The Terrorist in All of Us
The events of September 11th will reside in our national consciousness for many years to come and to a certain extent I think we really benefit as a people when we continue to remember both the atrocities committed as well as those who they were committed against. We are a news cycle culture that moves on from things, even the most horrid, at breakneck pace for the allure of the next social event or pop culture phenomenon.
The interesting twinge to the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden is that even a prominent newspaper wrote the words, ‘BURN IN HELL.’ We live in a world in which even Christians are beginning to reconsider the reality of hell but when someone who carried out evil to the extent that we see in Bin Laden we are celebrating his death and welcoming his judgment. He clearly deserves judgment, the murders committed because of his actions and the continued plotting and murdering over the past decade merit relentless judgment on him. The question isn’t whether or not Osama should receive judgment, he should, the question is why shouldn’t we receive it as well?
We live in a day when relativism is alive and well through our worldview, culture and depravity. We justify our actions and lifestyles as somehow being less wrong than what others do and we create an artificial barrier in which once a line has been crossed we no longer tolerate the actions of the perpetrator. The problem is that we’re using our own standard as the benchmark and we are also fallen people.
I’m really particular when I hang stuff on walls and one of the most frustrating things is when I use a level to ensure that something is straight only to find out that the wall or doorway that it is close to isn’t square. It’s so frustrating to realize that even the actual level mark is seemingly irrelevant in an environment where things appear to be measured according to a different standard. Even though it appears our world is ‘working’ with these different standards we can see in the especially heinous acts like terrorism that our standards are not working and it only takes a slight variation from the created order for us to head down a very dangerous and damaging path.
God is perfect, totally holy and without fault (1 Sam.2:2) and we are not simply leaning the wrong way but in total rebellion. (Rom.3:23) It’s not even like we don’t know that we’re in the wrong; Scripture makes it clear that we bear God’s image and simply reject the truth of what He’s calling us to. (Rom.1:18) When we begin to understand our own sin we begin to bring into focus, not the fact that Osama Bin Laden deserves less judgment but that we both deserve an incredible amount of it.
The great news is that God has made a way through His Son Jesus for all of us to enter into an eternal relationship that reconciles our sin and brokenness because of His sacrifice for us. (Rom.5:17) When we realize and receive the gift of salvation available to us we need to be ready to begin to understand the heart God has for all people, even Osama Bin Laden. (Matt.16:14,15)