Summary: A Christian response to terrorism
“Standing Against Terrorism”
Sermon preached on August 27, 2005, in anticipation of the 5th Anniversary of 9/11
Listen to this religious devotional:
”Praise be to God, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every strategy of war. The crimes committed by the Americans are crimes against us all."
On that basis, and in compliance with God’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims: Kill the Americans and their allies--civilians and military. This is an individual duty for every Muslim. We call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded, to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. “ [Abridged & paraphrase, “Text of Fatwah Urging Jihad Against Americans,”<< http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm>>]
Now, if many of us were to read this, five years ago, we might dismiss it as the ravings of some lunatic. But as we come up on the 5th anniversary of September 11, we know that this is no ordinary lunatic. This is Osma Bin Laden, and other Islamic terrorists who share his goals and methods. Perhaps we have been fortunate that nothing as horrific as 9/11 has happened in the United States in 5 years---but most of us recognize that where there is smoke, there is fire:
******February 2006: Police in Toledo arrest an Islamic terrorist cell training to attack US forces over seas.
*****April: Two Atlanta men arrested while communicating when communicating with terror suspects in Canada. Men were charged with videotaping domestic targets, including the US Capitol and World Bank.
*****June: The US Immigration Service estimates that of the thousands of illegal aliens entering the United States across the Mexican border, 30% are from nations other than Mexico, and certainly that includes at least some potential terrorists.
*****August 9: Dearborn Michigan: Two Muslin men arrested & charged with money laundering in support of terrorism.
******August 15: British authorities announce that arrest of 25 people. following a lengthy terrorism investigation. These individuals were nearing the final stages of a plot to blow up as many as ten airplanes destined for the United States.
And this list does not even include the numerous terrorist incidents in the Philippines, Israel, Lebanon, India, Iraq, & elsewhere.
Of course, we need to recognize that there are many innocent people who believe that we of the United States also have blood on our hands. Politicians may call it, “collateral damage.” But, as Christians we need to recognize the biblical trust that, quote, "God shows no partiality.” Again and again, through out the Christian scriptures, God condemns the shedding of innocent blood. Period. The Lord our God is one and He is the God and father of all people. He weeps not only for us.
And, of course, we as a nation have not only been wounded, but we are a bitterly divided politically—and those divisions are related to how our nation has responded to terrorism, and will respond to terrorism in the years ahead. Confusion, mistrust, antagonism, and even despair have resulted in greater fear throughout our country.
Terrorism, of course, is not just seeking to kill people. Rather, terrorism seeks to frighten millions and millions of people in order to impose its will upon the victims of fear. And even as civilians, we have real reasons to be afraid.
· 3,000 real people were murdered on 9/1`1.
· Real people are being bombed.
· Real people are being decapitated.
· Real people have been slaughtered.
· And because we are one if the “infidels,” we are all targets.
Furthermore, we have no guarantee from God that our families and we will be protected. Murder and warfare have happened ever since Cain murdered Abel at the beginning of the biblical story.
A popular radio talk show host in this area, who is an avowed atheist, says, and I quote, “So if God want stop it, then what good is He? Look at the bloodshed and the murder. Where’s God in all of that? Why doesn’t He stop it?”
Perhaps that is a question all of us have asked at one time or another. …And any attempt to answer that question would leave most of us for a loss for words—because mere words cannot take away the trauma, the suffering, and the pain. And we are not the only people who have asked that question.
God, Himself, has heard the death cries of his children:
· The God we worship is not detached and removed from the horror, anguish, and suffering.
· Rather, the God we worship absorbed all that horror, anguish, and suffering, and took it all into a frail human body, which agonizingly hurt, bled and died.