An article written by an American Airlines pilot recently suggested, “It is not the general public’s responsibility to treat every Arab/Muslim as if he’s not a terrorist. It is the responsibility of the Arab/Muslims to prove to us they are not.” The pilot made a compelling argument which closed with the recurring phrase “You worry me,” which served as the theme of the piece.
It takes bravery and humility to look at life’s challenges through a biblical lens. Through such a lens God’s word is unmistakably clear on one point: We should worry for nothing. All the justification in the world, therefore, will not condone entertaining an urge for which the word of God has warned us to resist. The Bible is also adamant on another principle: Do that which pleases God and be blessed; don’t do them and be cursed. It stands to reason then, if terrorism is a curse, we did something to trigger it. To understand what that something is, we need to widen our scope of view.
The circumstances surrounding the Furguson, Missouri shooting are as varied and controversial as it gets, but why do Michael Brown-type incidents occur? Countless conjectures all cast focus away from average law abiding citizens, and why not? How could that group have personally contributed to the Michael Brown situations of the world?
It is easy to blame someone else. However, casting blame cannot cure any societal malady. Neither will an excuse ever be able to be traced back to the true source of the crime if we continue to conveniently eliminate ourselves from the list of suspects.
The reason injustices are inflated and even criminal behavior is spun to resemble discrimination is to serve as leverage for control. The fanaticism which has been snowballing due to Michael Brown’s defiance has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with character. One of the chief tenets of character is recognizing and submitting to authority.
How can someone possess something without it first being given? How can we rightfully say to ourselves, “We’re in charge”, unless we have received authority? How can we receive authority without first submitting to a higher authority? How can we submit to a higher authority if we refuse to believe a higher authority exists?
A culture cannot function without recognizing a single ultimate source of authority. Without such a source, civilization will have nothing of value from which to draw. Even the Constitution of the United States, which is the highest system of fundamental laws and principles which prescribes the nature, functions and limits of government, recognizes the sovereignty of God.
You cannot have order and lasting prosperity without rules and boundaries. If no one manages the rules you have chaos. If no one enforces agreed upon rules, you have chaos. Likewise, when authority is undermined, (i.e. when people usurp the authority of God) chaos is inevitable.
People give authority to the government through nomination and election procedures. That government uses its authority to recruit and select a police force and judicial system which in turn will have authority over the people. So, at least in theory, the people have authority over the government, the government has authority over the police and the police have authority over the people. This also means people do not have authority over the police. The police do not have authority over government and the government does not have authority over the people.
The problem with this distribution system of authority is it has no source of real or established value. Like a currency which is not backed by gold or other real asset, authority must be based on real and established value. A godless people can give only empty promises to the government they elect which are passed on to the police and judicial system. And, since the people did not give any weight of authority to the government, it should not be surprising when the people no longer acknowledge the authority of the police.
Terrorism attacks a system’s security which in turn adversely affects the perception of its governing authority. The sad reality for the terrorist, however, is all terrorism is doing is using one counterfeit authority to unsettle another brand of authority, which currently, for the most part, has no source of value.
What is truly interesting is the result due to terrorism. Terrorism has done more for national pride and the unification of its affected nations than any event or catastrophe to date. It has waged a moratorium on complacency. Terrorism has built a foundation for brotherhood that we failed to accomplish on our own.
Could it be that God asked us to love our neighbors, and, after we refused, he engaged a contingency plan to accomplish his will for our good? If this is the case, we can either continue to wage war on an unbeatable false ideal, or simply recognize God’s authority and love thy neighbor. We can either adopt Michael Brown’s defiance or submit to God and accept the responsibility which comes hand in hand when true authority is given. If we are not systematically developing godly character, we are mimicking the beliefs of those who ushered us into this dark time.
Today people generally have no problem with abortion, divorce, homosexuality, etc., yet these same people lay in wait for someone to cross them so they can riot and break even greater laws, and justify their bad behavior by blaming someone else for the slightest inconvenience.
I once pulled out in front of someone on the road. In response, the person followed dangerously close, driving erratically, flashing their lights and honking. This continued for miles. My choice to enter into traffic made the other driver move their right foot from the gas pedal about four inches to the brake. What upset the other driver was not the inconvenience but the feeling someone took away their control and invaded their territory. So great was the delusion they were willing to place their life and the lives of other motorists at risk. If terrorists were smart, they would simply wait until the people filled with their own sense of morality destroyed themselves. Incidentally, the person who chose to drive so aggressively was by all accounts a normal law-abiding citizen.
If we continue to reject the biblical lessons we have been freely given and choose not to love our neighbors; if we overlook the supernatural contingency plan and still remain defiant to authority and embrace separation and self-glorification at the expense of others, the terrorists don’t need to attack because the free world has already forfeit.
No one can claim to be good simply because they don’t do bad things. There is no effort involved in not doing evil. There is no prize for those who do the least amount of bad. When God looks at people assembled regularly in church, he does not see good. He sees their commitment to goodness. There is hardly a commitment in attending church once or twice a year. How then can someone call himself good when he has offered little evidence of his commitment to building a foundation of goodness for himself and his family?
Through a biblical mindset, terrorism and the defiance of those squatting in the Michael Brown camp is a symptom suggesting there are many who have lost sight of or rejected the value of God’s authority. This friends is a consequence we, the law abiding citizens, brought on ourselves. Why aren’t we winning the war on terror? Because it is not the disobedience and unruly behavior of the terrorist we are fighting, but our own.