When I arrived in Haiti this past Monday, I had not reloaded my Internet yet and I was planning on doing it Tuesday morning. During that time when I was “disconnected” from the world (I know that is a dramatic statement, but you get what I mean) another horrific terrorist attack occurred. I am sure everyone reading this has already heard about it, and probably well before I did. You probably already know the attack was carried out in England at a concert. My purpose for writing this is not really to talk about the actual attack but to talk about the way that the world is changing and what that means for our kids and for our faith. Our kids here in Haiti do not even know that an attack happened and probably do not always hear about these things like we do with the news in America. But a couple of things struck me in terms of how we process this type of action. Many of us get emotional, maybe we get angry, some of us wonder what we should tell our children, and some of us probably just try not to think of it at all. One of the many things that came to mind this time that does not usually is this…How could religion lead to terrorism? How can I explain to my children (Sophie, Elijah, and all of our kids at All Things New) that there are people out there who will kill you in the name of a religion?
In no way do I want to get into a religious discussion with anyone that compares or contrasts religions, but I do want to comment on the “faith” in a specific belief system that would lead someone to be a part of something this terrible. Many of you reading this blog may have heard of the book “Radical” by David Platt and many of you may have read it (if not I would definitely recommend it). This book takes Biblical principles that seem “radically” different from the current culture of Christianity that exists in America and teaches us that these things are not radical at all. They are simply Jesus’ commands to us and we are supposed to follow them. He specifically targets what we do with our money, how we share our faith in Jesus Christ with others, and what our outlook on the world is and should be. The argument is that giving everything that we have for the sake of the Gospel is not Radical, but a logical outcome to what the Bible teaches. Is he correct in this assertion? Absolutely!
One of the worst things about terrorism is that people are willing to take these actions based on their belief systems but their beliefs are nothing more than lies. They give their own lives and take the lives of countless others based on nothing but evil and untruths and in the end they are giving their lives up for nothing and will never know the love of GOD. On the flip side, we have the TRUTH, we know the love of the one true GOD and we think it is radical to sell some things and give a little bit of money to the poor? We think it is radical to move to another country? We think it is radical to share the Gospel with people all over the world? These things are not truly radical at all, they are simply the outflow of our love for GOD. When will we, as Christians, understand who we are? I know I miss the mark on this almost every day!
We are children of GOD.
In light of that, nothing that we do for the glory of GOD is radical because we are walking in the footsteps of the only person who ever did anything worthy to be praised or glorified. It’s funny, the evil of terrorism is truly radical and truly despicable. On the flip side of that, we follow a radical leader who turned the whole world on its head and it is not our job to be anything other than followers of Him…Jesus Christ. The title of the blog “True Belief” comes from the messed up idea of terrorism compared to the unsurpassed beauty of Christ.
- The terrorists had absolutely true belief in a tiny, evil doctrine that led them to mass murder.
- We have the One True GOD and our faith in Him, even if it is as small as a mustard seed, should lead us to do huge things for Him! The question is…Does it?
I pray that I get to show my kids examples of the life-changing faith that Christianity brings us. I also cannot wait to tell my kids that, while “religion” can bring this type of death and destruction to the world, our RELATIONSHIP with Christ will always bring life, joy, and love. We always talk about how great someone’s faith is and we miss the point. The faith of the terrorist in their “god” was incredible, it was enough to lead them to give up everything. But the question is not how great is a man’s faith, it’s how great is the GOD where that faith lies. Our “belief” is not true because of how strongly we believe it, our “belief” is true because our GOD is true and when we allow our faith to truly rest in GOD, things have to change!