and men loved darkness rather than light

While ISIS are an obvious current threat within the world, some of the conditions that made their murderous regime possible were set in place through the military campaign conducted by the US, Britain and Australia against Iraq a decade ago. Violence perpetrated by the west made way for violence against the west.
Sowing and reaping.

But that isn’t the only contributing factor. Prince Charles recently made claims that climate change also played its part, with Syria experiencing severe drought for many years that caused shifts of population and increased poverty. It seems he has been mocked making such “ludicrous” claims, but the same things were said in Years of Living Dangerously, a documentary I saw several months ago, in which Pulitzer Prize-winner Thomas L. Friedman examined the role of climate change on Syria’s turbulent political situation and how the resulting destabilisation created conditions for what’s happening today.
Climate change, the result of man’s greed and exploitation of God’s creation
Sowing and reaping.

The above two situations were exploited by men intent on violence, men driven by religious ideas that excuse and encourage their violence. Ideas that allow them to victimise and exploit the weak and helpless. They are parasites, feeding on the fear of those they oppress, choosing to follow evil passions and using their god as justification for what they do.

Earlier I mentioned my own thoughts about what I’d do if I was in a position where I could put an end to a situation like that in Paris, if killing a terrorist and stopping his rampage of murder would save countless other immediate victims.
The likelihood of that happening would be close to zero, but I wanted to consider how I’d respond in the very unlikely case that it did – and what response would be acceptable or “right”. It was more of a moral assessment than a serious consideration of viable possibilities. Surely I should turn the other cheek? But what if it’s not my cheek that was hit, or my life under threat? Do I turn a blind eye to the horrors being inflicted on others if I could make a difference?

Would prayer would be a preferable option in that case? Or standing up to them in the name of Jesus, to share the gospel?
It possibly would be if I knew I had faith strong enough to stand between the murderer and his intended victims and for those actions to bring about a favourable end to the situation. But unless God gave me a special gift of faith for that moment, I don’t think my faith wouldn’t be sufficient – and all I’d be doing was adding myself to the victims without preventing any further murders, and considering the present day methods of terrorists, it wouldn’t even prevent the perpetrator’s death (at his own hand).

Elsewhere I’ve received responses that say the terrorists are no greater sinners than all of the rest of us, that their murdering is no more sinful than the things we may see as being lesser evils: that we don’t see sin in the same way God sees it. All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory…
But does God Himself NOT make distinctions? Clearly under the law he established with Israel He ordered harsher penalties (even death) for some sins than He did for others. All sin has eternal consequences, but some sin has consequences in the here and now.

Receiving the gift of salvation is conditional upon each individual’s choice. Those who openly choose systematic murder, rape, torture, terror and ultimately suicide, and encourage others to take the same path, disqualify themselves from any part in God’s blessings.

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practising evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”


2 thoughts on “and men loved darkness rather than light

  1. Quite frankly, I’m suspicious of people who say everybody imperfect or a sinner like everybody else. Or, “I’m not perfect;” it’s usually used as an excuse. One either has to be naive or sort of conniving (maybe without quite being aware of the conniving, in some cases) to appeal to the notion that nobody’s perfect (in the customary way it’s used to get someone out of a jam, or oneself out, habitually). We’ve all fallen short of the glory of God is one thing, but for instance not qualifying for Princeton isn’t the same as not qualifying to attend college and get an advanced education; not being enough to make your way into heaven by your own gumption alone isn’t the same as not being thoughtful enough to make life more (and not less) pleasant for people around you.

  2. not being enough to make your way into heaven by your own gumption alone isn’t the same as not being thoughtful enough to make life more (and not less) pleasant for people around you.

    A very good point.
    We may all be sinners, but we still have freedom of choice regarding how we treat others. If murder was merely a result of an innate sinfulness within mankind, we’d all be murderers.

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