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Christians should forgive the Islamic terrorists

By Robert T. Smith
web posted September 29, 2014

Concurrent with the recent anniversary of 9-11 my Methodist Pastor intertwined forgiving the 9-11 terrorists with the personal forgiveness of Luke-17...

...If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him."....

How did we get here?  Scream or walk out seemed to be the choices, but instead I remained frozen in my pew in disbelief.  Certainly we have been dealing with the Ishmaels for some time now...it is biblical.

Genesis 16

"...Behold, you are with child, And you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction. "He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him..."

Part of the problem is what has become of the American Methodist (and others') denomination.  The American Methodists have been heading down the liberal side of the equation for some time.  At their typical convention, all manner of liberal/progressive issues are put forth for a vote in hopes that they will pass.  Everything from gun control, the hoax of man-induced global warming, the oxymoronic notion of homosexual marriage, etc.  Were it not for the Methodist African contingent, the Methodists would even now arguably be chasing the Episcopalians down the rat hole to hell.  If St. Paul were alive today, I am sure he would condemn the American Methodist church (and unfortunately many others) by name and in writing. 

The African Methodists fortunately still take their religion off the full menu of the Holy Bible, and continue to promote their religion to be reflected in their daily life lived in the presence of God.  The Africans take a traditional, robust, full biblical view of their religion and its application in this world.  In comparison, the American Methodists seem to prefer an a la carte menu of feel-good Christianity that has also allowed the liberals/progressives to drive the Christian faith out of the societal milieu and into their homes and churches only. 

Clearly my Pastor missed the first important part of Luke.  The Holy Bible unambiguously states "And if your bother sins against you rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him."  Forgiveness isn't a stand-alone obligation, it is contingent on rebuke and repentance.      

The misguided, feel-good thinking for some Christians is apparently an underlying desire for unity and reconciliation as opposed to an underlying desire for justice in defense of the innocent.  There is an apparent lack of real-world discernment or ability to judge, speak out and act against evil.

Christian judgment of right and wrong has been the impetus of many critical issues of history.  Consider Christian evangelist Charles Finney, who famously spoke out and took action against slavery, or John Newton, whose epiphany regarding his own conversion and political fight against slavery stands as a historical act of "Amazing Grace."  History and our daily life are rife with examples of Christians judging right from wrong and speaking out or acting accordingly.  Our world is much better for the judgment and work of Christians when robustly applying their religion in the world.  

Forgiving people who aren't sorry for what they did is antithetical to what God calls us to do, it sends the message that repentance isn't really needed.  No matter what the Islamic terrorists did and continue to do, they don't have to change.  That concept is devoid of morality, is not a requisite of Christianity, and only serves to encourage evil.  The terrorists who piloted the planes on 9-11 and those who terrorize today would never ask to be forgiven, nor have any regret over their actions.  Consequently, they are not owed the forgiveness incited in Luke.   Forgiving them only gives them license to murder more innocent people.  The Christian religion is not a suicide pact. 

Juxtaposing my Pastors lecture with the daily barbarism that targets Christians and other innocents makes an unrepentant forgiveness for terrorism of 9-11 and ongoing terrorism at best untimely.  Most disappointing is how the church has decided to become inconsequential in our society.  Would not an imprecatory prayer be better befitting the evils of Islamic terrorism, than the mushy feel-good forgiveness offered by some Christians. 

A divinely inspired biblical concept comes from Mathew 5...

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men."

What good is a Christian individual, denomination, or church in this world if it has lost its saltiness....it is good for nothing. ESR

Robert T. Smith is an environmental scientist who spends his days enjoying life and the pursuit of happiness with his family.  He confesses to cling to his liberty, guns and religion, with antipathy toward the arrogant ruling elites throughout the country.






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