A Battle for Truth, Freedom
By Dave Breese
Certainly, you are feeling the impact of the recent terrorist attacks as you attend your institution of higher learning. The debate now rages on many campuses as to how America should respond. Many of the less enlightened have succumbed to the temptation to vent their frustrations upon all Arabs and Muslimsand particularly those of Afghani and Pakistani descent. Prejudice and intolerance have surfaced once again, this time hiding behind the façade of patriotism.
On the other hand, we see the rising popularity of peace demonstrations that hearken back to those of the 60's. It is almost with incredulity that we have observed the young, the gullible, and the seriously deluded gathering together to proclaim the already disproved idea that a lack of retaliation can somehow break the chain of violence. These aren't simply nice people who have gotten into a brawl, who are fighting because no one wants to be the first to back down. These are extremists who are on a mission to destroy all that we stand for and all that we call good. They want to wipe Christianity and Judaism from the face of Planet Earth. If we do not fight their efforts, then they will simply continue their campaign of death and destruction without resistance. And one wonders, how naïve can people really be?
Recently a quote was submitted to CNN by one of its viewers. It went something like: The al Qaeda represents Islam like the KKK represents Christianity. And while we continue to take issue with Islam as being in contradiction to the Word of God, we recognize the truth of that statement. Not all Muslims believe in the violent methods of the extremists, just as most Christians reject the twisted interpretation of Scripture that the KKK uses to validate its violence and hatred.
The cost of the recent acts of terrorism to the spirit of a peaceful nation such as ours has been enormous. But in the midst of tremendous sorrow and tragedy, the marvelous, resilient, generous spirit of the American people shone forth so brightly as to make this American proud to call himself an American!
Everywhere you turned, there was another story of someone's heroism, another story of someone's sacrifice, another story of this or that organization going far beyond its duty to aid people hurting from this extreme wound to the American sense of security. It has been an inspiring testament to all that is good in the American heart. It was enough, one would have thought, to touch even the coldest of souls.
Sadly, there were those cold souls who refused to become part of the growing national spirit of community and brotherhood. Through them, the dark side of our culture reared its ugly head. There was looting in the buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center. Con-artists canvassed the communities, posing as legitimate agents of the Red Cross and other organizations, bilking well-intentioned people of funds that were supposed to go to help those who were hurt by this terrorism. In the midst of all the do-good intentions of so many people, there were yet those who embodied the truth of the Scripture that The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9).
Even as we write, the ancillary costs of these acts of terrorism are only beginning to be understood. Many of those who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center were heads of business. Some of those businesses have now ceased to exist. Others have been badly damaged and perhaps fatally wounded. Literally hundreds of thousands of people have been thrown out of work, placing a strain on public relief and disrupting the lives of millions more.
Add to that the economic impact of people living under the shadow of terrorism-afraid to take a plane, canceling vacation plans, postponing the purchase of durable goods like cars, refrigerators and the like-and you have a recipe for economic disaster. Many hotel rooms remain empty. With the economy flagging, people who depend on tips now find it difficult to pay their bills. Generally speaking, the most destructive effect of terrorism is not the initial collateral damageit is the damage to the larger economy and the damage to the freedoms we have so long taken for granted.
If we are to be victorious over terrorism, we must not give in to the temptation to despair and live in fear. They call it TERRORism because the goal of terrorists is to strike terror in the hearts of their victims. They want to traumatize our society and paralyze our economy by making people afraid to continue living their daily lives in freedom. We must not let the terrorists have their way!
It is certain that we have not seen the end of this. There will be military action that will seek to root out and destroy the terrorist cells. And there will most likely be additional terrorist attacks upon our precious nation. We urge our fellow Americans to stand strong in their opposition to these heinous acts, to come together as brothers in defiance of these very evil men, and to turn to God for answers in such a time as this.
One marvelous outgrowth of all of this, is that people have become suddenly more aware that life has a spiritual component that extends far beyond the visible and reaches out into the wideness of eternity. Many have begun to ask, Why has God allowed this to happen to us? Is it part of His judgment on our nation? Was God behind this terrible act?
Well, let us say quite emphatically that God did not inspire those evil men to strike against innocent people in our cities. But obviously, God did not prevent it through Divine intervention either. So why did He allow it to happen? Perhaps it is that the Lord has allowed such a tragedy as this so that we, as messengers of the love of God, might touch the hearts of a wounded generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the coming Tribulation Period, half of the world's people will die. How very merciful it would be of God to allow the world to see a foretaste of the coming terrors so that millions might make the most vital decision of their lives, accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior now, while there is yet time!
These are extremely tender days in which to minister the message of the Gospel. Visible in America, even to the most skeptical observer, is a growing hunger for the truth and a marvelous awakening to the things of God! Will we, as Christians, rise to the occasion and share the Good News that Jesus saves and is coming back again? Will we make the necessary sacrifice to assure that the Gospel message continues to go outeven in a world such as this?
Our Challenge is Clear
Peace, security, truth, abundant life and freedomthese are among the marvelous things that are supposed to be ours as Christians when we come to faith in Jesus Christ. These are also among the things that the terrorists hate.
Today, this voice is raised with an urgent challenge: Let's fight terrorism by rejecting their terror and by propagating the message of the Gospel. Let us live in faith, spreading the message of salvation with renewed vigor and commitment.
So what can you do as you continue your studies, to fight the cause of terrorism and aid in the dissemination of the Gospel?
It is immensely interesting that Bible prophecy foretells a great end-time struggle that will be joined by the nations of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and others against Israel and its allies. Each of these adversaries has now been identified as a place where Islamic terrorist groups have been fostered and protected.
Shall we then live in fear? Never! Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).