Monday, September 11, 2006

The Anger of Man and the Righteousness of God

From time to time, I have to remind myself that it is a good thing that I am not God. I had to do that again this morning. Here's why.

One cannot watch the news for too long without seeing a turbaned, bearded radical Islamazealot such as Ayman al Zawahri waving his forefinger, spewing more venom and threats against the West. After a time, I stop seeing a turbaned face as my eyes focus on that little raised knot in the center of al Zawarhri's forehead. It's almost perfectly centered between his eyes and the middle of the "V" of the turban. After a while, the little knot morphs into a scope with crosshairs, and I imagine a round from an SKS rifling through the air, transforming Mr. Zawahri's forehead knot into a hole. In that split second, the would be Saladin passes from thug in hiding to thug in Hell. And no 72 virgins to keep him company in Lake Gehenna.

You know, that's awful. I should pray for the man's repentance and salvation, but I do find it hard. I have to be honest about it. Al Qaeda and its top leaders are responsible for untold deaths. Their lives are governed by hate. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if both Osama bin Ladin and al Zawahri were demon possessed.

So how do we as Christians not fall into the same murderous rage? Only by God's grace and mercy. However, we must not let ourselves fall into fuzzy thinking or unbiblical total pacifism. We might well be angered by Islamic thugs, but that shouldn't make us knee-jerk into anger or hatred against all Muslims. While Christians must not fall into vengeful behavior or attitudes, the Bible does not forbid us self-defense, nor does it bind a government's hands from taking action to stop and/or prevent terrorist attacks. The Bible tells us that "the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God." The Lord also tells us "Vengeance is Mine. I will repay." However, it is the responsibility of governments to protect their people - with force if need be. The state "does not bear the sword for nothing." It is not the government's job to share the Gospel. That job belongs to us as individual Christians.

The Gospel is available to all..even for butchers like al Zawahri and bin Ladin. So let us indeed pray for their salvation, and that God will somehow lead people into their paths who will be witnesses for Christ. At the same time, let us pray that their evil intentions will be thwarted. While we're at it, let's pray for ourselves. Scripture also says regarding the last days . . . "because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." May it never be for those who are called by His name.

1 comment:

Randy said...

Joel,
You once said in jest that, "Vengence is mine saith the Lord and I love doing his work!"
I had to chuckle but there are times when I feel that way. Your post as always, was right on target. I get so tired of all the hammering away these idiots do. The only recourse we have is what you mentioned. And...someday, the Lord will right every wrong and everything will be made pure again.
And...every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that JESUS is LORD. That includes the psychos with the turbans. God is not mocked. His vengence is slow, and the wheels of God may grind slowly, but ultimately, his "way" will be known to all. Sometimes it is those thoughts that keep me from coming "unglued."

It's sad that we have the turbanators pointing their fingers at us, and in our own country we have the so called celebrities cutting down our country. My thought has been and remains, "if they don't like it here, leave!"

Be well Joel.