A Blog by Jennifer Aulthouse

A heart for those who want more of God. A desperate plea for those who don't.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spiritual Terrorism

A terrorist, really, is one whose goal is to rip away hope by bringing a message of death, often as a means of coercion. Spiritual terrorism is precisely the same thing: it suggests to its target that he is too far gone from God’s reach, therefore ripping hope away, and the message left is simply that the target is doomed. We see this in our country today in some particularly overt and vile manners.

Any time I distort the message of grace by suggesting that a specific person or type of person is outside of God’s reach (that is, His ability to save them from their sins and themselves), I become a spiritual terrorist. I’m also a spiritual terrorist if I choose to avoid the truth of someone’s sin if I know I’m being called to speak to it. It may not seem as if I am ripping away hope – in fact, the silence may serve to confer a false hope since then by assumption there's no wrong to correct - but I am.....if I never witness to the promise of hope that exists for the sinner, it is as if I am removing the person’s chance of ever claiming it for herself through the blood of Jesus. Without the hope of Christ’s resurrection, she is certainly left for death in every form.

So what does this speak to in regards to gentleness? Gentleness is a form of motivation. It must have our holiness through purification as its focus, or else it is useless towards our sanctification (meaning, our becoming Christ-like in character). Gentle people are ones who have the best hopes in mind for the others that they are dealing with. The message they convey may bring pain or even some crushing discomfort in realizing who we’ve become, but undeniably, the love we are shown through the manner in which the message is delivered speaks to the sense of hope that person has for us, even if we choose in our pride not to acknowledge it.

Neva Coyle says that “God is a refiner, not an arsonist”. You may have to endure some fire in your life. You may get burned by it. But you will not be consumed by it, if you’ve trusted in Him as your Lord and Savior. Jesus was passionate about everyone and everything around Him, even if He chose at any moment to remain calm in demeanor. He speaks directly to the core of mankind and makes no apologies for His blunt way of relating. His message, though, is anything but spiritual terrorism, even if the world paints it to be because of its exclusivity in regards to salvation. Indeed, one verse in scripture says it all in regards to Jesus’ choice to be sensitively attentive to the pain around Him and overwhelmingly responsive to the desperate need for hope those He came to save were in need of: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

A terrorist does not weep for you.

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