What does Christianity say about terrorism done in the name of God?

Asked by Joel

hi i was thinking to myself what does christianity teach about life, death and destiny. and how this could apply to a act of terrorism in the name of a God or deity.


Thanks for your question!

Christianity has a lot to say about the issues of life, death and destiny. I’ll answer this first, before I apply this to terrorism carried out in the name of a God or deity.

The first thing the Christianity says about life is that God is the giver of life. The only reason we are here (ultimately) is because God wants us to be here. In the book of Colossians, Chapter 1, verse 16, the apostle Paul says that everything that was made – the entire universe – was made for God, or more particularly, for Jesus Christ (who is God, who came to earth as a man 2000 years ago).  Thus the life that we live is really not our life: it ultimately belongs to God. Our whole life is to be lived in a way that brings him honour. He has shown us how we are to live this way in the Bible: and central to this is for each of us to turn back to God, seek his forgiveness for the way we live and strive to honour and obey him in all we do (Rom 3:10-18). If we turn back to him, put our trust in Jesus, and in what He did for us on the cross, we are guaranteed a fresh start with God, in perfect relationship with Him. This means that we are forgiven by God for our rebellion, and are given eternal life (John 3:16).

Christianity says that death is the penalty that each one of us receives for our rebellion against God (Romans 6:23). Left to ourselves, we are destined to die, and then face God. Facing God is the most terrifying experience for those that have rebelled against him, for it means that we are declared ‘guilty’ of rebelling against him, and are sent to eternal hell for our rebellion (Hebrews 9:27). But if you come back into relationship with God by trusting in Jesus then you are forgiven of all your rebellion, and given eternal life (John 3:16).

Thus a person’s ultimate destiny depends on how they respond to God, and in particular to Jesus Christ. If they continue ignoring him, they will be judged, and sent to hell. But if they take his free offer of forgiveness, then they will receive eternal life, and be with God and His people forever in the New Heavens and the New Earth (see Revelation 21:1-4).

Now as far as terrorism carried out in the name of God or a deity, the Bible is clear that taking another human life is murder (except in exceptional circumstances eg. some situations of war and defence). Thus God commands people not to murder , eg in Exodus 20:13. In fact, Christians are not to terrorise others, but to be law abiding, submitting to governments and doing good (Romans 13:1-5). Thus any person that carries out a terrorist act is showing that they do not understand how God wants them to live – whether or not they terrorise in God’s name. God wants us to come back into relationship with Him, and coming back into relationship with Him transforms our other relationships, so that we wish to do good to other people, and not evil.

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

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