Faith and Terrorism
Scripture Reading — Acts 7:57-60
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Acts 7:59 —
Christians know that according to the teaching of the New Testament, it's not right to kill or permit the killing of people for heretical teachings. But in our own families and churches, don't we often "kill" people emotionally if they fall into sin or disagree with us? How do we react to others who struggle with sinful habits? How often do we spread gossip even though we know we shouldn't?
What is our reaction to the secularism of our society? Do we feel compassion for people who promote values that go against our beliefs and values? Several years ago, for example, when a pastor killed a medical doctor because he performed abortions, how did we react? Did we think this was good, or were we horrified that such a crime was committed in the name of God?
As believers in Christ, we have the duty to preserve the purity of the church and society. But how do we go about that? Do we keep purity by hurting and destroying other people emotionally? Are we fed up with church and society and eager to help God clean things up through "holy" violence? Or do we demonstrate compassion, love, and patience?
Are we growing more compassionate of unbelievers who surround us, or do we think that God should quickly deal with them once and for all?
Lord, keep me from becoming violent in my thoughts and efforts to preserve purity in the church and in this world. Help me to seek peaceful ways to draw others to you. Amen