What is a Christian Response to Terrorism?

In light of the barbaric bombings that took place in London earlier today, I began to wonder what, if anything, I should say about them on the Christian CADRE blog. Several thoughts came to mind, and I wanted to share them.

First and foremost, I believe that I can speak for the entire CADRE, in fact, I believe that I can say I speak for the vast majority of Christians, when I say that our hearts go out to the people of London, especially to those who were injured and those related to those injured or killed in the bombings. I pray that in the midst of the turmoil and the anguish of the days ahead, you will find peace and rest. Please do not turn your anger and frustration into rage against all people of the Islamic religion or of Arab descent. It is only a few barbarians who have done this.

Second, I remain angry at the bombers. These bombings, coupled with the nearly daily bombings of the people of Iraq and the frequent bombings of innocent people in the Middle East, can be described as nothing less than barbaric. Those engaged in this activity are truly despicable people. There is nothing heroic or virtuous about the killing of innocent human beings—regardless of the cause for which you fight. Their tactics are deplorable and uncivilized, and the free world ought to use every power at their disposal to stop them.

At the same time, as Christians, we have to remember that Jesus died for the sins of all humanity. This includes (whether I like it or not) those who indiscriminately kill innocent people with bombs in subways and on buses. While I am convinced that the Bible teaches that some sinners will suffer more seriously than others in hell--and it is certainly true that those who indiscriminately engage in the mass killings of human beings must rank among the very worst of sinners—-it is not the job of the Christian to condemn them but to share with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus, while I am angry at the bombers, I am prepared to forgive them upon a showing of repentance.

While I (as a Christian) am obliged to love my enemies and forgive them their sins, as near as I can tell, the government is not so bound. I recognize that God has given governments the power of the sword to seek out and punish those people who are acting outside of the realms of civilization. While I am not free to seek out and hunt down these international criminals, the governments are free to do so—-even to declare war to do so. This is part of the process God has put in place to insure the safety and freedom of people.

Let me make this clear: I hate what the terrorists are doing. I hate their tactics and their indiscriminate killings. At the same time, I do not favor war as a solution to problems; yet sometimes war may be the only means effective to controlling rogue nations and bands of roving terrorist organizations. Regardless, whatever I think about the politically correct way to respond to the terrorists, I know that it is my job as a Christian to forgive and try to bring them to a true knowledge of God. One thing is for sure—-if they become Christian, they will no longer engage in indiscriminate killings because they will have no reason to do so. And isn’t that what we really want?


Layman said…
The only response can be to hunt them down and kill or capture them (and, especially, those who support them). God established government to avenge heinous acts such as these:

"Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil."

Romans 13:3-4

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