terrorism close to home

If you ran across the news item that terrorists had planned to blow up a Central Ohio mall, but were thwarted in the attempt…. well, that was in my backyard, so to speak.

We have many Somalians in this part of Ohio, and numerous other Muslim groups of different ethnicities. While this event neither changes my attitude towards them, nor gives me particular fears…. it does give pause.

I have long thought that the many immigrants in our country gives both an opportunity and a responsibility to those of us who profess Christianity. It is a mission field delivered to our door, but what are we doing about it?

If you are someone offended by the evangelical side of Christian faith, read no further, and spare yourself the irritation.

But for those of us who take our faith seriously, and wonder what we may do to neutralize the threat of fanatical and murderous jihad-infected terrorists, I suggest two fronts.

The first, for those with hearts for the Muslims, to find ways to share the love of God and the good news of the gospel with those Muslims that are living here in the US. I think we should be bold, but with patience, respect, and care. Just as we ought to be in sharing our faith with any unbelieving person. But we should share, actively reaching out.

Not all of us are evangelists, and find our opportunities small, and our manner timid. I think that this is opportune for the second front, which is as important as the first. Prayer.

We should again -as a body, and as individuals- find ourselves praying for those who have not yet met Christ. Praying with intercession for the continued deliverance from terrorist schemes, praying for God’s intervention in our generation, within our land, and around the world. We just don’t need to all do it in a large chunk… just take one family to pray for, or one country, a neighbor’s child in the military – or your own- but pray with determination, with ‘heart’ , effectually.

Evil is not something that is on someone else’s street, it is not something that overtakes “someone else”, it is in our own back yard. And we ought to do what we can to to sow the seeds of kindness, and righteousness in our own gardens.

I would welcome ideas on how best to do that, because ones treasured beliefs shared with concern for others is something that I have found is healing, it is cultivated fear that most separates us – and that includes fear of offending. I say, what is more offensive than a plan to blow up innocent people for whatever cause or motivation? What is more offensive than letting unremitting hatred fester in unchallenged beliefs?

That which is good and true will never suffer from open dialog. From honest sharing of ones differences and convictions. It is often harmed by fearful accomodation and mounting polarization.

Christians have weapons of warfare. But we forget they are not of this world and do not follow the vengeful bloodlusts of man.

If enough of us remember that and put our hand to spiritual armor and weaponry against the spiritual powers that bind men’s souls in blind hatreds we might be surprised at how the battle turns.

I don’t think the Ohio conspiracy was thwarted by accident. I think there were physical and spiritual forces at work that defused and dismantled it. Those forces need to continue and expand.

Let’s pray. Let’s sow God’s Word in hearts. Let’s look for the good fruit and wait patiently for a good harvest.