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).

Waiting Alone…. Learning How to Date While You Wait

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Aloneness hurts. What single person after waiting on God hasn’t asked himself, “Now what?” I have talked to dozens of young people that have gone to church or Bible college, kept themselves pure, resisted the temptation to settle, who now find themselves alone every Friday surrounded by little brothers and sisters on family night. Don’t get me wrong, it is fun hanging out with family, eating pizza and playing monopoly, but not if you have no other option.

There is a story in the Bible that may mirror your life, and help give some perspective of what to do, while you wait. Before we jump into the story of our 40 year old single guy, I need to add a caveat. Not every story in the Bible is given for our emulation (i.e Samson, Jonah, Judas, etc.). The Scripture does, however, give us tangible examples of faith, so that we can see faith in action (Hebrews 11, I Cor 10:11). The story of Isaac and Rebekah is one of those great example passages of faithful people depending on an even more faithful God.

   “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.” (Genesis 24:63-64) This passage of scripture gives some great instruction on what men are to be doing while they wait. Keep in mind that even though this article is geared toward guys, every girl should be looking for a man with these qualities. If a man is not showing godly characteristics and actions while he is waiting, he will not be doing those things after he has won a girl’s heart. (Next week’s article will explore what a woman should be doing and what men should be looking for from the same passage.)

Godly men wait patiently. Isaac had waited a long time. Genesis 25:20 tells us that Isaac was 40 years old. (Apparently this was a cultural thing because his older brother Esau didn’t get the keys for the camel until he was forty, Genesis 36:34.) This is rather amazing as Isaac was the area’s most eligible bachelor. He was the son of a local millionaire, he was a wonder child, he had promises from God, he had good looking genetics (at least from his mom’s side) In short, he was popular, pretty, and stinking rich, yet with all of that, he wasn’t married. The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically, but he may have been waiting because he saw the pain that was caused by His dad, who didn’t wait in the area of relationships.

Godly men wait obediently. The context of this verse is encased in the entire passage. Earlier we see in Genesis 24:3 that Isaac was obeying God, by not seeking a bride that would not assist him in his pursuit of God. If your future spouse is not focused on God, you will have a love war, and become schizophrenic in your pursuits. Isaac was well aware of the fact that a godly woman may not be found on his timetable. For those who have waited a long time I would ask in invaluable question, “What do you want from a relationship?”

Remember, that a woman will never give more than God has already offered you, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19) It may help to remember that passage of Scripture was written by a man who at the time was in jail as a single man.

If you are not content with what God is giving you, you will never be content with what God might give you.

     Godly men wait worshipfully. Where is Isaac, he is out in the field thinking about the greatness of God. It seems from the text that he was bowed down in worship. When his “girlfriend” arrives what does she find him doing? What do you think went through Rebekah’s mind when she found out Isaac was praying on their first “date?” If you have never been caught worshiping, you may as well say goodbye to a quality, God centered worshiping spouse because they are off in a different field.

Worshipers have a great advantage when it comes to dating, they don’t have to change the object of their affections.

     I feel I must address the heresy that God is obligated to send you a spouse if you are worshiping Him. This is not at all what I am saying, I am simply giving a general principle that if you are already singing praise to your Savior, that a harmony line will fit nicely and you don’t have to change your tune in order to attract a spouse.

     Godly men wait thoughtfully.  The passage continues and describes their first meetincamles isaacg, Therefore Rebekah took a vail, and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.” (Gen 24:65-66) Put yourself in his sandals. You have waited forty years for a wife, you trust your dad and friend to find you a wife, and the first thing you do is…. Talk to the old servant? I think this shows an incredible amount of maturity on the part of Isaac, as he voluntarily seeks wisdom before hormones. The passage says that the servant tells him everything. This is not the Hollywood, first date go to her apartment and see if she is a good kisser philosophy, this is a man whose heart is controlled by his head.

How about you, how many wise mentors do you seek advice from before or during your dating relationship? Far too many couples seem to start with an attraction, move to infatuation, and then when wise individuals offer advice, it is viewed as spiteful and uninformed. “What would old married fogies possible know about love anyway?”

     Godly men wait unselfishly. “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (Gen 24:67)  Ever wonder why the word order is reversed? Marriage then love seems very strange to a culture that grew up on Disney love. Many couples test the waters to see if their feelings are strong enough to get them through. Love can result in an incredible feeling, but it is a result of a choice. If love is all about a feeling then when my feelings go away, I am justified in adultery. In reality love can be incredibly painful (ask the 85 year old couple whose wife has Alzheimer’s).

     My love is not about me. If I am hoping for a special someone to make me feel special, I will soon hate them for what they cannot give me. In reality, I am really more in love with myself. The commitment that Isaac gave was the perfect soil for the seed of love to grow.

I understand that Isaac lived in a different culture, yet he does give us a good model of how to wait and helps us answer the question, “Now what?”