If you have watched the news lately, you’ll see that they have shown a video of Osama bin Laden that predicts more pain and evil will come upon the U.S. and that this is in response to the prayers of Palestinian mothers. That video sickens me as does the commentary which is mostly pro-Israel and not much in favor of the Palestinians. Ariel Sharon commented that he wishes that he had killed Yassir Arafat twenty years ago, which was probably not the best thing to say. My friend Brian has commented frequently on the hopelessness of the situation and I’m starting to see his point very clearly.
The painful part spiritually is that we are all worshipping the same deity and it breaks my heart into pieces every time I hear someone invoke God’s name in these fights. This is a God who wants us to come to Him and who wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I cannot fathom a God who does not consider it justice to treat one’s neighbors with dignity even if they are not Christian, Muslim, or Jewish like everyone else. Granted, we are called to spread the Gospel to all nations but we are to do this lovingly and not by the sword. We are called to deal justly with people and if you’ve looked at the history of the land battle in Israel, you do have to agree that the Palestinians have been dealt with less than justly. In 1948, they stood to have about 58% of the land in “Israel” and that has shrunk dramatically. It’s like owning a room of a house but not being able to go out into the hall because your enemy owns the hall.
A lot of my criticism of bin Laden is the fact that Islam preaches that there is no compulsion in religion. (I’m not sure of the surah where that is found in the Qur’an.) Bin Laden wants us out of Saudi Arabia (which is not an unreasonable demand) but his reasoning is that we are polluting the Holy Land because we are a non-Muslim presence on Muslim soil. It’s kind of interesting to me that Jews and Christians lived in that land for 1200 years without engaging in conflict with the Muslim populations there. I feel that bin Laden wants all of us to become Muslim because it’s all about spreading the message of Islam. His tactics however violate the concept of non-compulsion. Most (and I mean all non-Wahhabi) Muslims consider us equal to them in the eyes of God and believe that if we are faithful to our religion, we will be in Paradise with them. It saddens me that a small percentage are so violent just as it saddens me that such a small percentage of evangelical Christians like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Fred Phelps spoil the view of Christianity for the rest of us.
The other thing I am just struggling with is the events of September 11th. I really never fully dealt with them and the day just seemed so surreal because I was in so much shock. I never believed that people could be so evil as to fly a plane with innocent people on it into a building where thousands of people worked!!! It saddens me that evil could be so present in one person like bin Laden who rejoiced at seeing all of this take place. Granted, we are a rich and spoiled country and we really need to evaluate the way we use resources and promote materialism but… does that really warrant killing thousands of innocent people as a protest??? Now, bin Laden is saying that this level of terror will continue to punish the USA. At first it seemed like the attacks were a personification of 1 Corinthians 1:27 where it says that God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong. I’m not saying that the events of 9/11 were God’s punitive attacks on the U.S.A. but one has to admit that the plans were not that technologically advanced. They took away our national security (which would have been better placed had it been in the LORD than in our fancy weaponry) and it is awful to live in fear of such attacks happening again.
Sometimes my life just don’t make sense at all/ When the mountains look so big /And my faith just seems so small/ So hold me Jesus ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf/ You have been King of my glory/ Won’t you be my Prince of peace/ And I wake up in the night and feel the dark/ It’s so hot inside my soul I swear/ There must be blisters on my heart/ So hold me Jesus ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf/ You have been King of my glory/ Won’t you be my Prince of peace/ Surrender don’t come natural to me/ I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want/ Then to take what You give that I need/ And I’ve beat my head against so many walls/ I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees/ And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn/ And your grace rings out so deep/ It makes my resistance seem so thin/ So hold me Jesus ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf/ You have been King of my glory/ Won’t you be my Prince of peace?
-“Hold Me Jesus” — Rich Mullins