that I used.

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” – 2 Corinthians 5:11a

There is always talk about the fear of terrorism these days, yet very few talk about the fear of God. Why is that? After all, aren’t we commanded to fear the Lord? Isn’t it the wise thing to do?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10

The problem is that we get so distracted by the common, temporal fears of this world forget about the eternal. Some of us are terrified of what others may find in our closets, but forget that God knows all. Our minds are so cluttered with all the stresses of this life that we forget about what comes after.

Both of the previous verses also talk about “knowing” and  the “knowledge” of God. In the first passage (2 Cor. 5:11a) the Apostle Paul is essentially telling the Corinthians: “Hey, it’s because we know who God is and what He’s capable of, not to mention the fact that we must all stand before Him one day (5:10), that we do our dead-level best to tell it to you like it is!”

In the second passage, wise King Solomon is telling anyone who will listen, “The more you know God, the better you’ll understand how life works.” Knowing and understanding who God is will produce produce fear: terror in His enemies; reverential fear in those who love Him.

Jesus said: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). [emphasis added]

So, while ever-present bad news will tend to make us want to run and hide or take matters into our own hands, keep everything in its proper perspective. Those who serve the Living Savior; those who are reconciled to God by the atonement of the cross of Christ; those who were once strangers, but now have been made children of the Father, can find peace and rest in the fearfully omnipotent hand of our faithful Creator.

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” – 1 Peter 4:19 

The only ones who should be living in terror, in fear of what may come today or tomorrow, are those who have never known God, have forgotten God, or worse, mock Him (Romans 1:18-32).

When we persuade others to fear God in the proper way, they will come to know His love and love Him in return. Then, instead of living in terror, ironically, “perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18).

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15 

Are you living in fear? Can you call God “Abba, Father” (Daddy)? A proper relationship will produce a proper fear; terror is the product of rebellion.

If you don’t fully understand what I’ve written, or if you’d like to know more about how to live in peace without terror, click on the Eternal Life tab at the top of the page and follow the instructions.

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Filed under Bible Study, God, salvation, Struggles and Trials

“They are killing us”

This morning, as we go to church to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and thank Him for entering this world as a child, born of a virgin, only to one day die for us that we might receive the gift of eternal life through faith in Him, think on the following message I received this morning from a pastor friend in Pakistan…

“Brother we are dying here
they are killing us
please pray for us”

That was it…just three lines of text on Facebook Messenger.

Inside Bethel Memorial Methodist Church, Quetta, Pakistan

Earlier today a Methodist Church was attacked by two suicide bombers while the congregants were inside celebrating the birth of Christ. The attack was meant to be a message, one that was meant to strike fear. For some, I’m sure it worked. Thankfully, neither bomber was able to get inside the building, and only one was able to blow himself up at the entrance, so only around 10 people (including children) died, as opposed to the 400 who were in attendance.

But how does this affect my day? How would it affect yours? Are you even planning on attending a worship service? While there are Christians who are attending corporate worship services in places where their spiritual enemies are literally trying to kill them, do we take advantage of the complete freedom in America to congregate, or do we shun it? “Forsake” it?

How does the above message from my brother in Pakistan affect my preaching? My worship? Do I go about my day as usual? Or, do I recommit myself to the seriousness of the call to “take up your cross and follow me”?

“Brother we are dying here.” How long before we start dying HERE? With Islam on the rise, and with very few who are willing to challenge its destructive works-based theology for fear of being labeled “islamophobic,” how long before suicide bombings become more common-place than shootings?

“Please pray for us.” How long before we realize ALL of us stand in need of prayer? How long before we repent of our Laodicean lukewarmness? How long before we take seriously the calls from our brothers and sisters enduring persecution and pray for them? In reality, we should be asking them to pray FOR US!

Our churches will be relatively empty, today. Our post-modern, social-justice-minded, hedonistic society will go about this morning without a thought of God, while those who call themselves “Christian” will blend in with them. The relatively few who do attend worship services will hardly consider the rare privilege of worshipping in peace without the fear of being blown to bits while singing “Silent Night.”

