My Response to Terror and Persecution is Jesus
Invisible cords of deception are rising from the bottomless pit. Un-noticed ropes of deluded thought are winding, weaving, circling to bind opposing ideologies by an unholy knot of unity. Those who are down-trodden, oppressed, and tired of waiting for relief seek alignment with those who share their common enemies and for the sake of common hatred, set aside their differences. The unseen spiritual forces that move human beings like leaves in the wind are being utilized by the religiously crafty to form a new world religion, by introducing new age compromise to transform ideological foundations into a new world view. The disenfranchised of the world are locking arms (falling victim to the same cult practices of deception in many religious forms) in spiritual deception; and like many who have long been abused, are choosing to identify with the aggressor, adopting violence in hopes of destroying oppression and assuming power. (This is the heart and strength of terrorism, the exploitation of the uneducated and downtrodden.) Not realizing that if they should succeed, they will have become the oppressors, and freedom will elude them. Though the powerful who rule by force and the underprivileged who resort to violence, seek to destroy one another they too share a common enemy; that enemy is humanity’s pursuit of security though power and control over other human beings. Human hierarchy requires the existence of the powerful elite and the powerless. There is no escaping this dichotomy that is natural to human governance. No unity found through spiritual compromise in man-made religion can do anything to end oppression or bring lasting peace because oppressor and oppressed are two sides of the same coin.
Since Cain murdered Able, the justification for brother killing brother is often, religion. Today, Islam is the most recognized banner raised by those who seek to topple the powerful, who have long reigned under the flag of Judaism and Christianity; but people have fought wars in the name of every religion seeking God’s power as their own. What is common in men from every ideology is the desire to own God’s power and use His Name as a covering while committing violent acts in pursuit of security, by gaining power and control over others. It is easy to imagine God is “on our side” and never stop to consider if “we are on God’s side”. Able obeyed God and became a prey to Cain who chose his own method of sacrifice, in disobedience. Cain is the father of man-made religion and the first to murder his brother in an attempt to supplant his vision in the place of God’s simple command. Able sided with God and died, while Cain imagined gaining God’s power as his own and committed the first of many murderous acts that continue to fill the earth with blood. Choosing to do what is right can put us in harm’s way especially, in dangerous times; but choosing to do what is right is the only way to remain on God’s side. Though many will lift the banner of their preferred religion, philosophy, or political ideology, even to murder their brothers and sisters in its name while seeking power, it is what we are willing to die for that has any hope of ending the bloodshed and bring about peace, with true freedom. Oppression will never end until human beings surrender their need for control to God and submit to His personal governance. We are designed to obey God not be Him. The religious persecution that began when Cain murdered Able will never end until, people cease subverting God to their own purpose and stop seeking to force that purpose on others.
Though the political and religious leaders of our day are seeking global unity, we are living in fractured times. Pressure comes from all directions to align with one faction or another. I am responding by seeking to choose God’s side and alliance with Jesus. Though religion (even some religions bearing the name of Christian or claiming the Name of Jesus) may demand I prove my faithfulness by my willingness to kill those who oppose it, I know Jesus died for me and asks me to kill no one. Jesus lived the life of an underprivileged man, persecuted by powerful religious leaders, and was put to death for threatening their power, because He lived to please God and not the religious elite. Without any worldly alliance, the political system gave him no protection but surrendered Him to those who wished to usurp God’s power as their own. Jesus was willing to die in order to obey God and by doing so, He made the perfect sacrifice that freed human beings forever, from the need of religious ordinance to make them acceptable before God. Jesus didn’t live, die, and rise again to start a new religion. Jesus came to demonstrate how to live according to God’s Will, as the Son of God and the Son of Man. He came to die so those who believe in Him could receive eternal life, enjoy a personal relationship with the Father, and learn to live a different way; by surrendering the need for control to God and trusting Him for security. I trust Jesus, the keeper of my soul to be my source of courage in a world that seems to be surrendering to terror; and responding in fear, by choosing death for their perceived enemies, when the same enemy lives within them. I choose Jesus, the one who teaches me to love my enemies, and pray for them. He is the same one who gives me victory over the enemy within. I look to the example of Jesus, who ended my enmity with God and guides me in living an obedient, simple life. I trust Jesus, the one who promises that the meek, not the powerful, will inherit the earth. I wait for that day and look forward to living in His righteous Kingdom, in peace and true equality, when by God’s mighty work, the valleys are exalted and the mountains laid low. In response to terrorism and the increasing threat of persecution, I choose to mirror Jesus, the one who chose to die for me.