Are You a Terrorist?

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Are you a terrorist? Would the government ever consider you a terrorist? With the incredible amount of technology and the ability of our government to spy on its citizens at any moment would they ever convict you of being a terrorist? A terrorist as defined by the FBI, “Involve(s) violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”

Before you get nervous about the government locking you up for buying extra ammunition, or keyword searching your emails and Facebook, let’s break down some characteristics of terrorists.

     Terrorists have no outside authority. It may surprise you to know, that I am personal friends with several trained killers. I actually feel very safe military-81782_640when I am with my friends, and the reason for that, is my military friends do not have the luxury of killing whoever they choose. When I realize that they are under orders, I am actually safer and feel more protected with my military friends. Because they are under their commander’s authority.

How about us as Christians?  Do we continually submit our actions to God’s authority, or are we spiritual terrorists? A soldier can neither make up his own orders or get creative with the ones already delivered (II Tim 2:15). As Christians we are duty bound to follow our Commanding officer.

Terrorists fight for their own purposes. Before we get on our moral high horse and condemn the acts of terrorists (and they are wrong actions), let us take a moment to consider our own actions as Christians. Do I follow my own purposes? Do I seek to destroy people because they offended me? Do I point to other people’s wrongs to justify my own acts of hatred? Do I lash out with destructive accuracy?

If terrorists are wrong for acting on their own authority and their own purpose, should not I apply the same moral standard to my domestic acts of terror?

At core, am I acting any differently than a terrorist when I want my own way? According to the FBI part of the definition of a terrorist, Involve(s) acts dangerous to human life…. Appear intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.” How many family members will I attack and tear down, in order to gain a piece of respect? How many friends will I coerce, so I can get what I want? How sweet will I be in order to get close enough to plant a bomb in someone else’s life if they do not give me what I want?

The problem with Christians is not that they have a difficult time standing and fighting, the problem is that we wage war continually against each other, in order to get what we want instead of what God wants. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your desires that war in your members? From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your desires that war in your members?” (James 4:1)

We must continually ask ourselves, “Am I upset, because God’s Kingship was called into question or mine?”

What does God want? What are the results of a true Holy War? Peace. Peace with God and then with each other. The Gospel is the message of good news of peace between God and man through the submission of my rebellious state (Rom 10:15). This submission to God through Christ, changes us from terrorists running around blowing things up for our own agendas and transforms us to mighty heavenly warriors with weapons that are unearthly. God’s weapons are those of truth, grace, and humility that can never be destroyed because they were forged in the armory of Heaven.

When I realize that I am included in the inheritance of God’s Kingdom, I do not have to fight and scrap for a measly piece of temporal ground. I become temperate and controlled as a warrior. Because I am no longer fighting for myself, I am able to boldly desire rebels (unbelievers and believers) to bow in submission to the commands of the Great King.

Ours is not a battle where the spoils are divided, but rather a call to submission where the Joy is shared.

     So back to the original question, “Am I a spiritual terrorist?” Do I continually submit to God’s authority as defined by the Bible? Do I try to coerce and force my own purposes on others? Our call to Christ’s service is clear, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (2Co 5:20).

Little Changes Big Results

Is this killing you spiritually

Little changes make a big difference. Little changes create huge impacts. In college, my brother Luke and I switched to drinking skim milk, and between the two of us in a year at college we cut out close to 60 pounds of pure fat from our diet. That’s the equivalent to eating 240 sticks of butter. This principle of little changes has ramifications for good as well as evil.

My little habits and choices toward sin may not seem earth shattering but with time they can grow and become disastrous hindrances to my Christian walk (Gal 6:1-7). It does not take long for small choices to grow and soon begin to hinder us.   A single bacteria cell by binary division can multiple to become 9 x1030 in 24 hours. (Think of that next time you want to reheat a pizza that was left out all night or watch a movie that God would not approve of, or harbor bitterness, or self-justify.) Sin will multiply quickly. Although it does not take long for the effects of sin to inhibit us, it also does not take much to stop the work of sin if we submit to God.

My little habits and choices toward God are able to stop the spread of sin in my life. To follow our bacteria illustration, if I had put the pizza in the fridge after baking, it would cut the bacteria down to 2. A small change grows to big results. I may not feel like I am making life altering decisions, but every small change puts me either closer to or further away from my goal in life.

Imagine the immense changes in your life today if you had decided ten years earlier to be a better worker, a better student, or a better Christian. Just imagine if a 10 year old decided to commit to reading the scriptures for 30 min a day, by the end of his lifetime he would have spent 14,600 hours before the presence of God. That’s like way longer than the Lord of the Rings extended edition! (I should add that it is a grave fallacy to equate Scriptural intake as the only sign of holiness as the Pharisees memorized the first five books of the Bible, and still crucified Christ). I am simply trying to point out that a small decision over time yields phenomenal results.

So how about you? What decisions are you making that with time will result in significant results? What changes are you glad you made and can share with the rest of us?