How should Christians respond to acts of terrorism?

Taking another human’s life is murder, the Bible teaches

A couple of weeks ago I submitted an article on the topic of mass shootings. In this article I will address the matter of evil, atrocities and violence done in God’s name.

God is the giver of life which implies that we are here by His will. Colossians 1:16 says that God made everything “…in heaven and on earth…everything was made through Him and for Him.” Following this line of thought, we recognize that our lives and the lives of others, do not belong to us, but God.

The Bible clearly teaches that taking another human’s life is murder. This automatically condemns all terrorism, for the intentional taking of life or lives is contrary to God and His teaching. Anyone carrying out an act of terror, however spiritual or religious their talk, is unaware of and/or in rebellion to God and His law.

Christians do not approve of terrorism of any kind. But how should Christians respond to acts of terrorism? Our first response tends to be over-reactive feelings of prejudice and hatred, but that is not the proper Christian response.

Christians need to pray…for everyone. The Lord said to “Bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28). As we mourn the loss of life, we pray for the grieving, the injured…and the perpetrators and their families.

Christians are commanded to love. This is done by “weeping with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and by “loving our enemies” (Matthew 5:44). Love also reduces the potential that we might have for unfairly judging or hating those who share the same nationality and religion of the terrorists.

Christians should be prepared to forgive. This is a difficult task, but as Jesus hung on the cross, mutilated, humiliated and dying, He said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Just in case we think that that kind of forgiveness is possible only for the Lord, we might want to read Acts 7 where Stephen, the first martyr of the Christian church, offered very much the same petition for those taking his life.

Christians should, remembering that “Whatever you’d do for one of the least of these…you do for me” (Matthew 25:40), try to help in practical ways such as donations to victim funds.

Christians, as peacemakers, should be prepared to enter into dialogue with others on this matter of terrorism. And it should not be the current opinion of peers, the media or the government that guides us, but the example of Jesus. It is our business to displace fear and present hope.

If the forgoing admonitions seem difficult, if not somewhat supra-spiritual, then let me add that, though I have suggested them, I struggle with them. We need God’s grace and though they are difficult, they are not impossible, for “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26) and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plans in place for a different kind of graduation this year at Wm E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus

“They deserve to be celebrated for this milestone in their education.”

Every Albertan eligible for COVID-19 testing

22 new cases confirmed on Friday

Playground facilities within County of Stettler borders begin re-opening May 29th

Responsibility for sanitization and hygiene remains with the users of the equipment

Fast-food restaurants serving up free non-medical masks

Free protection will come in packages of four

Big Valley youth takes top prize in the 4-H Project Steer Challenge

Proceeds from the sale of the calves goes back to the kids who raised them for the last few months

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

N.S. police received warnings in 2011 about man who would become mass killer

N.S. police received warnings in 2011 about man who would become mass killer

Trudeau acknowledges ‘anti-black racism’ in U.S., with ‘work to do in Canada’

Trudeau acknowledges ‘anti-black racism’ in U.S., with ‘work to do in Canada’

Want a mask with your Big Mac? Alberta handing out masks at drive-thrus

Want a mask with your Big Mac? Alberta handing out masks at drive-thrus

Senate joins House of Commons in extending suspension until mid-June

Senate joins House of Commons in extending suspension until mid-June

Another $650M in COVID-19 aid bound for Indigenous communities, Miller says

Another $650M in COVID-19 aid bound for Indigenous communities, Miller says

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Canada exploring ways to reunite families divided by COVID-19 border closure

Canada exploring ways to reunite families divided by COVID-19 border closure

Most Read