A Paris Terror Attack Pondering – How We Should Respond

When someone intentionally kills another person we call it “murder”.
When someone intentionally kills multiple people we call it “mass-murder”
When a group claims responsibility for killing over 100 people we call it what it is – “Terrorism”.

attackI mourn, as many do, for the senseless killings that took place in Paris on Friday.
Innocent people were gunned down while they socialized at the end of the work week.
For 30 minutes in the streets of Paris, order was turned into anarchy by a handful of radical terrorists with high powered weapons and explosives.

I have read numerous posts and blogs that have somewhat reflected my anger and outrage, and the truth is MOST people are outraged when senseless violence takes place upon the innocent.  I have also read numerous profanity laced comments and hate filled posts – this behavior is somewhat understandable in fits of rage, but it never helps.
What is the Christian Thing To Do?  
As Christians, we are called to a higher standard…and it IS a very difficult place for many of us to remain in the midst of injustice, violence and hatred.  As a Salvationist (A member of The Salvation Army) I read the response of General Andre’ Cox today.  In his response he correctly stated this, which I wholeheartedly agree  with:

coxI want to say that my purpose here is not to make political statements. Others are better placed and carry a particular responsibility to do just that…please pray for political and national leaders. All of them, not just President Hollande and his team in France, but leaders in your country and mine.

National leadership is never easy. History shows that. These men and women need the faithful and continual prayers of the Church, regardless of our personal political persuasions. Whenever I meet with political leaders in any country I assure them of my personal prayers, and those of Salvationists in that country. It is important that they know of this.

…I exhort you today to pray, deeply, for the grace of God and the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit, to be felt and experienced, in some manner, by the hundreds of family members personally devastated by the senseless loss of life in these hours. Death comes to all, but how it comes and in what circumstances, can add layers of added grief and pain……I urge you to pray for the Church, the Body of Christ, of which our Salvation Army is a vital partThere will possibly be strong voices within the public sphere calling for vengeful retribution against those who had nothing to do with these atrocities. In some small way the voice of the Church, of you and I, can call for added grace and care in these days. We can bring light into the gloom.”

The Christian response isn’t to call for revenge or violence.  My old self would greatly desire to see revenge take place, but this new creation that all of us share requires more grace, more forgiveness and especially more prayer.  I also recognize that God will be the final judge, not us.  All of creation is His and His alone and from this perspective we are to understand justice and redemption.

Be vigilant in prayer.  prayer
Be aware of hatred and sin in our world, but do not participate in its evil.
We are set apart, and in so doing, we must shine the light of Christ during such dark places and moments such as these!  Cast aside, at all costs, these worthless prejudices which blind us to redemption of all people from all walks of life.

Rest assured that sin cannot remain in the presence of God no matter what  those sins are.
Pray for our world, pray for its leaders, and for the areas of evil and terror that are present within it.
Pray that God will change the hearts of men.
Pray that we seek Him out and live for Him, so that our response to all of humanity is holy and Godly.

Please Pray With Me:
I mourn for the victims in Paris.
I pray for those who have to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
I pray for President Hollande of France, for President Obama of the United States, for other leaders in our world who will undoubtedly take action in rooting out wicked people bent on destruction and hiding behind the guise of religion.
I pray against the persecution of all kinds.
I pray for the Body of Christ to be evident through love, grace and hope in a world sometimes devoid of these life-giving qualities.
Please uphold our countries in your prayers.
Please pray for justice and for healing.
Pray that through such dark times – God’s glory will be evident.

This world is greatly complicated with politics, greed, ulterior motives and hatred, I pray that the Church seeks to reduce this instead of adding to it.  May we be His ambassadors, full of His holiness and love.

Something more of the Church to ponder today.
To God be the glory, honor and power, forever and ever – Amen.

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