Yet, somewhere in another land, there will be followers of Jesus Christ who will not be intimidated or deterred, bravely walking into proverbial lions’ dens. As the Hebrew children who refused to bow before Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, there will be some who will pray for deliverance from the furnace, but continue to worship Jesus and not bow down to Allah, even if the fire is inevitable (Daniel 3:18).

There are many who are dying. How are you living?

I’m going to church, now.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Christmas, Church, worship

Enough Said

What should we remember on this day?  

This. 

Enough said.

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Filed under America

A Proper Response

Dear friends, my heart breaks as I think of my own daughter going through something like this: A little girl, asleep in her own room, savagely attacked by an Islamic terrorist, and murdered – all in the name of “peace.”

At least Benjamin Netanyahu gave a proper response.

 

Had this happened in America… wait, things like this do happen in America, but the narrative prohibits the press – especially our President – from calling it what it is: Islamic terrorism.

But had this specific incident happened here, odds are we would have never heard about it, just like the honor killings that never get reported.

 

And, had the opposite happened – had a Jewish terrorist sneaked into a Palestinian little girl’s room and cut her throat (yeah, like that’s a huge problem facing the world) – Palestinians and Muslims all over the globe would be rioting in the streets, burning businesses, and beating innocent people in the streets…all this while the media called out for the end of the Israeli state and the destruction of Western democracy – because the alternative (Islamic theocracy) is a much better option.

What? They do that already? My bad.

And of the opposite? How many Jewish or Christian suicide bombers have you heard of? How many Jews or Christians have systematically removed the heads of peaceful non-believers? How many Southern Baptists have shot up gay bars?

Anyway, that’s my two cents.

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Filed under current events

The Solution to Terrorism

The TERRORIST comes to STEAL, and to KILL, and to DESTROY.  

…I am come that they might have LIFE, and that they might have it MORE ABUNDANTLY.Jesus

The solution to terrorism is Jesus.

 

Easter Morning Sunrise over Chattanooga

Easter Morning Sunrise over Chattanooga

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Filed under current events, Easter, Life/Death, politics, World View

The Face of Terrorism in America?

Colorado

You may have already heard about what happened in and around a Colorado Planned Parenthood facility. Three people were killed, including a police officer, by a shooter by the name of Robert Lewis Dear, age 57.

My heart is broken by the loss of life. Even though I believe abortion is the taking of an innocent life, I don’t condone attacking a Planned Parenthood office. If that was all Robert Dear was doing, then he had no justification for his actions. What he did was murder.

But right off the bat, even before the whole story had been released (and we still don’t know all the details as of yet), accusations started flying; talk of gun control ramped up once again; and anyone and everyone with a Facebook or Twitter account made their own two cents known.

Cue Montel Williams…

I don’t know what to think about Montel Williams. For the longest I have always viewed him as more of a moderate, likable, patriotic kind of guy. However, what he posted on his Facebook page after the Colorado shooting left me stunned and disheartened.

The face of terrorism in America is Robert Lewis Dear, 57, who today felt it necessary to take a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs hostage while using the police for target practice in some sort of dramatic pro-life statement (which is ironic since the vast majority of the pro-life movement correctly interprets pro-life to mean not killing anyone).

Multiple people are dead, including one police officer who died as he lived – bravely. My prayers go out.

There is nothing more dangerous than a nut with an idea – in this country, those nuts often look like 57 y/o Robert Lewis Dear. Let’s not forget the face of evil often looks pretty darn American. – Montel Williams (from a post on his Facebook wall)

One common thread holding Mr. Williams’ statement together was what he considered the “face of terrorism” and the “face of evil” in America.

The Face of Terrorism and Evil

Montel Williams stated that the “face of terrorism in America is Robert Lewis Dear” who wanted to make a “dramatic pro-life statement…” He also stated that there is “nothing more dangerous than a nut with an idea…” Really?

So, if we were to parse out Mr. Williams’ statement, what characteristics should we be looking for in order to help us spot the poster boy of terrorism and evil in America? Based on Montel Williams’ profiling skills, from what kind of person should we be hiding?

