A Christian response to terrorism
What does Jesus want us to do when we're afraid of the future?
It seems that every few days, we hear news of yet another terrorist attack. It’s quite a scary time in the world, and it can be hard to know how to respond. Do we get really afraid? Do we fight back? Do we hide away?
Well, here are four ways Christians can respond to terrorism.
Seek comfort from Jesus
Often we feel angry and afraid when bad things happen in the world. But where are we going to seek true comfort?
Romans 5:12 says “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.”
The reason our world is broken and things like terrorism exist is because of human sinfulness. If we recognize that this is why there is sin in the world, caused by people, we know that we should look to a source of comfort beyond this world – Jesus.
Because there is sin in the world, we must expect persecution. And in fact, terrorism often targets Christians or nations with Christian heritage.
That doesn’t sound much like comfort! But Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18). Jesus suffered persecution and, ultimately, death – which we hopefully won’t suffer for our faith. But as Christians, the fact that people hate us shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, we aren’t alone in our persecution, and God always has a purpose.
Pray for enemies
When terrorism occurs, our first instinct may be to get angry, hate the perpetrators and perhaps even plot revenge. But Jesus has an incredibly countercultural view. In Matthew 5, he says…
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
As Christians, we are called to pray for our enemies rather than hating them. Pray that Jesus would reveal himself to terrorists and cause them to repent of their evil and turn to God.
Don’t feed a culture of hate
Some terrorism – not all – is committed by Islamic extremists. This has led to people in the media blaming Muslims for terrorism, and creating a culture of fear, hate and prejudice against all Muslims.
As Christians, we should never be part of into this culture. We are called to show love, compassion and generosity to everyone.
Use this time to share the gospel
Many people are afraid at this time. They need the gospel, which offers hope beyond this life. So, this is an opportune time to evangelise to your friends! When bad things happen, pray that your friends would ask you questions, be ready to answer, and tell them about Jesus.