  • A middle-aged white male (with a beard).
  • A white, male pro-lifer.
  • A middle-aged, white, male, pro-lifer with who owns guns.
  • A middle-aged, white male with an “idea” that is not pro-abortion.

Essentially, “nuts” that kill innocent people are most often white, male, middle-aged Americans with guns, and who are pro-life.

Seriously?

Contextual Terrorism and Evil

In a broad sense, the most common face of terrorism and evil in the world today is not American, not Caucasian, not Christian, and it doesn’t care a rat’s a** about the dignity of human life.

However, the true face of terrorism and evil in America is hardly the average middle-aged pro-lifer with a gun. The true face of terror – well, it really depends on the context.

If you are an average American citizen, the true face of terror is the one that makes you lock your doors at night, especially if you have anything worth taking. It’s the face that makes you nervous to walk down your street at night, or carry your groceries to your car.

For the average American, the face of terror and evil is the one that makes you wish you owned a gun, and if you do, get a permit to carry it. The face of evil the average American fears is the one who keeps you from picking up hitchhikers or giving a dollar to a stranger. It’s the face that makes you have to do background checks for nursery workers.

But in another context…if statistics were the only issue…it’s the unborn children in America, who die by the thousands every day, that should be scared. If they could see that face, how would they describe it?  I guess it’s because it uses forceps and scissors, instead of guns, that its face isnt’t associated with evil?

The TRUE Face of Terrorism and Evil

Let’s be honest, the average American is not afraid of middle-aged white guys with ideas any more or less than the black or Hispanic teen in a hoodie; we’re fearful of everyone!

The average American has no idea what the next drunk driver, mugger, identity thief, rapist, or child molester is going to look like. So, to say that there is a “face” that is more poster-worthy than the next is nothing more than racist fear-mongering.

The true face of terrorism in America (and the world) wants what it wants, hates it when you say no, and will stop at nothing to take it. That face is attached to every heart guided by hate, envy, jealousy, lust, a lack of forgiveness, and pride – not simply a nut with a gun.

Transform the heart and you’ll transform the face, regardless the context.

 

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Filed under Abortion, America, current events

Proper Fear and Persuading Others

Not long ago I preached a sermon to my congregation, the following text being one of several that I used.

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” – 2 Corinthians 5:11a

There is so much talk about terrorism these days, so much talk about fear, yet very few talk about the fear of God. Why is that? After all, aren’t we commanded to fear the Lord? Isn’t it the wise thing to do?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10

The problem is that we get so distracted by the common, temporal fears of this world and forget about the eternal. Our minds are so cluttered with all the stresses of this life that we forget about what comes after.

Both of the previous verses also talk about “knowing” and  the “knowledge” of God. In the first passage (2 Cor.5:11a) the Apostle Paul is essentially telling the Corinthians: “Hey, it’s because we know who God is and what He’s capable of, not to mention the fact that we must all stand before Him one day (5:10), that we do our dead-level best to tell it to you like it is!”

In the second passage, wise King Solomon is telling anyone who will listen, “The more you know God, the better you’ll understand how life works.” Knowing and understanding who God is will produce produce fear: terror in His enemies; reverential fear in those who love Him.

Jesus said: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). [emphasis added]

So, while ever-present bad news will tend to make us want to run and hide or take matters into our own hands, keep everything in its proper perspective. Those who serve the Living Savior; those who are reconciled to God by the atonement of the cross of Christ; those who were once strangers, but now have been made children of the Father, can find peace and rest in the fearfully omnipotent hand of our faithful Creator.

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” – 1 Peter 4:19 

The only ones who should be living in terror, in fear of what may come today or tomorrow, are those who have never known God, have forgotten God, or worse, mock Him (Romans 1:18-32).

When we persuade others to fear God in the proper way, they will come to know His love and love Him in return. Then, instead of living in terror, ironically, “perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18).

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15 

Are you living in fear? Can you call God “Abba, Father” (Daddy)? A proper relationship will produce a proper fear; terror is the product of rebellion.

If you don’t fully understand what I’ve written, or if you’d like to know more about how to live in peace without terror, click on the Eternal Life tab at the top of the page and follow the instructions.

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Filed under Bible Study, God, salvation, Struggles and Trials